Babies, Bathwater, and Screening for Autism Spectrum Disorder: Comments on the USPSTF Recommendations for Autism Spectrum Disorder Screening

J Dev Behav Pediatr. Nov-Dec 2015;36(9):661-3. doi: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000227.


Current guidelines for developmental screening and screening for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) recommend screening of all children for ASD at ages 18 and 24 months. In a draft recommendation, the United States Preventive Services Task Force finds insufficient evidence to support this practice. Some of the assumptions behind these recommendations fail to consider other benefits of developmental surveillance and screening that ensue from periodic formal screening of all children. Primary care clinicians should err on the side of discovery and advocate for continued formal screening at designated intervals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Mass Screening / standards*
  • Parents / psychology
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic / standards
  • United States