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App Could Transform How Autism Is Diagnosed


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With too few autism specialists, it can take months or even years for a child to be diagnosed. But a new app that’s being developed with federal grant money may change that.

The idea is that pediatricians without experience diagnosing autism will be able to recommend the smartphone software to families with a child they suspect of having the developmental disorder. Then, parents would take a series of videos of their child and submit the footage to autism experts who could remotely assess — and potentially diagnose — the child. Ultimately, results would then be relayed back to the child’s doctor to communicate to the family.

Testing of the app — a collaboration of the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center in Phoenix, an Idaho medical technology company and the Georgia Institute of Technology — is expected to begin this summer and a final product could be available by 2014. The National Institutes of Health provided a $2.2 million grant for the project.

Those behind the effort say the app could lead to diagnosis within a month. “This could really change the face of how autism is diagnosed,” one of the app’s developers told The Arizona Republic. To read more click here.

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Comments (3 Responses)

  1. Betsy Brazy says:

    There’s already an app for that. TouchAutism created “Autism Assessment” as an educational tool, the results of which could be shared with a diagnostician as a starting point, or also used as a way to track progress.

  2. Kim Pomares says:

    How about an app that would enable parents to submit the results of a test like the Autism Behavior Checklist or the CARS test to that same team of autism experts? DO you know if there is anything like that that we could recommend to the users of our autism treatment?

  3. Dena Gassner says:

    Once again, we are only going to address the needs of 6% of the population. According to CDC reporting, only six percent of parents report that their child is “severe”. The illusion with this is the idea that you can “see” autism. That’s absurd.

    That is the problem with most of the “early signs” info–it focuses on the obviously manifesting individuals. Full, comprehensive diagnostic testing of which observation is a relatively insignificant and the most biased component, is the only way to identify ASDs.

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