New Screening Test Helps Identify Autism in Infants
The Journal of Pediatrics has just released the results of a study that
implemented a screening questionnaire for over 10,000 infants and reportedly was
able to identify early signs of autism and other developmental disorders in children as young
as 12-months old. The CSBS DP Infant-Toddler questionnaire, which takes only 5 minutes to complete,
asks parents a range of questions that help identify key risk factors. In the study, thirteen percent of the children who took the test fell into the abnormal range.
The 24-question test is said to be around 75% accurate, offering an
efficient and easy way for parents, doctors and caregivers to detect autism at
an early age. According to the CDC, most children with autism are not diagnosed
until the age of 5, so this test represents a significant advancement in early
screening methodologies. Originally developed in 2002, the test was not geared
specifically for autism, but since the test covers many of its core
characteristics, it is considered a new and effective way of identifying the
disorder in younger children.
Some of the questions include:
Does your child smile or laugh while looking at you?
Does your child point to objects?
Does your child use sounds or words to get attention or help?
When you call your child’s name, does he/she respond by looking or turning toward you?
While an abnormal test result will not necessarily indicate a definitive
autism diagnosis, it will help parents and doctors better monitor a child’s
progress and get a head-start on early intervention programs should a full-fledge autism
diagnosis eventually emerge.
This is very important because although there are many unknowns about autism,
the one thing therapists, researchers and doctors all agree on is that the
earlier the intervention and therapy, the better chance a child will have later in life.
To access the CSBC DP IT questionnaire, visit: http://firstwords.fsu.edu/pdf/checklist.pdf