Early Screening of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Recommendations for Practice and Research

Pediatrics. 2015 Oct;136 Suppl 1:S41-59. doi: 10.1542/peds.2014-3667D.


This article reviews current evidence for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) screening based on peer-reviewed articles published to December 2013. Screening provides a standardized process to ensure that children are systematically monitored for early signs of ASD to promote earlier diagnosis. The current review indicates that screening in children aged 18 to 24 months can assist in early detection, consistent with current American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendations. We identify ASD-specific and broadband screening tools that have been evaluated in large community samples which show particular promise in terms of accurate classification and clinical utility. We also suggest strategies to help overcome challenges to implementing ASD screening in community practice, as well as priorities for future research.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Practice Guideline
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Biomarkers
  • Biomedical Research*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Mass Screening / methods*


  • Biomarkers