Scientists say they have developed a blood and urine test which can detect autism in children.
Researchers at the University of Warwick claim it could lead to earlier diagnosis of ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorders) in youngsters.
They say tests found a link between the condition and damage to proteins in blood plasma.
Researchers looked at two groups of children - one that had been diagnosed with ASD, and a separate control group - and discovered chemical differences between the two.
Dr Naila Rabbani, who led the research, claims it could detect autism much sooner in children's lives.
She explained: "Early diagnosis in children [means they] will have better support and maybe earlier therapeutic intervention.
"[It could] mean a better outcome for these children," she added.