American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended early screening for a long time and provides, free of charge, guidelines to all Pediatricians.
Regrettably, we still have pediatricians who recommend against routine screening!In the 2010 edition of Pediatrics, there are prolific pediatricians who recommend that children with autism not be screened! In June 2011, Dr. Geraldine Dawson, the Autism Speaks Chief Science Officer, published a defense of early screening to the journal Pediatrics. It is important to counteract their arguments in their professional journals. Until we convince the outspoken pediatricians that early intervention is key, we are fighting an uphill battle.
That’s why I urge everyone to download a copy of the above AAP Guidelines and hand deliver them to your own child’s pediatrician and family physician. We need to become advocates, not only for our children, but also for the next generation of children who have yet to be born. There are more parents of children with autism, than pediatricians and family physicians; therefore, we need to educate them relentlessly until they realize that what their professional association (AAP) recommends, the consumer also wants. Put simply, we need to drown out the naysayers through our sheer numbers.