ASF responds to the USPSTF final recommendations on universal screening

Published February 16, 2016

Universal early screening for autism is highly effective in identifying children who have autism, and early intervention is critical to ensure optimal outcomes for children with autism. Earlier today, we were disappointed to hear that the USPSTF released a final recommendation of “insufficient evidence” with regards to the benefits of universal screening in producing better outcomes for people with autism. This contrasts to the overwhelming response of the stakeholder, research, clinical and public health communities on the science behind the benefits of universal screening. While there will need to be more research, the evidence for the benefits of universal screening to identify individuals with autism across racial, cultural and socioeconomic status has been well documented. This recommendation misleads families and physicians and is harmful for all people with autism. 

Autism Science Foundation and Autism Speaks join together to continue to wholly endorse the Bright Futures guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics for continuous developmental surveillance, and for specific autism screening at 18 months, 24 months, in all children, and also whenever a parent has any sort of concern.

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