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DiagnosticJourney Test content, evidence-based autism interventions can lead to improved long-term outcomes when initiated early during a key window of neurodevelopment.
Access to most autism-specific interventions requires a diagnosis by a healthcare provider and is highly dependent on race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, geographic region, access to specialists, and coverage from insurance providers.14,15,16 And although early intervention may not require an autism diagnosis, without it, services are often limited. This can be especially burdensome for families who do […]
How AI Technology Can Help in the ASD Diagnostic Process
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a powerful innovation that uses technology to mimic human intelligence.34 Machine learning, a form of AI, incorporates complex algorithms to assess patterns and form predictions.35,36,37 AI is already being used in radiology, dermatology, ophthalmology, and pathology, and performs with diagnostic accuracy comparable to healthcare professionals.38,39,40,41
1 Hyman SL et al. Pediatrics. 2020;145(1):e20193447. 2 Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) What is ADHD? Web site. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/facts.html. Accessed February 18, 2021. 3 Autism Spectrum Disorder Fact Sheet. NINDS Web site. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Autism-Spectrum-Disorder-Fact-Sheet. Accessed April 2, 2021. 4 Hyman SL et al. Pediatrics. 2020;145(1):e20193447. 5 Matheis M et al. Dev Neurorehabil. 2017;20(4):228–235. 6 Glascoe FP. Child: […]
Next Steps After Diagnosis
Interventions introduced before the age of 3 allow for the most optimal long term outcomes and can positively impact the development of a child with autism.46,47,48 These interventions not only improve outcomes but may reduce the need for lifelong interventions and support.
Several studies showed similar benefits of early interventions for children with ASD with children receiving intervention having on average twice the developmental gain as compared with those who did not receive intervention.49
These benefits are not limited to the child. Improvements achieved.. with early autism interventions may reduce parental strain and support improved parent-child attachment.50
Early Signs and Symptoms
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines recommend screening for ASD in all children at 18 and 24 months as a complement to the general developmental screening of children at 9, 18, and 30 months.4 However, caregivers often report developmental concerns to pediatricians starting at 14 months.5
The number of specialty providers with specific autism expertise is limited.6,7 And, diagnosis can be difficult because of the wide range of autism symptoms and severity.8,9 However, pediatricians report that with the right support they feel confident and equipped in diagnosing ASD.10,11 Currently, primary care physicians are the first to screen children for developmental delays and refer those with suspected delays to specialists (including developmental pediatricians, child psychologists, child and adolescent psychiatrists, neuropsychologists, and pediatric neurologists) for diagnosis and prescribed intervention.12,13
Autism is complex, increasingly common, and has a significant impact on children and families. However, evidence-based autism interventions can lead to improved long-term outcomes when initiated early during a key window of neurodevelopment.