Early identification : a key to beating autism

autismEarly identification is a critical part of the intervention process in children living with autism. An early evaluation can significantly increase a child’s chances to achieve his potential.  In this area, improvements still need to be made. A study recently published by the official journal of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics demonstrates that even though progress has been made in identifying children with ASD earlier, some groups of children are not being identified as early as others.

In their findings, researchers find that about half of the four-year-old children had an evaluation by the time they were about two years and three months old while about half of the eight-year-old children had an evaluation by the time they were about two years and eight months old. This gap can significantly impact a child’s life. 

Other disparities have been identified. Among four-year-old children, girls and white children were more likely to receive their first comprehensive, developmental evaluation2 by age three years compared with boys and black children.

Researchers used data from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network to conduct their studies. It is recommended that all child care providers look into it to better serve children and redirect the families to the appropriate services as early as possible if necessary.

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