Scientists develop simple questionnaire that can diagnose autism with up to 95% accuracy
A simple online survey can diagnose autism with up to 95 percent accuracy, one study suggests.
Researchers have developed a 39-item questionnaire to help parents navigate a notoriously tricky diagnosis process.
It’s the latest promising development in autism screening, just days after officials began the approval process for a test that detects the disorder in hair.
The new Autism Symptom Dimension Questionnaire (ASDQ) – to be completed by parents or carers – asks questions about the child’s behavior and how it responds to social cues. But parents are still strongly advised to seek the advice of a doctor.
A simple online survey can diagnose autism with up to 95 percent accuracy, one study suggests (file image)
They include how often the child is expected to make eye contact, play with peers, seem overly sensitive to loud noises, and take things too literally.
Parents are asked to choose from a range of five ratings that indicate how often their child engages in such behavior.
Researchers at John Carroll University in Ohio described the study as a “great advance” in the diagnosis of autism.
They claimed the test was between 55 and 95 percent accurate in detecting autism, depending on how severe the child’s symptoms were, and was reliable for age, gender, race, and ethnicity.
The study looked at 1,467 children ages two to 17, including 104 with autism. The results have been published in the journal Developmental medicine and pediatric neurology.
In addition to screening for autism, the test can also track and track autism symptoms over time.
About one in 44 children in the US has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a number that continues to rise as the disorder is destigmatized.
However, despite scientific and societal progress, ASD is still often diagnosed only in childhood.
While the average age of diagnosis in the US is four years, in the UK it is even older, at six years.
Because there is no standard test for the condition, doctors must rely on a child’s developmental history and behavior.
But experts say early intervention can make a huge difference, with early detection essential to ensure children on the spectrum get the help they need.
To receive an official diagnosis, children still need to go to a trained professional, but the ASDQ questionnaire is another step toward a standardized test for autism.
Screenings for ASD are advised at the 18-month and 24-month milestones, tracking the child’s language, movement and thinking skills, as well as behavior and emotions, compared to the rest of their age group.
However, formal diagnosis should be made by a trained specialist, such as a pediatrician or child psychologist.
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What is Autism?
What does being autistic mean?
Being autistic does not mean you have a disease or condition. It means that your brain works in a different way than other people.
It is something you are born with or that first appears when you are very young.
If you’re autistic, you’ve been autistic all your life.
Autism is not a medical condition with treatments or a “cure.” But some people need support to help them with certain things.
Autistic people can:
find it difficult to communicate and get along with other people
finding things like bright lights or loud noises overwhelming, stressful, or uncomfortable
find it difficult to understand how other people think or feel
becoming anxious or angry about unfamiliar situations and social events
takes longer to understand information
doing or thinking the same things over and over
What Causes Autism?
It’s not clear what causes autism.
No one knows what causes autism, or if it has a cause. It can affect people in the same family. So it can sometimes be passed on to a child by their parents.
Autism is not caused by:
vaccines, such as the MMR vaccine
an infection that you can spread to other people
Source: health service