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Autism spectrum disorder diagnosis may not be 'best method'

Autism spectrum disorder diagnosis may not be 'best method'
10th November 2011

Existing processes for diagnosing autism spectrum disorders may not be the best method, according to a recent study.

While the variety of tests, observations and parent interviews currently used to detect autism spectrum disorders (known as best-estimate clinical diagnosis) is considered the best form of clinical diagnosis, it has been reported to vary across medical clinics.

Dr Catherine Lord, lead investigator on the study, explained: "Clinicians at one centre may use a label like Asperger syndrome to describe a set of symptoms, while those at another centre may use an entirely different label for the same symptoms."

According to Dr Lord, subcategories would be better ignored in favour of reporting the results from agreed-upon tests and scales.

Research has claimed that the genetic component in autism spectrum disorders may be moderate, meaning that identifying and classify cases is problematic, as diagnoses cannot be medically confirmed by tests.

Removing subcategory diagnosis may limit wrongful diagnosis at an early stage, according to Dr Lord.

Find out about Barchester's support for adults and children with a wide range of Autistic spectrum conditions