Dr. Deepika Jain(MD, DPed, DNB, PGDDN)
Shishu child Developmental Center
Autism Spectrum Disorders are one of the most common neurodevelopmental disabilities observed in Developmental Pediatrics Clinics. Its incidence is increasing at an alarming rate from 1:164 in 2004 to 1:59 in 2018 to 1: 54 in 2020. It is now scientifically proven that early stimulation therapy, especially if provided in 1st 1000 days of life can lead to significant improvements in children at risk for developmental delays and disabilities. It is important for both clinicians and parents to be vigilant about a child's developmental parameters along with growth to catch deviations and delays in development as early as possible.
Screening checklists are a good way to see if there are any concerns in development and growth. Parental apps like Jiguar help the parents to follow the child’s developmental trajectory. It is extremely important to use screening questionnaires to assess the child for risk factors for Autism so that formal assessments can be done and early interventions started as soon as possible. It was a pleasure working with Jiguar team and developing the “autism screening questionnaire” for picking up early red flag signs for autism spectrum disorders. It has an advantage of giving short videos to explain how a particular “red flag” can appear, which makes it easier for the parents to understand the terminology.