New York State Assembly member, Angelo Santabarbara, sponsored the Autism Action Legislation that would require pediatric primary care providers to screen children for autism at 18 months and 24 months. The bill, number A9868A, which passed in the New York State Assembly and Senate on June 14, 2018, is now going to be reviewed for approval by the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo.

Image: NYS Assembly

During the New York State Assembly Session on June 13, 2018, Santabarbara said that his plan for early autism screening for children follows the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendation. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends, “all children be screened for ASD at their 18- and 24-month well-child checkups. Research shows that starting an intervention program as soon as possible can improve outcomes for many children with autism.” AAP advises screening of all children, not only children with symptoms.

The legislation would require the commissioner of health to incorporate the American Academy of Pediatrics’ screening guidelines to pediatric primary care provider practice protocols. Additionally, as shown below, bill A9686A would require that such protocols are updated every other year.

 

Image: NYS Assembly

Santabarbara tweeted a video of the Assembly Session where he says that most pediatric practices do not consistently screen children for autism.  Take a look at his tweet and speech…

Denise Rhine, Senior Clinical Trainer at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders, told News 8 that many parents are not aware their child needs to be screened for autism. Rhine told News 8, “the earlier diagnosis the better”.

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