Wednesday January 22, 2020

One-Fourth Of Children Having Autism Are Not Diagnosed: Study

The research was conducted through the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network

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Autism
According to the study, researchers analysed the education and medical records of 266,000 children who were 8 years old in 2014, seeking to determine how many of those who showed symptoms of the disorder were not clinically diagnosed or receiving services. Pixabay

Researchers have found that one-fourth of children under age 8 with autism spectrum disorder are not being diagnosed, which is critical for improving quality of life.

The findings, published in the journal Autism Research, show that despite growing awareness about autism, it is still under-diagnosed, particularly in the black and hispanic people in the US.

“There may be various reasons for the disparity, from communication or cultural barriers between minority parents and physicians to anxiety about the complicated diagnostic process and fear of stigma,” said study co-author Walter Zahorodny, Associate Professor at Rutgers University in US.

“Also, many parents whose children are diagnosed later often attribute their first concerns to a behavioral or medical issue rather than a developmental problem,” Zahorodny added.

According to the study, researchers analysed the education and medical records of 266,000 children who were 8 years old in 2014, seeking to determine how many of those who showed symptoms of the disorder were not clinically diagnosed or receiving services. Of the nearly 4,500 children identified, 25 per cent were not diagnosed.

Most were black or Hispanic males with deficits in mental abilities, social skills and activities of daily living who were not considered disabled, the research said.Screening all toddlers, pre-school and school-age children for autism could help reduce the disparities in diagnosis, according to the researchers.

Autism
Researchers have found that one-fourth of children under age 8 with autism spectrum disorder are not being diagnosed, which is critical for improving quality of life. Pixabay

In addition, experts can overcome communication barriers by using pictures and employing patient navigators to help families understand the diagnosis process, test results and treatment recommendations, the study suggested.

“States can help improve access to care by requiring insurance companies to cover early intervention services when a child is first determined to be at risk rather than waiting for a diagnosis,” Zahorodny said.

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The research was conducted through the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, a surveillance programme funded by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention that tracks the prevalence of the developmental disorder in 11 states. (IANS)

  • Harold Maio

    —-fear of stigma

    You mean, of course, fear of those trained to direct that prejudice, fear of bullying.

Next Story

Full Vaccination of Children Reduces the Risk of Hospitalisation: Study

Full flu vaccination cuts child hospitalisations in half

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Hospitalisation
Researchers have found that fully vaccinated children reduced the risk of hospitalisation for complications associated with influenza by 54 per cent. Pixabay

According to a latest health news researchers have found that fully vaccinated children reduced the risk of hospitalisation for complications associated with influenza by 54 per cent.

The study, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Disease, tested the effectiveness of childhood vaccination against influenza and risk of hospitalisation due to influenza complications.

In Israel, as in the US, government guidelines recommend that children aged 8 or younger who have never been vaccinated, or who have only had one dose of flu vaccine previously, should receive two doses of vaccine.

“Children vaccinated according to government guidelines are much better protected from influenza than those who only receive one vaccine, said study lead author Hannah Segaloff from University of Michigan in the US.

According to the researchers, over half of our study population had underlying conditions that may put them at high risk for severe influenza-related complications, so preventing influenza in this group is critically important.

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Young children who aren’t vaccinated are at high risk of hospitalisation due to influenza complications. Pixabay

“Our results also showed that the vaccine was effective in three different seasons with different circulating viruses, reinforcing the importance of getting an influenza vaccine every year no matter what virus is circulating,” Hannah said.

The retrospective study used data from Clalit Health Services, the largest health fund in Israel, to review the vaccination data of 3,746 hospitalisations of children 6 months to 8 years old at six hospitals in Israel. They were tested for influenza over three winter seasons 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18.

Not only do the findings reveal that the flu vaccine reduced hospitalizations associated with the flu by 54 per cent, but they show that giving two vaccine doses to children up to age 8 who have never been vaccinated or only received one dose previously is more effective than administering one dose, in accordance with the Israel Ministry of Health recommendations.

“Young children are at high risk of hospitalisation due to influenza complications. Children with underlying illnesses such as asthma and heart disease have an even greater risk of getting the complications. It is important to prevent influenza infections in these populations,” said study co-author Mark Katz, from The Clalit Research Institute in Israel.

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The findings support health organisations’ recommendations to vaccinate children against influenza every year, preferably before the onset of winter or early childhood. Children under 5 are defined as having a high risk of influenza complications, the researchers said. (IANS)