The American Academy of Pediatrics in its child developmental surveillance and screening policy project appeals for pediatricians to:
- Ask parents questions about their children’s development and look for signs & symptoms of autism or relatedÃ‚Â trouble at every well-child visit up to age 3.
- Use formal, proven developmental screening tests at 9 months, 18 months and again at either 24 or 30 months (the group favors the later check but says children aren’t always seen at that age).
- Screen every child for autism at 18 months (a first-time call for formal autism screening).This is a must to treat autism effectively.
- Offer additional, formal screening any time a parent or doctor becomes concerned about a child.
- Refer children who fail screening tests to public early intervention programs and to specialists who can evaluate the child fully, both for developmental disorders and related medical problems.
According to Paul Lipkin, Director of the Center for Development and Learning at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and head of the panel that wrote the policy, a combination of periodic formal screening, with less formal checks in between and prompt responses to parents’ concerns should work for time-pressed doctors, yet reduce chances that children in trouble will go months or years without help.
“Once a parent expresses a concern around a child’s development, that in and of itself is significant. We’d like to get ‘wait and see’ taken out of the vocabulary of the well-child visit.”
Source: child-autism-parent-cafÃƒÂ© dot com