You can help Harvard research the early identification and diagnosis of ASD

It is well known that early identification and engagement in effective early intervention promotes best outcomes for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Easter Seals is among the many who are working towards identifying children with ASD in need of support before entering school: our Make the First Five Count campaign provides an Ages & Stages Questionnaire® so parents and caregivers can see if a child’s developmental progress is on schedule.

Here in the United States, there is still a gap between when diagnosis of ASD can be accurately provided (age two) and when diagnosis actually occurs (about age four).

The Puzzlemouse Project at the Wall Lab at Harvard Medical School is conducting research to try and create a system that will reach families across the country and around the world, including families who do not have access to the medical infrastructure needed to diagnose developmental delays. Their end goal: to help families get the attention their child needs in a matter of days.

Easter Seals shares that goal. We want families to get the attention their child needs in a matter of days, too. You can help us accomplish this goal by participating in the Puzzlemouse Project’s research. Caregivers of children, ages 14 months to 7 years old, with OR without a diagnosis of a developmental delay, can participate from the privacy and comfort of home using any device that has access to the internet. Once you go to the Puzzlemouse Project’s website, all you have to do is:

  • Answer ten questions about the child’s typical behavior, and
  • Upload a two to five minute long home video of the child in a social situation (a birthday party, playing with friends, or a day at the park, that sort of thing).

Early diagnosis and intervention are so, so important. I hope you’ll take advantage of this opportunity to help the Puzzlemouse Project do what it can to decrease the age between when diagnosis is possible and when diagnosis actually occurs.


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