Updated autism guidelines released by American Academy of Pediatrics

Autism affects one in every 59 children.

On Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics updated their guidelines for the first time in 12 years.

The report focuses on early screening and intervention.

Along with pediatricians, it says parents play a big role in spotting and reporting early signs.

Autism spectrum disorder can be diagnosed as early as 18 months, but services can start before a formal diagnosis.

The guidelines also address the need to prepare adolescents for high school and adulthood.

The AAP recommends that pediatricians:

-Conduct developmental and behavioral surveillance during all well visits with children, developmental screening at the 9-, 18-, and 30-month visits, and standardized screening of patients for autism spectrum disorder at 18 and 24 months old.

-Help ensure that children with autism spectrum disorder are provided with evidence-based services to address social, academic and behavioral needs at home and school, with access to appropriate pediatric and mental health care, respite services and leisure activities.

-Engage with families and youth to plan a transition to the adult system of medical and behavioral care.

-Inform patients and families about the evidence for interventions, refer families for possible participation in clinical research and refer families to support organizations.
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