Breakthrough in the world of Autism.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just authorized an autism diagnostic device. The device is called Canvas dx a.k.a Cognoa ASD Diagnosis Aid.

This is the first device authorized by the FDA to help primary care physicians diagnose autism!!!

Friends, this is HUGE!! (Happy dance!) This means that your child’s primary care doctor/pediatrician could potentially diagnose your child.

Many of you might not know that only a developmental pediatrician, pediatric neurologists or a similar sub-specialist can make an official diagnosis of autism.

When your child’s pediatrician suspects autism, she refers your child to one of those specialists even though your child’s pediatrician is well equipped to make this determination.

Unfortunately, the wait time to see autism specialists can be outrageously lengthy, sometimes up to 6 months or more. The average age for receiving an autism diagnosis is around the 4 years mark even though developmental delays can be diagnosed as early as 18months.

So, here we have kiddos exhibiting signs of autism as early as 18months but are not able to get a diagnosis and early intervention because the pediatrician is hampered from making an official diagnosis.

Autism is a developmental disorder which means that children with autism are already behind the developmental curve of neurotypical peers and risk falling further behind without targeted intervention.

Early detection is key because it releases access to targeted intervention, services and therapies that children with autism so desperately need.

Equipping pediatricians with diagnostic tools such as the Canvas dx speeds up the diagnosis process of autism and could potentially help in closing the gaps that autistic kids face.

Canvas dx is a pretty cool diagnostic tool. It is a “machine learning-based software that uses an algorithm to analyze data submitted by parents and health care providers in order to return a “positive for ASD” or “negative for ASD” response for a child”.

To obtain a diagnosis through Canvas dx, parents will submit responses to questionnaires and video recordings of their children to the pediatrician. These responses are entered through a special portal to be reviewed by certified specialists. This device then produces an algorithm which determines the presence or absence of ASD.

Canvas dx is not intended to be a stand-alone diagnostic tool, but is to be used in addition to other traditional diagnostic processes such as patient observation, patient interviews, cognitive and language ability tests and interviews with parents, teachers, caregivers, or other adults etc.

This autism diagnostic device is such a welcome development because not only does it speed up the diagnosis and early intervention process, I think it could potentially allay the fears and concerns parents have when they have to decide whether to accept an initial autism diagnosis or seek a second opinion.

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