Scientists develop simple questionnaire that can diagnose autism with up to 95% accuracy
- New open-source questionnaire claims to screen for autism with high accuracy
- Parents are asked to answer 39 questions about their child’s behavior.
- Study claims test is ‘major advance’ for early diagnosis of autism disorder
Studies suggest that a simple online survey can diagnose autism with up to 95% accuracy.
Researchers have developed a 39-item questionnaire to help parents navigate the notoriously tricky diagnostic process.
It’s the latest promising development in autism screening and comes just days after authorities began the approval process for a test that detects hair disorders.
The new Autism Symptom Dimension Questionnaire (ASDQ) – completed by a parent or caregiver – asks questions about a child’s behavior and reads social cues.
Studies suggest a simple online survey can diagnose autism with up to 95% accuracy (file image)
They include how often the child makes predictable eye contact, plays with peers, appears overly sensitive to loud noises, and takes things literally.
Parents are asked to select from five ratings that indicate how often their child exhibits such behavior.
Researchers at John Carroll University in Ohio described the study as a “major breakthrough” in diagnosing autism.
They claimed that the test correctly diagnosed the disorder up to 90 tp 95% of the time, It was trustworthy across age, gender, race and ethnicity.
The study examined 1,467 children aged 2 to 17 years, including 104 with autism, from various household incomes and parental backgrounds.
The results were published in the journal Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology.
In addition to screening for autism, this test can also track and monitor autism symptoms over time.
About 1 in 44 children in the United States has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and that number continues to rise as the stigma against autism is lifted.
However, despite scientific and social progress, ASD is still often diagnosed only in childhood.
The average age of diagnosis in the US is 4 years, but in the UK it is even higher at 6 years.
There are no standard tests for this condition, so doctors must rely on the child’s developmental history and behavior.
But experts say early intervention can make a big difference, and the key to early detection is ensuring kids on the spectrum get the help they need.
While children still need to see a trained professional to receive a formal diagnosis, the ASDQ questionnaire represents another step towards standardized testing for autism. .
Screening for ASD is recommended at the 18 and 24 month milestones. This tracks your child’s language, motor and thinking skills, as well as their behavior and emotions compared to other age groups.
However, a formal diagnosis should be made by a trained professional such as a developmental pediatrician or child psychologist.
In other news…
Scientists have created a test that is 81% accurate in detecting autism from a single strand of hair.
Autism diagnoses among U.S. children and teens jumped 50% over the three-year period starting in 2017, a study found.
A major study has determined that taking Xanax during pregnancy does not increase the risk of autism in babies.
What is autism?
What does autism mean?
Being autistic does not mean you have an illness or disease. That means your brain works differently than other people.
It’s either something you’re born with or it first appeared in your childhood.
If you have autism, you will have autism for life.
Autism is not a medical condition with a treatment or “cure”. But some people need support to help them with certain things.
People with autism may:
You find it difficult to communicate and interact with others
Overwhelmed, stressed, or uncomfortable by bright lights, loud noises, etc.
find it difficult to understand how others think or feel
Feeling anxious or upset about unfamiliar situations or social events
Takes time to understand information
doing or thinking the same thing over and over
What Causes Autism?
The cause of autism is not clear.
No one knows what causes autism or if there is a cause. It can affect people in the same family. Therefore, it can be passed from parent to child.
Autism does not cause:
Vaccines such as the MMR vaccine
Infections that you may spread to others