Experts Recommend Toddler Screening For Autism Despite Opposition From The United States Prevention Services Task Force

By Ellainie Calangian, Parent Herald February 24, 05:13 am
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The United States Prevention Services Task Force dropped the early screening for autism spectrum disorder in all children. On the other hand, the experts believed that the screening is needed for diagnosing and treating children throughout their developmental stage.

"A lot of people are very concerned that this recommends may lead to a decreased in screening, " Diana Robins, Ph.D., associate professor of Drexel University's A.J. Drexel Autism Institute and the lead author of a study printed in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorder said. "They pointed to gaps in the long-term follow-up of children in which autism was detected from primary care screening. There should be more rigorous follow-up studies, but screening should continue as has been recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics for almost a decade." 

"There's a growing body of evidence that the earlier you start treatment, the better the outcome," Robins said. "When symptoms are emerging, it's usually between a child's first and second birthday. And they're things that are not easy to measure by a doctor."

Science Daily reports that the American Academy of Pediatrics supports the early childhood screening for autism. They recommend three processes of screening. These include the pediatric checkup, blood-developmental screening and the autism -- specific screening at age 18 and 24 months.

WebMD describes autism as a brain disorder wherein some areas of the brain fail to function together. Patients who are diagnosed with autism have difficulties in communicating and relating to other people. Currently, there is no treatment for autism.

Hence, the symptoms may be reduced by having therapies such as social skill therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy. They are also provided with special education and behavior modification such as decreasing behavioral problems and having strategies for supporting positive behavior.

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