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System Still Misses Kids with Autistic Syndrome

Despite a major increase in the incidence of autism over the last 20 years, some children with autistic traits are never clinically diagnosed.

A new study reviews this finding with an object to improve care from school districts and health programs.

In recent studies these undiagnosed children have been included in estimates of how many children have autism spectrum disorder, or an ASD (which includes both autism and Asperger’s syndrome).

Such studies have estimated that one in every hundred children has an ASD.

A study published in a recent issue of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry found that a large number of undiagnosed children displayed autistic traits: repetitive behaviors, impairments in social interaction, and difficulties with communication.

These traits were at levels comparable to the traits displayed by children who held a clinical diagnosis (all diagnosed between years one and twelve). However, the undiagnosed children were not deemed eligible for extra support at school or by specialized health services.

The lead researcher of the study, Ginny Russell, asks, “ASD diagnosis currently holds the key to unlocking intervention from school systems and health programs. Perhaps these resources should be extended and available for children who show autistic impairments but remain undiagnosed?”

Russell points out that the study also shows that there is a gender bias in diagnosing children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders – boys are more likely to receive a diagnosis than girls, even when they display equally severe symptoms.

Source: Wiley-Blackwell

System Still Misses Kids with Autistic Syndrome

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). System Still Misses Kids with Autistic Syndrome. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 23, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2010/03/23/system-still-misses-kids-with-autistic-syndrome/12320.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.