Lowering the average age of diagnosis and increasing access to early intervention for all children
Autism Speaks Early Access to Care initiative seeks to reduce the average age of diagnosis and increase access to high-quality early intervention for all children on the autism spectrum.
According to the CDC, the average age of diagnosis is 4-5 years, but a reliable autism diagnosis can be made as early as 18-24 months. While early detection is critical, research shows that many parents have very little knowledge about autism and its symptoms. Many studies have also documented that racial ethnic minority populations and those of lower socioeconomic status are diagnosed later. The earlier children are identified, the earlier they are able to receive early intervention services. Evidence-based early intervention services have been shown to reduce the core symptoms of autism, improve IQ and daily functioning.
Improving this unacceptable situation will take the combined efforts of families, healthcare professionals, educators and autism advocates in every community.
Watch the trailer for "Bye," a short film by filmmaker Anthony Morrison. "Bye" follows Jayden, a two and half year old diagnosed with autism, through his first months of school in the Bronx. The full film is viewable at PBS.org.