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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: May 25, 2021 12:23 PM
From: Representative Brian Smith
To: All House members
Subject: Autism Screening for Children Aged 18 Months to 4 Years
One in every 54 children is diagnosed with some form of Autism. The current average age for diagnosis is 4-6 years old, but there are tools to help diagnosis a child with autism as early as 18 months old.  Research has shown the earlier a child is diagnosed, the sooner that child can get the intervention in the form of speech, physical and occupational therapy, and the better the outcome is later in life.

Those in the best position to help identify children who might be on the autism spectrum are often childcare providers and preschools. These early childhood educators and daycare providers have the day-to-day exposure of children from ages 18 months to 4 years old.
I plan to introduce legislation to provide for the screening of children in Pennsylvania licensed childcare centers and pre-schools. This will allow the young children in our state and their families to get the help and support they need. Use of the screening tool will be voluntary, and both the tool and training for its use will be provided at no cost to providers.  
I am committed to supporting the youngest citizens of Pennsylvania and I invite you to join me.

Introduced as HB1687