Extract from article by Michelle Diament in DisabilityScoop, September 24, 2019
Pediatricians are conducting routine checks for autism, but new research suggests they frequently fail to act when screenings show cause for concern.
A study looking at medical records for children who visited 290 doctors between 2014 and 2016 shows that the vast majority were screened for autism at ages 18 and 24 months as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
However, in cases where children were flagged by the screening test, just 31 percent of providers made a referral to an autism specialist, according to findings published this month in the journal Pediatrics....
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High rates of ASD-specific screening do not necessarily translate to increases in subsequent referrals for ASD evaluation or ASD diagnoses. Low rates of referrals and/or lack of follow-through on referrals appear to contribute to delays in children’s receipt of ASD diagnoses. Additional education of primary care providers regarding the referral process after a failed ASD screening is warranted.