Earlier Autism Identification

This is incouraging news for the Autism community. Even though I do not like labels, I do encourage early detection and awareness.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center researchers released today in the journal Autism the results of a three-year study that evaluated the effectiveness of a training program designed to enhance autism spectrum disorder (ASD) identification and assessment within community pediatric settings across Tennessee.

After participating in training to learn strategies for conducting rapid diagnostic assessments following positive ASD screenings, pediatricians reported significant changes in their screening and consultation practices, with 85 percent reporting an increase in numbers of children with autism evaluated within their practice. The study also found that pediatric providers were nearly as accurate as specialists in their diagnoses, with agreement seen in more than 90 percent of all cases.

Sarah was diagnosed when she was 2yrs old. I believe that had she had an earlier diagnosis it would have been much better on all of us.

Key findings:

  • Community pediatric providers were more likely to conduct independent autism assessments within their practice, rather than referring the child for outside evaluation.
  • Community pediatric providers showed high agreement in ASD classification with expert clinicians.
  • A dramatic shift was seen in pediatric providers’ sense of the appropriateness for a child to receive a diagnosis from his or her primary care provider, without or before a comprehensive evaluation.
  • A dramatic shift in the comfort level of discussing ASD diagnoses with caregivers was seen.
  • There was a significant increase in the number of diagnoses made within respective provider practices.

This study builds on pilot findings from 2009 by presenting a more comprehensive evaluation of the training model and utilizing a broader sample of pediatric providers.

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One thought on “Earlier Autism Identification

  1. Pingback: Earlier Autism Identification | Sarah's Voice

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