The most significant recommendation is to screen all children at age 18 months and 24 months. "This is the first time that the Academy has recommended universal screening rather than just when a parent is concerned," said co-author Chris Plauche Johnson, MD, MEd, clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
The second AAP clinical report, Management of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders, highlights early interventions that are important for effective treatment. The report advises intervention as soon as a diagnosis is seriously considered, for at least 25 hours per week in settings with a low student-to-teacher ratio. Parents should also be included in therapy sessions.For controlling problems such as tantrums, aggressive behaviors, and self-injury, the report recommends behavior management strategies and, in some cases, medications.