Medical Minute 3-25: Five Minute Test for Autism

By: Casey Taylor Email
By: Casey Taylor Email

Even before Ben Crowther's first birthday, his mom started worrying about autism.

"He wasn't imitating us. He wasn't pointing or clapping or playing any of those sort of interactive games," said Katy Crowther.

Though her pediatrician told her it was too early, Katy pushed for autism testing at just 14 months. Early intervention has made all the difference.

"There's still a gap between Ben and his typical peers that you can see, but he has caught up tremendously," said Crowther.

The rapid ABC test is a new type of screening that uses simple activities to test for autism. Experts check to see how toddlers respond to activities like having their name called, looking at a book, being tickled and playing ball.

"I wanted to see that not only was he catching the ball, but he was returning it to me, so I was involved in that action."

The five-minute screening targets attention, reciprocity and communication in children ages 15 to 17 months. Once it's complete, a software program computes a score. If autism is suspected, the child will undergo further testing.

"There really isn't something quick and rapid like the ABC out there where pediatricians can interact for just three to five minutes," said Jenny Mathys, M.S.S.A., L.C.S.W., Emory Autism Center.

"It'll help parents and myself to feel comfortable that I'm doing everything I can to identify if there was an issue," said Jessica Sales.

Five minutes that could make a world of difference for a toddler's future.

For more information: Ivanhoe Broadcast News2745 W. Fairbanks Ave.Winter Park, FL 32789http://www.ivanhoe.comJulie Marks, Supervising Producer of Prescription: Healthjmarks@ivanhoe.comDirect Line: (407) 691-1500Viewer Line: (407) 740-0789 ext. 579


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