Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental condition that develops during a child’s first few years of life (Lesack, Bearss, Celano, & Sharp, 2014). This disorder occurs significantly more often in boys than girls (Goldstein, Naglieri, Rzepa, & Williams, 2012). Autism is part of a group that is known as pervasive developmental disorders (PDD), which also includes Asperger’s disorder, Rett disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive development disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) (Sunita and Bilszta, 2012).
Some characteristics children represent with autism is the inability to make eye contact, to initiate and respond communication, and smile back at someone else who is smiling at them. Autistic children have trouble with understanding messages and interpretation of facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, and emotional expressions directed toward them. There is also a sense of fear that they have when there is a change of environment (Goldstein, Naglieri, Rzepa, & Williams, 2012). These children also show many developmental struggles like reciprocal socialization, interests, motor skills, cognitive skills, thinking, and activities. On top of all of those developmental difficulties as many as 70% of children with autism spectrum disorder show challenging behaviors, including aggression, disruptive behaviors, and cause injury to themselves. When a child with autism has disruptive behaviors is can lessen the response to educational intervention and then turn into further separation from children around their age, which increases the caregivers stress related to disruptions in daily activities (Lesack, Bearss, Celano, & Sharp, 2014). These difficulties or characterizations can range in the severity in each person with autism and also frequently changes with the gaining of other developmental abilities. Symptoms and behaviors will vary between each individual, genders, and age groups (Sunita and Bilszta, 2012).
There are different screening tools used by primary care settings to identify if a child has autism and then to see what best treatment would be for that individual. One of these includes the developmental surveillance; this involves screening all children to distinguish those that may be more at risk for autism from the general population. The second screening is targeted screening; this involves distinguishing autism from other possible developmental disorder in the high-risk children (Sunita and Bilszta, 2012). Even though debates still take place for settling the appropriate age for testing children with autism the American Academy of Neurology and Child Neurology and the American Academy of Pediatrics have promoted screening for autism in all children between the ages of 18 and 24 months (Sunita and Bilszta, 2012).
Some of the other screening tests now include the Autism Dianostic Interview and Observation and Observation Schedule (ADI and ADOS). The ADOS is a series of...