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China to strengthen early autism screening for children

Updated: Sep 26, 2022 Xinhua Print
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BEIJING -- China's National Health Commission has recently released a trial protocol on autism screening and intervention services for children under the age of six to improve related services and safeguard the health of young kids.

Due to the lack of efficacious medicine, the current major remedy for children with autism is rehabilitation training, according to experts with the commission. The optimal time for treatment is before six years old, and those who received science-based interventions before three years old are likely to have relieved symptoms and better prognosis, experts said.

The services will include health education, screening, diagnosis, and rehabilitation, aiming to raise parents' awareness of autism, enhance their activeness to receive screening, diagnosis, and intervention services, as well as to standardize the related services to improve the intervention effect, and reduce the occurrence of mental disability, according to the document.

It also stressed efforts to improve the capacity of community-level medical and health institutions, strengthen information security and privacy protection, while promoting the interconnectivity and sharing of screening and intervention information for children with autism, and improve the service quality.

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by varying degrees of impairment in communication skills and social interactions. Research shows that in China, the prevalence rate of autism among children has reached seven per 1,000 people.

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