Up to today, there have been hundreds of reports on the fascinating new checklist that will identify autism simply and easily at one-year well baby visits. This checklist had a little attention prior to the most recent reporting, several months ago. Just imagine, if our experts might catch autism earlier - they can magically rewire the affected child's brain. Right?
A sample of the checklist questions:
- Do you know when your child is happy and when your child is upset?
- When you are not paying attention to your child, does he/she try to get your attention?
- Does your child point to objects?
- Does your child use sounds or words to get attention or help?
- Does your child show interested in playing with a variety of objects?
For my moderately to severe autistic (now 18 years old) - years ago, the answers to those questions would have been: yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.
A majority portion of those represented by the autism label do not exhibit signs until after their first year.
The five-minute checklist at one-year well baby visits that was utilized in the study seems at first look, to be an ineffective tool. It actually identified less autism than if the checklist was not in the scenario. The general population autism incidence is higher.
A second look at the checklist finds me considering the fact that if my daughter would have been considered AOK under the checklist scenario, at one year of age; the checklist rightly SHOULD NOT have been able to identify autism to the degree that it is understood to be present in the general population.
• Regression (n=44%): A loss of previously acquired social, communication or cognitive skills prior to 36 months.
• Plateau (n=17%): Display of only mild developmental delays until the child experiences a gradual to abrupt developmental halt that restricts further advancement of skills.
• No Loss and No Plateau (n=39%): Display of early warning signs of autism spectrum disorders without loss or plateau. (source)