June 26, 2017

Detecting Autism in the Very Young: The Tell-Tale Signs of Babbling, Crying, and Trunk Control

download (5)Pediatricians and nurse practitioners are on the front line with their patients. The parents who come to you have the most experience with you and you have the history that will help to define whether a specialist evaluation is needed. You are crucial to this whole endeavor. We know that we track physical, motor, and language development very well in young children. What might be missing in some cases is tracking social development, particularly the subtle signs.

Parents and practitioners are good at tracking the very obvious signs of ASDs. Those include such behaviors as flapping, spinning, and flagrant disinterest in social engagement. We know that those exist and that we’re really good at picking those up. What tends to fall by the wayside are the more subtle behaviors. Our research from early detection and diagnosis of ASD has shown that tracking these behaviors leads not only to early detection, but also to early diagnosis and access to early intervention, which have very important downstream effects for global development as well as for ASDs. Read more…