A NEW quiz can help reveal if your child has autism and experts says it’s 95 per cent effective.
Parents who think their little ones might be struggling can refer to the 33 questions to garner information on their child’s condition, experts in Ohio, US state.
The NHS states that in order to be diagnosed with autism, those worried should speak to their GP.
From there you will be referred to an autism specialist who will ask about any problems you or your child are having.
During this assessment they will also watch how you or your child reacts with other people and they may also ask to speak to other people who know your child well, such as family friends, GPs or your child’s teachers.
At the end of the assessment, you’ll be given a report saying if you or your child are autistic, the NHS states.
But the new quiz, put together by medics at John Carroll University could help educate parents and carers on their children’s behaviours.
Writing in the journal Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology the experts said the questionnaire was found to be reliable and valid for evaluating autism symptoms across age, sex, race, and ethnicity.
“Having a freely available and modern measure of autism symptoms can greatly improve clinical practice and advance research into autism spectrum disorder,” said corresponding author Thomas W. Frazier, PhD, of John Carroll University.
The questionnaire asks parents to rate behaviours on a scale of:
- very often
- not applicable.
The more ‘very often’ and ‘oftens’ selected, then the more likely your child is to have autism, experts say.
However this is not a definitive guide and you should always seek medical help from a specialist.
Examples of the questions include how often your child starts interactions without being prompted.
Others looks at how often your child makes eye contact, if they prefer to be alone and if they use gestures to communicate.
Alongside this, parents are also asked how often they will respond to others in an appropriate manner, if they can read social ques and whether or not they can show how relationships are important to them.
When answering the questions, parents are urged to take into account a child’s behaviour and their age.
If you don’t think the question is relevant because of their age or because they are non-verbal, then you can mark it as ‘not applicable’.
As well as questions about relationships, the quiz also looks to determine if the child speaks with an unusual tone or rhythm.
Other questions look at whether or not the children like to make lists and if they become overly fixated on things.
If you are worried about any of your or your child’s symptoms, then you should speak to a GP.
In young children, the NHS says the key signs are:
- not responding to their name
- avoiding eye contact
- not smiling when you smile at them
- getting very upset if they do not like a certain taste, smell or sound
- repetitive movements, such as flapping their hands, flicking their fingers or rocking their body
- not talking as much as other children
- not doing as much pretend play
- repeating the same phrases
In older kids, autism might look like:
- not seeming to understand what others are thinking or feeling
- unusual speech, such as repeating phrases and talking ‘at’ others
- liking a strict daily routine and getting very upset if it changes
- having a very keen interest in certain subjects or activities
- getting very upset if you ask them to do something
- finding it hard to make friends or preferring to be on their own
- taking things very literally – for example, they may not understand phrases like “break a leg”
- finding it hard to say how they feel.
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