New 2 Minute Test For Autism

New research, published in The Journal of Developmental and Behavioural Pediatrics last month, has shown that a simple 2-minute questionnaire can help detect autism in toddlers.

Research indicates that about 1% of children have Autism in Australia. Like all children, every child with Autism is unique, however there are core symptoms characterised by differences in behaviour, social interaction, communication and sensory processing. Every person is affected differently, and whilst some people with Autism also have an intellectual impairment or disability, some people have average or above-average intelligence. People with Autism often experience additional challenges and problems like ADHD, Anxiety and Depression are particularly common.

Autism is diagnosed by developmental paediatricians, psychiatrists and psychologists who are qualified in assessing people with Autism. The diagnosis of Autism is an important step forwards because this can offer access to extra support at school and government funding for services.

Researchers at New Jersey Medical School in The USA have developed a simple 10 questionnaire screening tool, that can be completed by parents, that can identify Autism in toddlers with 88% accuracy, according to the lead author of the study, Associate Professor of Dr. Walter Zahorodny. Research shows that the earlier a child starts treatment the better the long-term results - Scientists think that this is because young brains are more “plastic” and can change more easily, a term described as “neuroplasticity.” So screening tools like this may help to detect children with Autism earlier and by doing so help them to start treatment as soon as possible.

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