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The data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that one out of 110 children has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who are diagnosed at a late age of 4. 5 years (2010). From 1992 to 2008, there is an evident increase in the number of autism cases in the United States (‘autism rates’, 2010). This high incidence of autism among children becomes an increasing health burden due to poor diagnosis and lack of early management. This problem is brought about by lack of standard procedures in autism screening in children that results to delayed recognition of signs and symptoms of the disorder.

Due to the average late age of diagnosis of the disorder, both parents and children are most likely to suffer from the lack of appropriate healthcare treatment or interventions that would have alleviated the condition of the child if early diagnosis and management were given (Stuart & Laraia, 2005). The extent of this health burden affects not only the child but also the immediate family and the society as a whole. If a medical problem that is socially stigmatized does not become recognized early, the development of the child would suffer.

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Also, without early recognition, the child is more likely to develop characteristics that largely deviate from the normal development, leading to further isolation and crisis (Humphries, 2010). Hence, it is very important to recognize early and detect the presenting signs and symptoms specific for the disorder that are present in the child. In line with this, there is a need to develop a protocol to screen and detect autism early in the child’s stage of development. Although there are general claims to support detection of autism as early as 18 months old, the resulting screening outcomes for autism at this age are highly speculative only.

It is argued that findings below age 24 months are not as definitive as those findings that will be gained from screening at age 24 months and above (Shih, 2007). Based on this, there is a need to develop a protocol to screen autism in children during this age in order to formulate early diagnosis and carry out necessary interventions for children in need. This research aims to develop a protocol for early detection of autism among 24-month old children in the Arabic culture. This newly formulated protocol will be implemented in 100 children with or without family history of autism in the research study.

These children will be assessed and examined thereafter at age 2, 2. 5, 3, 3. 5, and 4 years old using the new protocol and gold standard tests of autism. Based on the outcomes, the researcher will analyze, interpret, and deduce conclusive results from the research study. The implications of the findings of this research will likely impact the implementation of the new protocol for screening autism in the Arabic culture. References ‘Autism rates’. Retrieved July 15, 2010, from http://www. fightingautism. org/idea/autism. php Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

(2010). ‘CDC Data Release Shows Importance of Learning the Signs’. Retrieved July 15, 2010 from Thoughtful http://www. cdc. gov/ncbddd/actearly/index. html Humphries, J. (2010). ‘Autism: recognising the signs in young children’. Retrieved July 15, 2010 from http://www. mugsy. org/pmh. htms Shih, A. (2007). ‘Early Screening for Autism Urged by Pediatricians’. Retrieved July 15, 2010, from http://www. medicinenet. com/script/main/art. asp? articlekey=84878 Stuart, G. W. ; Laraia, M. T. (2005). Principles and practice of Psychiatric Nursing (8th ed. ). Singapore: Mosby, Inc.

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