Monday, June 13, 2011

Study Questions Toddler Autism Screening

NEW YORK -- There is no solid evidence to support screening toddlers for autism, a new study concludes.
It's estimated that autism spectrum disorders, which range from mild Asperger's Syndrome to severe mental retardation and social disability, affect nearly one percent of kids in the U.S., putting a significant burden on families and society at large.
Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourage routine screening for the disorders.
But the new report, a review of the medical literature, suggests those recommendations are premature.
"We don't have research evidence to show how well screening works and whether we do more good than harm," Dr. Jan Willem Gorter, a pediatrician at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, told Reuters Health.

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