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Is Autism Spectrum Disorder overdiagnosed?

Autism illustration1 in 68 Children Now Has a Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Why? (The Atlantic):

“The staggering increase in cases of ASD should raise more suspicion in the medical community about its misdiagnosis and overdiagnosis than it does. The science stacks up in favor of catching and treating ASD earlier because it leads to better outcomes…What gets lost in the debate is an awareness of how the younger in age we assess for problems, the greater the potential a slow-to-mature kid will be given a false diagnosis. A 2007 study out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that over 30 percent of children diagnosed as autistic at age two no longer fit the diagnosis at age four…The latest data examining pediatricians who have launched themselves into practice reveals that 62 percent of them feel that mental health issues were not adequately covered in medical school. These figures hardly inspire widespread confidence as regards relying on pediatricians to accurately diagnose ASD…Early screening and treatment for ASD must remain a top public health priority, but the numbers make it clear that professionals would benefit from familiarizing and re-familiarizing themselves with the broad range of what is considered normal early childhood development, and with how young boys and girls differ in behaviors that resemble autistic phenomena. Otherwise expect the ASD numbers will rise, yet again, with a pool of slow-to-mature children being falsely diagnosed.”

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