The early detection of autism — through a sniff test.

By Todd A. Ward, PhD, BCBA-D

Founding Editor,

The Autism Daily Newscast recently summarized research findings coming out of Israel, which suggest that the early detection of autism can be facilitated via sniff test.

You see, when most people smell, they tend to smell pleasant smells in a markedly different manner than unpleasant smells.  However, the researchers found that children diagnosed with autism showed no such difference when, for example, smelling shampoo vs. rotten meat.

The effect has been described as “overwhelming” by researchers.  If validated in further research, the tool has advantages in that it requires no language skills and places minimal demands on the child to perform the task.

Check out the full article here, including more details from the research team, and let us know what you think about the potential of the sniff test in the comments below. Lastly, be sure to subscribe to bSci21 via email to receive the latest articles directly to your inbox!

Todd A. Ward, PhD, BCBA-D is President of bSci21 Media, LLC, which owns and  Todd serves as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management and as an editorial board member for Behavior and Social Issues.  He has worked as a behavior analyst in day centers, residential providers, homes, and schools, and served as the director of Behavior Analysis Online at the University of North Texas.  Todd’s areas of expertise include writing, entrepreneurship, Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, Instructional Design, Organizational Behavior Management, and ABA therapy. Todd can be reached at

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