Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder Are Less Likely To Have Vision Screening

Children With Autism Spectrum
Chirag Kaul
March21/ 2023

Wilmington: According to a Nemours Children's Health study, young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are substantially less likely to have vision screening than their peers despite having a higher risk for catastrophic eye diseases. The findings of the study Nemours Children's Health published in Pediatrics. "I noticed that many of our patients with autism have never had vision screening, even though it's recommended for all young children," said the study's senior author Brittany Perry, DO, a pediatrician at the Nemours Swank Autism Center. "So, I wanted to study whether this might be a broader disparity - whether kids with autism receive vision screening less often than other kids." The study found that only 36.5 per cent of children with ASD had completed vision screenings at well visits, substantially less than the 59.5% rate for children without ASD. Moreover, among children with ASD, the screening rate for Black children (27.6 per cent) was considerably lower than that for White children (39.7 per cent) and for children classified as multiracial (39.8 per cent). Early childhood is crucial for vision development, and early detection and treatment of eye problems can prevent long-term vision loss. The research team examined data from 63,829 well visits of children ages 3 to 5 from 2016 to 2019, across a primary care network encompassing Delaware, Pennsylvania and Florida. Researchers said that the Florida facilities had much higher rates of vision screening for kids with ASD (45.7 per cent) than those in the Delaware and Pennsylvania (28.1 per cent). They noted that 80 per cent of Florida medical practices used the vision-testing method of photoscreening, compared to only 13 per cent in the Delaware and Pennsylvania. ...

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