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PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island (WJAR) -- A baby's cry -- it's something that often causes a parent to come running.

But what does the child need? Can doctors shed some light?

"When it comes to sort of parenting, we actually want to back off and reinforce that parents should use their intuitions," said Dr. Stephen Sheinkopf, a researcher at Women & Infants Hospital.

But your baby's cry could offer clues into his or her future health.

Sheinkopf helped develop a new tool along with acoustic engineers at Brown University. It's an acoustic cry analyzer.

"The specific thing that we're interested in here is how to detect early risk for developmental conditions, developmental disorders such as autism and other conditions," he said.

The concept isn't new.

"There's been a long standing history of analyzing babies' cries as an early neurological or neurodevelopmental health in babies," Sheinkopf said.

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