Approximately 1 in 59 children has autism spectrum disorder. Although children can be diagnosed as early as 18 months, limited resources and a global shortage of child mental health experts have pushed the average age of diagnosis to between 4 and 6 years.
Early detection is crucial to optimize a child’s development throughout their life. Researchers developed the Autism and Beyond app, a novel use of digital technology, to put evidence-based information in the hands of concerned parents and enable earlier detection through this easy-to-access prescreening.
“It’s about you as a parent. You should have a way to get access to this knowledge. You can share it with your provider, you can use it to advocate for your child, you can use it to find resources. To me, that’s the kind of revolutionary thing behind it,” lead author Helen L. Egger, MD, the Arnold Simon Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and chair of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Langone Health, tells Healthline.
Read more from Healthline.