This article was originally published here
Indian J Pediatr. 2022 May 23. doi: 10.1007/s12098-022-04172-6. Online ahead of print.
Early diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is essential for improved outcomes. There is a paucity of data on the prevalence of ASD in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), but early identification may be further delayed in those communities. In this paper, recent studies on strategies for the early detection of ASD, and the prevalence of ASD in LMIC are reviewed. The limitations that can arise in the early identification of ASD in LMIC communities are discussed, and screening tools and strategies that can be helpful are identified. The goal is to recommend models that are culturally appropriate and scientifically valid, easily integrated within community settings while strengthening community systems and reducing disparities in the early identification of ASD. Starting locally by simplifying and demystifying the ASD identification process and building community connections will inform global researchers and policymakers while making a difference in the lives of the children and families affected by ASD.