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Hospital offers free autism screening

By Staff | Jun 15, 2012

Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, in partnership with the Ronald McDonald House of Southwest Florida, is offering free monthly autism spectrum disorder screenings for toddlers 18 months to five years of age.

The next screening is Friday, June 22 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Family Health Center, 2256 Heitman Street, Fort Myers.

It is estimated that one in every 150 children is diagnosed with some form of Autism Spectrum Disorder, making it more common than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined.

Medical consultants for the project stress that an early diagnosis can make a vast difference for toddlers and their families. They say early intensive behavioral intervention can make a huge difference not just in the development of the child, but in their families as well.

The ASD screening is conducted by the Neurosciences Center at The Children’s Hospital, under the guidance of pediatric neurologist Jose Colon, MD, MPH. The screenings are administered by an advanced registered nurse practitioner with extensive training and experience in typical child development and developmental disorders.

A physician referral is not required. To schedule a screening, call 239-343-6838.