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MNAAP Newsletter

Screening Instruments: Autism Spectrum Disorders

By Michael Reiff, MD, FAAP

michaelreiffWith the current prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) estimated at 1 in 68 children and rising, it is imperative that pediatricians take an active and informed role in identifying children at risk. Despite a great deal of effort regarding early identification, parents generally report initial concerns before their child is 18 months and still the average age of diagnosis remains at about 4-5 years of age. It is important that screening tools used by pediatricians be as evidence based as possible to avoid over- or under-referral for diagnosis.

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Screening Instruments: Developmental Screening

By Elsa Keeler, MD, FAAP and Katy Schalla-Lesiak, MSN, MPH, APRN, CPNP

ElsaKeelerKaty Schalla LesiakUniversal developmental screening works and closes the gap. Since the AAP recommended standardized developmental screening in 2006, research continues to show that screening significantly improves our ability to identify developmental delays earlier and more accurately. Currently in Minnesota, less than 3 percent of children under age 3 are receiving Early Intervention (EI) services, despite a national estimate of 13 percent of children in this age group eligible for services.

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