Most children with autism go undiagnosed until after age 3, and many of these children remain undiagnosed until after they reach school age, according to a new study1.
The findings, published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, highlight gaps in implementing best practices for early autism screening and diagnosis.
The two surveys pegged the average age for an autism diagnosis at 7.4 years and 5.4 years, respectively. The proportion of children diagnosed before age 3 was 17 and 23 percent, and the proportion diagnosed after age 6 was 51 and 33 percent, respectively.
“When we look at these numbers, it should grab all of us in the gut, saying, ‘We have to do better,’” Robins says.