Autism screen at one year

SCREENING for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) can begin as early as age one to enable early detection and treatment, researchers suggest.

Paediatricians in the US screened 10,479 one-year-old infants using a five-minute parent questionnaire evaluating a child’s use of eye contact, sounds, words and gestures, finding 184 who required further evaluation. 

Thirty-two of the infants received 

a provisional or final diagnosis of ASD, 56 of language delay, nine of developmental delay and 36 of “other”, with the researchers estimating a positive predictive value of 75%.

“The opportunity to begin the treatment of autism specifically around the first birthday, an age when brain growth is altered, has not been systematically achieved but seems to have potential to change outcomes for affected children,” the authors said.

But Professor Margot Prior, from the University of Melbourne, said while