Recommended Autism Screenings Occur About 50% of the Time Per AAP Guidelines

Coupled with Disappointing Performance of Common Autism Screening Tool

A new study published in Pediatrics reported that autism screenings recommended at 18 and 24 months per American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines take place only 54% of the time. This lower than predicted percentage rate may be due to screening gaps found in two populations: Hispanic children and children who see family practice physicians instead of pediatricians. Also noted by the study was the unreliable nature of the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (MCHAT), the most common screening tool used by American doctors. The study found that the MCHAT demonstrated a sensitivity rate of only 33% and positive predictive value of 18% for diagnosing autism.

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