Reports of this exciting study have been on many news websites today! If we can get more pediatricians to use this screening tool then many more children with autism would be identified much earlier. The earlier intervention services can start with children with autism the much better the outcome.
The other important aspect of this news is getting out information about early signs of autism that is easy for parents and caregivers to understand.
As the article states:
For now, what should worry parents? Pierce’s top concerns:
- Lack of what she calls “shared attention.” Around age 1, babies should try to “pull your attention into their world,” pointing to a bird and watching to see if you look, for example, or bringing you a toy, she said.
- Lack of shared enjoyment, where a baby may smile at mom but not engage if other people try peek-a-boo.
- Repetitive behaviors like spinning a car wheel rather than playing with the toy.
Language delays are worrisome if they accompany other problem signs, she said: “If they wave and they point, that’s a good sign the brain is readying itself to be ready to speak.”