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New ASD test can lead to earlier treatment, better outcome, UMMS pediatrician tells WCVB-TV

By Ellie Castano

UMass Medical School Communications

July 24, 2015

A new test for early, rapid diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders developed by a UMMS pediatrician was the subject of a July 23 report aired on WCVB-TV.

Roula N. Choueiri, MD, associate professor of pediatrics and chief of the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, and colleagues developed Rapid Intervention Screening Test for Autism in Toddlers (RITA-T), an interactive screening tool that identifies ASD in toddlers as young as 18 to 36 months old. Currently, children with ASD are typically diagnosed around age 4.

“The earlier we identify the disorders, the earlier we can start treatment and the better the outcome,” said Dr. Choueiri.

A study about development of RITA-T will be published in the August issue of The Journal of Pediatrics and is available online in advance of publication.

To view the WCVB-TV segment, visit: http://www.wcvb.com/health/new-test-helps-diagnose-children-with-autism-at-younger-age/34323516.

Related links on UMassMedNow
UMMS pediatrician develops improved rapid screening test for autism in toddlers
Expert’s Corner: Roula Choueiri, MD, on detecting autism spectrum disorders