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A panel of experts said that they are not sure whether screening all children for autism outweighs the potential harm that could arise from it as there is no “sufficient information” available to reach a decision. The announcement of the task force has incited strong reactions from several doctors and child development experts.
Vice chairperson of the United States Preventive Services Task Force, David Grossman said, “There’s not enough evidence for us to recommend for or against screening in children for autism under 30 months. Clinicians need to make a judgment on their own about whether to screen. There is no right answer on that.”
The children here are referred to the ones between the ages of 18 months to 30 months who have not shown any sign of the disorders associated with autism spectrum. The announcement by the task force has irked many health professionals who think that the task force’s take could affect early diagnosis of children with the disorder and that in turn could delay the treatment.
Parents of children who suffer from autism spectrum disorder (ASD) start exhibiting developmental problems before the age of one. Signs of disparities between communication, socializing and fine motor skills could be seen even when the child is of six months, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
President of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a practicing pediatrician in New York, Benard Dreyer said, “We know from a lot of research that the earlier you can intervene with any developmental problem — including autism — the better off the child is.” He further said “what we do know is that screening works. Early intervention is good,” CNN reported.
ASD is on the rise and affects a person’s ability of communicating and socializing. It also causes developmental challenges in a person’s behavioral interaction.
The findings were published on Tuesday in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA).