Screening tools allow physicians to receive accurate information to assist in making a diagnosis.It can also help a parent who is concerned about the development of their child by indicating.
Further assistance is required by a medical practioner. Screening tools do not replace a qualified medical practioner nor are they tests or diagnostic instruments. They are simply a guide.
Why Should Parents Screen Their Child?
It is important to screen a child for developmental milestones for a number of reasons:
1. Early signs can determine if the child has autism or is at risk for developing it.
2. By filling out a screening tool prior to a visit to a medical practioner, more accurate
information can help lead to the best diagnosis.
3. Although all children are different and learn differently, research shows early
intervention can improve outcomes.
Recognizing that your child may be having difficulties in specific areas, gives you an
opportunity to begin early intervention. Please browse through Able2learn Programs and
Resources to help you through your journey. Knowing where to begin, and, accessing resources can be tiring and expensive. Able2learn is here to assist you.
The following “red flags” may help to determine if your child is at risk for Autism.
6-12 Month Markers:
Infrequent eye contact
Failure to orient to name
Does not smile in response to smiles from others
Social and emotional passivity
Fixation on objects
By 12 Months:
Poor or no eye contact
Failure to orient to name
No babbling by 12 months
No gesturing by 12 months
By 16 Months:
No single words by 16 months
No pointing to objects or events of interest in an effort to share
By 24 Months:
No spontaneous two-word phrases
Loss of any language or social skills at any age
Parents can administer the M-CHAT-R , The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, Revised with Follow-Up. It is a 2-stage parent-report screening tool to assess risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The M-CHAT-R/F is an autism screening tool designed to identify children 16 to 30 months of age who should receive a more thorough assessment for possible early signs of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or developmental delay.
(Source: If your child failed the MCHAT-R or is showing any of the red flags, a parent should seek further evaluations from a medical practioner.)
There are developmental assessments that can be administered to the child. These vary from country to country. Some are a physical examination, speech assessment, hearing, a cognitive exam. Other components to consider are genetic testing/consulting, specialized evaluation from a clinical psychologist, pediatric psychiatrist, developmental pediatrician, medical geneticist or a pediatric neurologist.