A New Tool Screens for Autism by 12 Months
Posted by The Baby News
A newly developed questionnaire could help identify autism in children by just 12 months, which is months or even years earlier than previous testing methods.
The so-called “First Year Inventory” questionnaire, designed by researchers at the University of North Carolina, asks approximately 60 questions about things like how reactive a baby is, how reptitive her behavior is, and how expressive her communications are, all of which can indicate whether or not a child is likely to be autistic.
In a study using the questionnaire, 30% of the children who were identified as high risk at 12 months were eventually diagnosed with te disorder at 3 years old. The remaining 85% showed other developmental problems at 3 that needed evaluation and treatment. The number of children who were identified as high risk at 12 months but tested as "normal" at 3 was very low.
And while researchers caution that First Year Inventory testing is merely intended to identify infants at high-risk for the autism spectrum disroders (rather than diagnose them with it), that’s still a good thing: According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and others, earlier screening can enable earlier intervention and, ultimately, a healthier child. The questionnaire will undergo more testing to evaluate its effectiveness before it's approved for use.
Read the full article here.
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