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J Am Acad Nurse Pract. 2007 Aug;19(8):408-17.

Early detection of autism spectrum disorders: screening between 12 and 24 months of age.

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1
School of Education, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this article is to present nurse practitioners (NPs) with information on screening for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in children between 12 and 24 months of age. Recommendations are also provided for appropriate referrals and initiation of early intervention (EI).

DATA SOURCES:

Review of published literature about ASD.

CONCLUSIONS:

Children with ASD exhibit impaired social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication deficits, and repetitive, restricted, and stereotyped patterns of behavior or interests. Studies show that these children benefit from beginning intensive EI as soon as possible.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE:

Early detection enables children with suspected ASD to be evaluated by specialists and entered into treatment programs at the earliest possible opportunity. Because of the importance of early diagnosis of ASD, it is critical that NPs use established screening instruments to maximize time and increase the reliability of the assessment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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