ST. LOUIS – The Missouri Autism Center at the Knights of Columbus Developmental Center, affiliated with SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center and St. Louis University, now offers the region’s first Autism Siblings Clinic. An expert medical team provides autism/developmental assessment for children under 48 months of age who have a biological sibling with autism.
Some children may also be candidates for the ARISk Autism Risk Assessment Test, which identifies an early estimate of a sibling’s specific risk for autism. The test is obtained through a cheek swab in their clinic. In addition, children may qualify for participation in ongoing clinical studies. Autism spectrum disorders are a group of complex brain disorders characterized by difficulties with social interaction, communication and behavior.
“Siblings of children diagnosed with autism are at significantly increased risk of having developmental delay or developing an autism spectrum disorder,” says Rolanda Maxim, M.D., medical director of the Missouri Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center and associate professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. “A recent study reported that up to 25 percent of boys and 10 percent of girls who have an older sibling with autism will go on to develop an autism spectrum disorder. Furthermore, up to 35 percent of siblings who do not develop autism will still have developmental delays or have some social communication deficits which would benefit from early identification and treatment.”
The Centers for Disease Control reports that on average, children are not diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder until they are 4 to 6 years of age. The Knights of Columbus sibling clinic is designed to identify these at-risk children earlier to begin interventions as soon as possible and improve the long-term outcomes for children with developmental delays and autism.
For additional information about the Autism Siblings Clinic or to schedule an appointment, contact the Knights of Columbus Developmental Center at (314) 577-5609.
For more information about the clinical study focusing on the Early Detection of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Children for children between the ages of six and 12 months who have biological siblings diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder the Knights of Columbus Developmental Center is conducting visit http://goo.gl/bDlNi.