Navigation Links
Pediatricians' Group Issues New Autism Guidelines

2 reports detail detection and treatment recommendations,,,,

MONDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- In an effort to make it easier for pediatricians to spot and begin early treatment for children with autism spectrum disorders, the American Academy of Pediatrics has released two new reports with recommendations for identifying and managing these conditions.

"Pediatricians are the front line" in identifying autism spectrum disorders, said Dr. Melissa Nishawala, clinical director of the Autism Spectrum Disorders Service at the New York University Child Study Center. "And, the earlier we find out, the swifter we can intervene when the brain is more immature, and we can help to model it in different directions.

"The tendency has been to understand that child development varies widely and to reassure the parents that some children speak late or even if they seem to be off track developmentally, that most children catch up," Nishawala added. "So, if there's a parental concern, they may get a referral, or it may take several months" of waiting to see if the child gets back on track developmentally.

The result can be that it may take a year or more before a child is officially diagnosed with autism, and a critical window in treatment time has been lost.

The reports are published in the November issue of Pediatrics; they were released Monday during the American Academy of Pediatrics annual meeting in San Francisco.

The first report, which details ways to detect autism spectrum disorders, highlights some of the earlier signs that might suggest an autism spectrum disorder. They may include:

  • A lack of warm, joyful expressions while gazing at a parent or other caregiver.
  • No back-and-forth babbling between the infant and parent beginning around 5 months of age.
  • A lack of recognition of a parent's voice or not turning when the parent says the baby's name.
  • Failure to make eye contact.
  • Delayed onset of babbling past 9 months of age.
  • No or few pre-speech gestures, such as waving or pointing.
  • Repetitive movements with objects.

Later, as speech develops and these disorders become more apparent, some important red flags are:

  • No single words by 16 months of age.
  • No babbling, pointing or other communicative gestures by 1 year of age.
  • A lack of two-word phrases by 2 years of age.
  • A loss of language skills at any age.

The report recommends universal screening of all children for autism between 18 months and 24 months of age, even if parents haven't expressed any particular concerns.

The second report focuses on what to do after autism has been diagnosed and stresses that early intervention is critical. The report recommends that intervention should begin as soon as autism is suspected, rather than waiting until the diagnosis is confirmed. Children with autism spectrum disorders should be involved in intervention therapies for at least 25 hours a week, all year long, according to the report.

The report also suggests that pediatricians familiarize themselves with some of the complementary and alternative therapies that parents may use for their children. For example, some parents feel that when their child is on a casein/glutein-free diet that their symptoms improve. However, such a diet needs to be carefully planned, because nutritional deficiencies can develop. If a pediatrician is aware that the child is on such a diet, he or she can give the parent a referral to a nutritionist to ensure that the child is getting the right nutrients, the report said.

"Pediatricians need to be aware of the alternatives and listen to parents who may want to go down those avenues, and they need to know where to send those families for additional help," said Dr. Cynthia Johnson, director of the Autism Center at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "If families feel dismissed by their doctor, they may not disclose all the treatments they're trying."

The management report also noted that some medical issues are common in children with autism spectrum disorders, such as sleep disturbances and gastrointestinal trouble, and that pediatricians need to be aware that these may be a problem.

Johnson said both reports were very well done and comprehensive. Nishawala also felt the new recommendations were comprehensive but said it might have been helpful to include additional information about which therapies have been debunked in autism treatment.

More information

To learn more about autism, visit the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

SOURCES: Cynthia Johnson, M.D., director, Autism Center, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; Melissa Nishawala, M.D., assistant professor, psychiatry, and clinical director, Autism Spectrum Disorders Service, New York University Child Study Center, New York City; November 2007 Pediatrics

Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Pediatricians differ in their opinion of child abuse
2. Pediatricians Need To Talk To Parents Of Overweight Kids
3. Pediatricians Resignations Cause Concern at Sale
4. British pediatricians urge parents to administer MMR to children
5. Mental Health Providers Can Be Successfully Located With Pediatricians
6. Pediatricians Stress the Importance of the National Childrens Study
7. Most Pediatricians Do Not Hire Professional Interpreters for Bilingual Patients
8. Pediatricians Face Malpractice Crisis
9. No link between blood groups and prostate cancer
10. Consumer group seeks Sibutramine ban
11. Suicide risk high in 12-17 Age Group
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his Bachelors in ... School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps Green Hospital ... at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to train in ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published June 14 ... The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to ... operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) ... will receive two significant new grants to support its work to advance research ... anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work in fighting ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Rhinebeck, NY (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of ... of companies that call for a minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 ... wage. This will restore the lost value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Puradigm® & Innovative ... has initiated cultivation and processing operations at its production facility, and opened its ... Puradigm is the manufacturer of a complete system of proactive air and surface ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. , June 24, ... GBT ), a biopharmaceutical company developing novel ... with significant unmet needs, today announced the closing ... 6,400,000 shares of common stock, at the public ... the shares in the offering were offered by ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 The Academy of ... recommendations that would allow biopharmaceutical companies to ... entities that make formulary and coverage decisions, a move ... of new medicines. The recommendations address restrictions ... appear on the drug label, a prohibition that hinders ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... PUNE, India , June 24, 2016 ... "Pen Needles Market by Type (Standard Pen Needles, Safety ... 12mm), Therapy (Insulin, GLP-1, Growth Hormone), Mode of Purchase ... published by MarketsandMarkets, This report studies the market for ... is expected to reach USD 2.81 Billion by 2021 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: