More research needed into universal autism screening for young children: Govt

According to a government task, it is required to conduct more research in order to find out if toddlers could be screened for autism even when developmental problems are not found in check-ups or by parents, in the face of guidelines from other health groups that advise such screening.

As per reports, doctors are expected to regularly check if children are showing symptoms of developmental disorders together with autism. According to specialists, parents should right away figure out any problems, like if a child is not making eye contact, so that they can receive proper diagnostic testing.

According to the US Preventive Services Task Force, there is a lack of evidence to suggest both: for or against universal screening. It added that doctors should make use of their own judgment until more research in the field comes up with new findings.

According to Alycia Halladay, chief science officer at the Autism Science Foundation, this kind of recommendation is disappointing.

As per Halladay, “There should be no ambiguity on this issue: Standardized tools and instruments to screen for autism are better than clinician judgment alone and should be used in all children to identify autism spectrum disorder at an early age”. She added that depending on a physician’s observations is not sufficient. She said that some children show very mild symptoms that might be missed in a brief and hurried child checkup.

According to Dr. Susan E. Levy of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and AAP's autism subcommittee, if the problem is identified early, children receive treatment early and results are better.