Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Early diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder makes a difference for patients and families

The Blue Diamond Gallery via Creative Commons

While screening techniques for ASD have improved, diagnosis and cause are still far from straightforward. On WGCU's Gulf Coast Life, a discussion about the early detection.

According to the latest estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, one in every 44 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with some form of autism spectrum disorder.

And while screening techniques have improved, it’s still far from straightforward.

“It would be so nice if there was a test and we could just draw some blood and look at the results and say yes and no on the autism, but it’s not that simple," says Sherri Campbell, a pediatric nurse practitioner with Lee Health. "And even some of the genetic things that they have found are not the same from one person with autism to the next."

Campbell was a guest on WGCU's Gulf Coast Life recently to discuss early detection of ASD, along with Sandra Worth, founder and executive director of My Autism Connection, a Southwest Florida nonprofit organization that helps adults on the spectrum develop social skills and career experiences to live their best and most independent lives.

Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, in partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida, offers a free monthly ASD screening for children age 18 months to 5 years.

The screenings are administered by an advanced practice registered rurse who has extensive training and experience in typical child development and developmental disorders. A physician referral is not required. To schedule a screening, please call 239-343-6838.

To hear the program, click on the Listen button above.

Copyright 2022 WGCU. To see more, visit WGCU.

Mike Kiniry is producer of Gulf Coast Live, and co-creator and host of the WGCU podcast Three Song Stories: Biography Through Music. He first joined the WGCU team in the summer of 2003 as an intern while studying Communication at Florida Gulf Coast University.
Tara Calligan