Why Early Screening for Autism Recommended for Children?

Generally, children between the ages of 18 months and 4 years should regularly be screened for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The initial screening should be done when the child is 18 months and again when she/he is 2years. This screening is highly recommended, even if children do not show any signs of development delay. Screenings during the first 2 years of a child’s life are crucial.
Regular universal screenings and screenings for ASD are recommended for checkups will often lead to an earlier diagnosis of ASD. There is growing recognition among parents that early intervention and diagnosis can yield better outcomes for an Autism child.
Here are a few symptoms of autism spectrum disorder:
  • Delay in language
  • Delay in smiling
  • Failure to respond to their names
  • Failure to follow parent’s gaze
  • Failure to respond when pointing at something
These are subtle but critical risky signs that are most common reasons for evaluating a child for ASD. However, these are limited to children within the age group of 10 to 12 months.
For children between the age group of 12 to 15 months, symptoms of being on the spectrum are:
  • Failure to make eye contact
  • Lack of “back & forth” babble, as a means of communication
  • Failure to point as a means of directing attention
For children in the same age group (12 to 15 months), forming an attachment with an unusual object in place of a regular blanket or soft toy may indicate a problem. Parents need to be alert in noticing these symptoms. Early and quick intervention can help children who are diagnosed and their parents likewise.
While the aforementioned symptoms are rather subtle, here are a few not so subtle signs of ASD:
  • No babbling or pointing by age 12 months
  • No any other form of communication gestures by age 12 months
  • No single words by 15-17 months
  • No two-word phrases by 22-24 months
  • Loss of social skills and language at any age
  • Loss of language and social skills is the sign of verbal regression experienced by children on the spectrum who are about 21 to 22 months.
Routine screening leads to early intervention and early treatment
Regular screening is imperative as a definite diagnosis can be made based on the findings symptoms. The treatment should include 25 hours a week intensive behavioral therapy. This should be done with a low student-to-teacher ratio, with parental involvement, and sufficient one-on-one time.
For more information regarding ASD screening, early intervention and developmental disorders, please contact Dr. P. Sumitha Hemavathy (PT) the Best Autism Doctors in Hulimavu, CAPAAR Center. We put emphasis on acquiring new and appropriate behaviors, while we also working on helping the child to achieve developmentally age appropriate milestones through evidence based practices.
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