'Heartbreaking' delays in autism diagnosis and treatment got even worse during pandemic

'Heartbreaking' delays in autism diagnosis and treatment got even worse during pandemic

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Key Facts

  • Wylie James Prescott, 3, had to wait more than a year after his autism diagnosis to begin behavioral therapy, even though research shows early treatment of autism can be crucial for children's long-term development.
  • Yet children from Georgia to California often wait months — and in many cases more than a year — to get a diagnosis and then receive specialized treatment services.
  • "You would never allow a kid with cancer to experience these waits," said Dr. Kristin Sohl, a pediatrician at University of Missouri Health Care and chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Council on Children With Disabilities Autism Subcommittee.
  • "The impact on families having to wait for diagnosis or treatment can be devastating," said Kristin Jacobson, founder of the Autism Deserves Equal Coverage Foundation, an advocacy group in California.

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