(HorizonPost.com) – A new simple diagnostic can determine whether a child has autism with up to 95% accuracy, according to The Daily Mail. Researchers reportedly developed a 39-item questionnaire that asks parents about their child’s behavior. The latest study comes days after researchers claim to be able to determine whether one has autism by using a single strand of hair.
The test is called the Autism Symptom Dimension Questionnaire and asks questions about a child’s behavior and social cues. However, parents are still advised to consult a doctor. Questions include how well a child makes eye contact, how they play with their peers, and how sensitive they are to loud noises. Parents are reportedly asked to rate how frequent these behaviors are on a 5-rating scale.
The survey was lauded by researchers at John Carroll University in Ohio as a “major advancement.” The test is allegedly 55 to 95% accurate in detecting autism depending on the severity of the neurological disorder. The study examined 1,467 children aged two to 17, including 104 with autism.
In addition to diagnosing autism, the survey can also track and monitor it over time. More children are being diagnosed with autism as the stigma surrounding the disorder is going away. One in 44 children in the U.S. reportedly has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and that number is expected to rise.
Although there are advancements in detecting the disorder early, most children are often diagnosed sometime during childhood. The average diagnosis in the U.S. is at five years old, whereas in the U.K. the average child is six years old before they’re diagnosed.
There is no standard test for the condition, so doctors must use a child’s developmental history as a guide. But the ASDQ questionnaire is considered another step toward standardization. Screenings are advised from the 18- to 24-month milestones so children can be compared with the behaviors and emotions of the rest of their age group.
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