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05/19/2024 08:01 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20230&cosponId=40025
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: March 1, 2023 02:40 PM
From: Representative Brian Smith
To: All House members
Subject: Voluntary autism screening for children from 18 months to 36 months
 
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 diagnose 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. These early childhood educators and daycare providers have the day-to-day exposure to young children.
 
I plan to introduce legislation that will require the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services to provide Pennsylvania’s licensed child care providers with an autism screening tool and information on resources. The providers may present the information to a parent and assist with the use of the tool upon request.
 
Neither the child care provider nor the parent will be required to use the screening tool. The legislation simply ensures that the information will be available for an individual who would like to review or use the screening tool.
 
I am committed to supporting the youngest citizens of Pennsylvania and I invite you to join me.



Introduced as HB498