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Screening tool for ASD shown to be very accurate


Close to a third of all kids who are categorized as at risk for autism spectrum disorder at one year old are eventually diagnosed with ASD by age three. Researchers also found that 85% of children at risk for ASD had some other developmental disability by three years.

Screening tests are accurate

These results are based on the First Year Inventory (FYI). This is a parent-report questionnaire developed as a screening tool to identify children who are at risk for ASD. “These results indicate that an overwhelming majority of children who screen positive on the FYI indeed experience some delay in development by age three that may warrant early intervention,” explained Grace Baranek, PhD, an autism researcher with the Program for Early Autism, Research, Leadership and Service.

Parent reporting is key

“Identification of children at risk for ASD at 12 months could provide a substantial number of children and their families with access to intervention services months or years before they would otherwise receive a traditional diagnosis. These findings are encouraging and suggest promise in the approach of using a parent report of infant behaviors as a tool for identifying 12-month-olds who are at risk for an eventual diagnosis of ASD,” said Lauren Turner-Brown, PhD, also a researcher with PEARLS.

Early intervention makes a difference

Early intervention has been shown to drastically improve the developmental arc of children with ASD. In particular, language skills and therapies for auditory processing are also very effective with early intervention. If this test can reliably identify at risk kids, their chances for improved development are increased as a result.

Source: MedicalNewsToday, UNC Health Care

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