Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause communication, social and behavioral challenges. Children and Adults with ASD may interact, think and learn differently than most people.
Pediatricians typically conduct surveillance for autism at every well-child visit, including looking for subtle signs. A formal screening tool or checklist for ASD is done routinely at the 18 and 24 month visits, or when any concerns are raised. While studies have found that pediatricians will routinely screen for ASD, they don’t always follow through if the screenings reveal any red flags. Studies examining medical records of children who visited doctors between 2014 and 2016 shows they were screened per the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations, but only a small percentage referred children to an autism specialist that were flagged by the screening test. A positive screening test identifies a child at higher risk than one with a negative screen, but does not provide a diagnosis. This is why as parents, it is important to advocate for ongoing follow-up.
At Mobile Therapy Centers we offer free screenings and consultations. If the diagnosis is positive, parents will often defer and follow up with their child’s pediatrician. We of course respect looping in pediatricians, however, it is important as a parent to continue to advocate if your pediatrician doesn’t follow up or do anything further. A recent study by American Academy of Pediatrics clearly states pediatricians are not actively pursuing ASD screenings or making appropriate referrals for follow up after screenings are completed. Most importantly, the AAP recommends that pediatricians send children for a comprehensive autism evaluation if they have a positive autism screening test, in addition to signing them up for a hearing test and early childhood intervention services.
Mobile Therapy Centers services include ABA Therapy, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Behavioral Therapy and Counseling. We see children at our clinic, at your home or at your child’s school/daycare making it convenient for you and your family. Contact us for a free consultation at 847-816-7200 or at https://mtcus.com/services/counseling/.