I’ve been on this autism journey for nearly three years now. Although my kids are older and have had “quirks” from birth, the first diagnosis wasn’t made until November 2006. For those that don’t know my history, I’m the mom of two children on the spectrum. My daughter was diagnosed with autistic disorder the day before her third birthday in 2006. My son was dx’d with Asperger’s Syndrome and PDD-NOS in the next year (difference of opinion). During that time, I’ve seen a lot of autism money sinks and when I read this article, I wondered if the LENA Language and Autism Screen (LAS) would be the next must-have (and expensive) device for parents of children with autism.
However, this is different. The LENA Language and Autism Screen (LAS) is designed to help parents screen their own children for symptoms of autism. Honestly, I’m a bit uncomfortable about this device. I feel that it is important for parents to understand the early signs of autism, as early intervention is proven to help dramatically in some cases, but I don’t feel that it is a parent’s place to screen and/or diagnose their own children.
It is imperative that if a parent is concerned, they see a licensed clinical psychologist, a developmental pediatrician, or contact their local school district or state early intervention office to request a thorough assessment. I understand the importance of giving parents the tools to recognize the early signs of autism, however I don’t feel that placing a $200 price tag on the tool is in the best interest of the child.
I’d love to hear your feedback on the device. Read the entire article on the ABC website and then head back here and leave me a comment (please!).