/* mobile /* end mobile MEDDESKTOP: Autism Screening Urged by Pediatricians.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Autism Screening Urged by Pediatricians.

CHICAGO (AP) — The country's leading pediatricians group is making its strongest push yet to have all children screened for autism twice by age 2, warning of symptoms such as babies who don't babble at 9 months and 1-year-olds who don't point to toys.

The advice is meant to help both parents and doctors spot autism sooner. There is no cure for the disorder, but experts say that early therapy can lessen its severity.

Symptoms to watch for and the call for early screening come in two new reports. They are being released by the American Academy of Pediatrics on Monday at its annual meeting in San Francisco and will appear in the November issue of the journal Pediatrics and on the group's Web site — http://www.aap.org/.

The reports list numerous warning signs, such as a 4-month-old not smiling at the sound of Mom or Dad's voice, or the loss of language or social skills at any age.

Experts say one in 150 U.S. children have the troubling developmental disorder.

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