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Subtle warning signs of autism may warrant referral to developmental specialist before age 18 months

Nov 01, 2013 -- 12:30 pm
How early can you diagnose autism? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends screening children beginning at 18 months, but research suggests subtle warning signs may be apparent even earlier, according to Patricia Manning-Courtney, MD, FAAP, who delivered a plenary address at 11:10 a.m. ET Tuesday, Oct. 29, at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition in Orlando.

In her presentation, "Early Screening and Diagnosis in Autism Spectrum Disorders: How Low Can we Go," Dr. Manning-Courtney described studies of siblings of children with autism that helped detect very subtle behaviors that may surface before age 18 months. The earlier a child is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, the earlier critical behavioral and learning interventions can begin.
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