According to a new article on BabyCenter.com by Michelle Stein, grandparents and siblings are key for early autism diagnosis.
Michelle Stein reports that early diagnosis plays an important role in the effectiveness of treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and usually, it’s the people closest to a child who first notice the signs. Certain family members, however, seem to be particularly instrumental for diagnoses.
New research published in the journal Autism reveals children who had frequent interaction with grandparents or who had older siblings were diagnosed sooner with ASD. What sets this study apart from others: it’s the first to take into account early observations by friends and family members, and not just the parents.
A total of 477 parents of children with autism were surveyed in addition to follow-up surveys of 196 friends and family who were referred by the parents.
“Many parents avoid seeking help to find a diagnosis for their child, even though they sense something might be wrong,” said Nachum Sicherman, a co-author of the study, in a news release. “They often ignore signs of a larger problem and look the other way, making the role of close family members and friends vital to accelerating diagnosis and helping a child’s condition.”
According to Mayo Clinic: