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Researchers Question Screening All Children For Autism - featured June 20, 2011

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[Source: Disability Scoop]

A leading pediatricians’ group recommends that doctors routinely screen all kids for autism, but a provocative new study released Monday questions the practice arguing that it may in fact do more harm than good.

Researchers behind the study published in the journal Pediatrics conducted a comprehensive search of medical literature to assess what is known about the reliability of autism screening. They found that currently available screening methods continue to flag too many children who should not qualify for an autism diagnosis to warrant screening all kids.

What’s more, they note that not a single screening method has been scrutinized in a randomized, controlled study.

“None of the autism screening tests for the general population that we have today have proven accuracy,” said Jan Willem Gorter, one of the study authors and an associate professor of pediatrics at McMaster University in Canada. “That is, they aren’t good enough to accurately detect children who have autism or to accurately detect those who don’t.”

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Tags: Article Autism Newsletter 24 June 2011