NASET News Alert

Early Identification Crucial in Autism Outcomes

May 19, 2023

Autism in children can be diagnosed as early as 12 months of age by a specially trained clinician. Although a chronic diagnosis such as this one can seem overwhelming for parents, its timing is crucial to ensuring a happy and fulfilling life for the child.

“Early identification of autism allows the caregiver, medical team, therapy team, and school to understand the manner the child communicates and perceives the world,” explained Gabriel Anzueto, MD, developmental and behavioral pediatrician with UT Physicians and medical director of the Dan L Duncan Children’s Neurodevelopmental Clinic at the Children’s Learning Institute at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston. “It allows for early access to specific autism therapies like applied behavioral analysis and most importantly gives clarity to the clinical situation.”

Tests to identify autism include observational questionnaires, parental standardized interviews, and comprehensive play-based standardized assessments. Depending on the sex of the child in addition to other factors, presentations of autism may be severe or subtle. Read More