Twins Tzipporah and Naftali Wodinski are like many 12 year olds, now able to do most things the same.
"People see me different, but I feel like a normal person," said Naftali Wodinsky.
But as infants, mom Avigael Wodinsky noticed Naftali was developing differently.
"From the very beginning from day one, she looked like she was doing normal things and he didn’t. He was floppy, he was passive, he wasn’t making eye contact," said Avigael Wodinsky.
As a toddler Naftali was diagnosed with moderate to severe autism but with the help of intense behavioral and drug therapy, he's now thriving.
His mom though, wishes they started even earlier - a chance she wants other kids to have.
"We could have been spending a lot more energy and attention on the social piece from day one," said Avigael Wodinsky.
Researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital may have found a key to diagnosing Autism earlier.
They collected the baby teeth of sibling pairs, including the Wodinsky twins using lasers to analyze the layers in the teeth - like growth rings in trees.
"Just like you can count back the rings and make assumptions about past weather, we can count rings in baby teeth and we can make very precise measurements of all the exposures we experienced even before we were born," explained Manish Arora, Environmental Medicine Professor at Icahn School of Medicine.
First testing the teeth of twin pairs in Sweden, and then replicating the study with siblings in New York, and non-related groups in Texas and the UK researchers found the teeth of autistic children showed that zinc and copper were not working properly together during the third trimester of development.
"These early life signatures, even present at birth, can predict the emergence of autism later in childhood, with about 90 percent accuracy. So we are very excited about this but this is just a first step," Arora noted.
The hope is the findings will lead to a diagnostic test for autism and potentially new therapies.
More studies are needed, but for now the Wodinskis are happy they could play a part in a discovery - that potentially paves the way to a brighter future for autism.
"Kids like him are going to be amazing adults. The social challenges of childhood and adolescence, is the real hard part," said Avigael Wodinsky.