Capture the (Red) Flag: New App Detects Autism

Do you have a child under the age of 2.5? Does he consistently not:

  • Make regular eye contact?
  • Share smiles?
  • Show toys to others?
  • Play social games?
  • Point to indicate interest?
  • Respond to his name?

If so, these “red flag” behaviours can potentially indicate Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It’s thought that 1 in 50 children have ASD. Research shows that most are not diagnosed until they are four, over two years after they can be diagnosed reliably. Early detection can lead to receiving life-changing interventions or support sooner and better long-term outcomes.

To find out whether your child has a ‘low’ or ‘high’ likelihood of ASD, download the free ASDetect app created by the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre (OTARC) at Melbourne’s La Trobe University. The rigorous, world-class research used to create this app is 81% accurate in the early detection of autism and other related developmental conditions. It’s seven times more accurate than the next best tool in early identification of ASD!

You will be guided through a videos and questions to assess social attention and communication behaviours in your 11-30 month old child, which takes about 20-30 minutes. You will see footage from real clinical assessments, clearly showing the context and key behaviours expected at 12, 18 and 24 months. “All typically developing infants are motivated to be social, look at other people’s faces, learn from them and copy,” says Dr Barbaro, OTARC researcher. Studies suggest that there are very specific social-communication signs of ASD that show up before age three, and ASDetect helps identify these ‘red flags’.

If your child is identified as having a “high likelihood” for autism or you suspect your child is on the spectrum, see your doctor (GP or Paediatrician) or Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Nurse ASAP. If appropriate, they will write you a referral letter for a formal autism assessment. This letter is often needed to make an appointment for an assessment. It’s also required to receive Medicare rebates following specialist consultations.


Early Autism Detection with ASDetect

Amaze Australia

Autism Services Pathfinder

Call Box Hill Speech Pathology Clinic on 9899 5494 if you are concerned that your child may be showing signs of ASD.×213.png


By Nicola Anglin (Speech Pathologist)

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