NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - Johanna Burke's 13-year-old, Aidan, has severe autism. He is unable to communicate and is constantly in motion from the moment he wakes up until he goes to bed at night. When Aidan was a year and half old, Johanna says she and her husband knew something was wrong with their little boy.
Johanna says the pediatrician said nothing was wrong with him even though he wasn't speaking. 6 months later, Johanna says Aidan was diagnosed with autism. Johanna strongly believes that all children the age of 3 should be screened for autism under the and vehemently disagrees with a federal panel's decision not to recommend universal screening.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says it cannot recommend for or against autism screening in young children until it has more evidence that early screening is beneficial. Dr. David Grossman of the task force says more needs to be known about the best age to screen, the best tools, and if screening all children improves their quality of life.
Autism Speaks, a leading science and advocacy organization, says the panel made the wrong decision. It says the screening is a questionnaire for parents about their child's development that takes about 5 minutes to fill out. In 2014, statistics show that 1 in 68 children were diagnosed with autism. That is a dramatic increase from 2010 when it was 1 in 110 and in 2000 when it was 1 in 150 children. Autism Speaks says early screenings are critical.
The American Academy of Pediatrics calls for specific autism screening at 18 and 24 months as well as whenever a parent expresses a concern about their child.