Early detection of autism may lead to better intervention and treatment. According to a new study published in The International Journal of Research & Practice, 31% of children who were at high risk for autism spectrum disorders(ASD) at age one would be diagnosed with ASD by age three.
The study was administered by researches at University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Researchers sent out questionnaire to parents of 699 children to collect various data on children’s health and development. Parents were first surveyed when their children were 12 months old and again when they were at age three. The questionnaire was developed as a screening tool to identify children who were at high risk for ADS. Researchers not only found that almost one third of the children at high risk for ADS at age one eventually received ADS diagnosis at age three, but also found that 85% of children had other types of developmental delays by age three.
“Identification of children at risk for ASD at 12 months could provide a substantial number of children and their families with access to intervention services months or years before they would otherwise receive a traditional diagnosis.” said Lauren Turner-Brown, PhD., an autism researcher at University of North Carolina School of Medicine.