Should All Babies Be Screened for Autism?
After reviewing the existing studies on autism screening, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), a group of experts tasked by the federal government to review medical studies and provide recommendations for the public, said Tuesday in a statement in JAMA that there is not enough evidence to recommend all infants be screened for the developmental disorder.
This adds to growing contention among experts about which babies should be screened for autism,
with the new USPSTF recommendations disagreeing with those from other prominent medical groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Autism is usually diagnosed in children who are around age 2, when the symptoms of the disorder are first noticed by a parent, teacher or doctor. But by that time, some experts say, autism may be harder to treat. Researchers have been working on ways to detect and diagnose the condition in younger babies, when behavior-based interventions might be helpful in minimizing some of the symptoms or even reversing them, but the evidence so far is not strong enough for the USPSTF to recommend screening for all infants 18 to 30 months old.