New Screening Test Helps Identify Autism in Infants


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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

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Did You Know?

  • * In 1970, Autism affected 1 out of 10,000 children
  • * Autism now affects 1 out of 88 children
  • * Autism affects 1 in 54 boys
  • * 1.7 million Americans have some form of autism
  • * 4 out of 5 autistic children are boys

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