Autism screening guidelines used worldwide providing incorrect information, report warns

Could countless people actually be on the autism spectrum and not know about it? Researchers at the University of Bath say an internationally-recognized system for diagnosing autism is providing bad information. The results may have led to many people going without the proper care over the last decade.

The team of psychologists says when general practitioners screen patients for autism, they use the Autism Spectrum Quotient before referring them to a specialist for official diagnosis. Doctors around the world use this ten-point scale (AQ-10), which asks patients to agree or disagree with statements like, “I find it difficult to work out people’s intentions.”

Source: Autism screening guidelines used worldwide providing incorrect information, report warns

7 thoughts on “Autism screening guidelines used worldwide providing incorrect information, report warns”

  1. This is possible, but I know from the experience of a grandson that with younger children, doctors can misclassify pediatric stroke victims (a common issue, actually) with autism, leading to years of inappropriate treatment.

    1. Diagnosis, effective diagnosis, is not a skill easily learned and applied in numerous fields of practice. Diagnosticians need to listen, probe, listen, care deeply, and ask others for advise. Had a close friend who died, in part from being misdiagnosed. Had a triple by-pass done which was supposed to cure all but missed the fact that he suffered from sarcoidosis, which killed him five years later.

    2. Diagnostic errors are the most common form of medical error. In my autism example, though, the speech pathologist who finally sorted it out said that the doctor’s error should have been obvious. A gradual loss of skills in a child can be autism, but an abrupt loss is stroke. An MRI after she raised her concerns showed scar tissue from stroke. The original doctor never bothered.

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