LIVE: Google CEO Sundar Pichai testifies on Data Collection (C-SPAN)
Panel Undecided on Screening All Kids for Autism
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says more data needed to say yes or no to universal testing.
By Robert Preidt, HealthDay News
Don't Miss This
Sign Up for OurChildren's HealthNewsletter
Thanks for signing up!You might also like these other newsletters:
There's just not enough good data to determine whether there's value in routinely screening all young children for autism, an influential panel of U.S. health experts said Tuesday.
After considering current information, as well as getting input from health care professionals and the public, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) concluded there is not enough evidence to determine the long-term effects of autism screening for children who don't have obvious symptoms of the disorder or whose parents or health care providers are not concerned about the child's development.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in every 68 children is now affected by an autism spectrum disorder.
The USPSTF is an independent, volunteer panel of experts that reviews the scientific evidence and makes recommendations regarding health screening procedures.
One advocacy group for children with autism was not pleased by the panel's decision, which was published Feb. 16 in theJournal of the American Medical Association.
"We are very disappointed in the final recommendation of the USPSTF with regards to universal screening for autism spectrum disorders," said Alycia Halladay, chief science officer with the Autism Science Foundation.
"Scientific studies prove that earlier identification and intervention leads to better outcomes," she added. "These recommendations may harm children whose symptoms are not obvious to parents or clinicians. We support the American Academy of Pediatrics [AAP] and other professional organizations that support screening for autism spectrum disorders at 18 and 30 months."
RELATED: How Much Does it Cost to Raise an Autistic Child?
In its statement, the task force stressed that it is not advising for or against autism screening at this time. However, the panel is calling for more research to help it make a recommendation in the future.
"To date, autism research has appropriately focused on treatment for children who have significant symptoms," panel vice chair and pediatrician Dr. David Grossman said in a task force news release.
"Now we need more research to help us understand the benefits and harms of screening young children whose parents, caregivers or doctor have not noticed any symptoms," said Grossman. He is a professor of health services and adjunct professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington in Seattle.
The panel said that until more data is available, doctors should use their medical judgment to decide if it's appropriate to conduct autism screening in children without obvious signs and symptoms of the disorder.
The task force believes that its latest statement on the issue should not affect insurance coverage for autism screening.
In the meantime, "parents or caregivers who have any concerns about their child's learning or behavior should tell their child's primary care clinician," task force member and pediatrician Dr. Alex Kemper said in the news release.
"Doctors and other health care professionals who care for children should listen to parents' and other caregivers' concerns and use proven tools to assess the need for further testing and services," said Kemper. He is a professor of pediatrics at Duke University Medical School in Durham, N.C., and the deputy editor of the journalPediatrics.
Dr. Andrew Adesman is chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y. He said the task force guidelines aren't really at odds with recommendations from the AAP and other groups.
The task force guidelines "do not explicitly suggest that [universal screening] is wrong, they simply question the clinical justification for it -- pointing out that there is no research evaluating the costs and benefits of doing autism screening on children about whom no one has concerns," Adesman said.
Video: Watch Live: Brett Kavanaugh, Christine Blasey Ford Testify At Senate Hearing | NBC News
Meghan Markles Birthday Gift List
How to Get Rich As a Musician
How to Get Rid of Bad Breath
Low-Carb Sugar-Free Custard Sauce Recipe
Summers Prettiest Pink Products
How to Take Care of a Porcelain Doll
Soba Noodle and Crab Salad Recipe
13 Triangle Tattoo Ideas that You Will Also Love
Menopause And Weight Gain: What They Don’t Tell You
How to Find Uses for Unwanted Ice Cube Trays
Obesity and your babys brain
How to Make Scrambled Eggs in a Microwave