Pediatricians Group Pushing for Autism Screenings

CHICAGO (AP) -- The country's leading pediatricians group is pushing again to have all children screened for autism twice by age two.

The advice is meant to help both parents and doctors spot autism sooner. There is no cure for the disorder, but experts say early therapy can make it less severe.

Symptoms to watch for and a call for early screening come in two new reports.

They are being released by the American Academy of Pediatrics at its annual meeting in San Francisco and will appear in the November issue of the journal Pediatrics and on the group's Web site.

The symptoms could include babies who don't babble at nine months or one year-olds who don't point to toys.

But experts point out that not all children who display a few of these symptoms are autistic and say parents shouldn't overreact to quirky behavior.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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