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New System Shown to Improve Early Diagnosis of Autism

Published by: Psych Central
Written by: Rick Nauert PhD

Researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine have developed a new system to screen and evaluate children for autism spectrum disorders. The primary care-driven system will be implemented statewide with a goal of determining if a children has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at an earlier age.

A 2020 report from the Centers for Disease Control estimates that 1 in 54 children in the United States is identified each year with ASD. While children can be diagnosed with ASD as early as 2 years old, most children are still being diagnosed after the age of 4.

A growing body of evidence supports the value of early diagnosis and treatment. Studies have found that early evidence-based interventions can significantly improve the quality of life of those with ASD as well as of their caregivers and families.

This study, published in Pediatrics, is the first of its kind in the U.S. to include health care systems across an entire state.

“One of the unique aspects of this effort is its scale. While similar innovative diagnostic approaches have previously been tested across the country, our primary-care based Early Autism Evaluation hubs provide data representing much of the state of Indiana,” said lead author Rebecca McNally Keehn, Ph.D., H.S.P.P. Click here to read the rest of the story.