The Emory Autism Resource Center and the Health Systems Institute at Georgia Institute of Technology have developed an assessment designed to help pediatricians identify children at risk for autism spectrum disorder. A pilot test on the Rapid Attention Back and Forth Communication (Rapid ABC) screener is being conducted at Emory and Georgia Tech.
Guidelines released by the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that pediatricians screen infants for ASD during their eighteen-month and twenty-four-month well-baby visits. A typical evaluation to diagnose ASD takes from two to four hours to complete.
The Rapid ABC screener, however, is designed for use in a pediatrician's office and takes about three to five minutes to complete. It includes activities that test gesturing, attention level, body language, and eye contact.