Friday, March 26, 2010
Medical Reports: Autism Test
Experts say all children should be screened for autism. A typical evaluation can take hours, but a new screening test is much quicker. 7's Christine Cruz has details in today's Healthcast.
WSVN -- Even before Ben's first birthday, his mom started worrying about autism.
Katy Crowther, Son Has Autism: "He wasn't imitating us. He wasn't pointing or clapping or playing any of those sort of interactive games."
Although her pediatrician told her it was too early, Katy pushed for autism testing when Ben was just 14 months old.
Early intervention has made all the difference.
Katy Crowther: "There's still a gap between Ben and his typical peers that you can see, but he has caught up tremendously."
This is the rapid ABC, a new screening that uses simple activities to test for autism. Experts check to see how toddlers respond to activities like having their name called, looking at a book, being tickled and playing ball.
Jenny Mathys, Emory Autism Center: "Can you throw it to me? Oh, good throw!"
Jenny Mathys, Emory Autism Center: "I wanted to see that not only was he catching the ball, but he was returning it to me, so I was involved in that action."
The five-minute screening targets attention, how a child responds, and communication in children ages 15 to 17 months. Then, a software program computes a score. If autism is suspected, the child will undergo further testing.
Jenny Mathys, Emory Autism Center: "There really isn't something quick and rapid like the ABC out there where pediatricians can interact for just three to five minutes."
The test is not only fast it's also giving parents some peace of mind.
Jessica Sales, Cooper's Mom: "It'll help parents and myself to feel comfortable that I'm doing everything I can to identify if there was an issue."
Five minutes that could make a world of difference for a toddler's future.
Researchers say the goal now is to make the rapid ABC test part of regular pediatric checkups at 18 months and 24 months.
For More Information, Contact:
Monica Allen, M.A., DTR
Emory Autism Center