More progress needed in early recognition of autism

Posted on December 12, 2015

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An increasing proportion of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are undergoing recommended evaluation in preschool years, but population rates of ASD remain higher in eight than four year-olds, a new study reports.

This suggests that many cases aren't being recognized until after school age—especially ASD without cognitive (intellectual) impairment. "While ASD is considered a lifelong condition, evidence suggests that early intervention can improve outcomes," Dr. Christensen and coauthors write. Early identification and access to special services can improve outcomes for children with ASD.

Findings of the current study suggest progress toward that goal, with more children with ASD receiving recommended comprehensive evaluation by age 36 months. However, estimates of ASD prevalence remain consistently lower in four-year-olds compared to eight-year-olds, suggesting that more cases will be recognized only as the children reach school age.

"Continued efforts should be made to promote early identification of children with ASD so that interventions can be initiated at the youngest age possible," Dr. Christensen and colleagues conclude.

Read the full article at the link below.

Category(s):Autism spectrum disorders, Child Development

Source material from Wolters Kluwer Health

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