A new study from the National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], published on May 24, says that many children are screened for Autism Spectrum Disorder [ASD] too late in life.
More than half of the kids were diagnosed at age five or older. Fewer than 20% were diagnosed by age 2. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests health professional screen for autism at 18 months.
Most cases of ASD are identified (before the age of 5) by pediatricians, family physicians and nurse practitioners, indicating that awareness needs to be raised among health professionals.
"Research tells us that children who start intervention earlier do better in the long run. This report found that the majority of children were 5 years or older when they were first identified. We can reliably diagnose autism by 24 months, so professionals need to do a better job, including screening all children at 18 and 24 months," said Geraldine Dawson, chief science officer for Autism Speaks.
About one out of 88 children in the U.S. has an autism spectrum disorder according to the latest CDC estimates.
by RTT Staff Writer
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