Diagnosing Autism in 2 Minutes or Less? A New Study Takes on the Challenge

Read next

Is it possible to diagnose autism with a two-minute long questionnaire? Recent research says the answer to this question might just be, “yes.” Researchers at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School have been testing a new screening tool that can help pediatricians to detect autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in toddlers — and in as little as two minutes.

Early diagnosis of autism is absolutely important. The earlier that a parent (and the pros) know, the sooner treatment can begin. And receiving early ASD services may mean that the child has a better outcome than if they had to wait until later on.

photo: pixabay.com

The new survey, the Psychological Development Questionnaire (PDQ-1), was developed through extensive testing. The research, which was recently published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, included 1,959 participants. The participants were toddlers, ages 18- to 36-months who received screening services through pediatric practices in Essex and Union counties, New Jersey.

Researchers for that the new survey had an 88% chance of identifying those toddlers who screened for ASD. A low PDQ-1 score means that the child is at greater autism risk. The study found that after receiving additional screenings for ASD, the children who were identified at-risk by the survey were correctly assessed.

While the findings of this study are certainly positive, they aren’t 100% conclusive. Further research is still needed to evaluate how well the 2-minute survey identifies autism. Along with this, it’s important to note that diagnosing autism is a complex process that involves multiple means of evaluation. Even though this survey can start the process rolling, it isn’t enough on its own to make a definitive diagnosis.

What do you think about this new research? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

—Erica Loop



19 Amazing Things to Do with Kids on the Spectrum

Wings for Autism: A Travel Program for Kids with Special Needs

This Mom Helped Her Autistic Son Turn a Dream Into a Business