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Els for Autism utilizes rare, FDA-approved eye-tracking technology to identify autism in young children

In our mission to become a global leader in the field of autism, Els for Autism® is proud to announce that we are one of the few organizations in the country utilizing the new clinically validated, FDA-authorized EarliPoint™ autism evaluation tool to assist our team of clinicians in diagnosing and accessing children, ages 16 to 30 months old, at risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Source: WPTV News Channel 5

* Disclaimer: EarliPoint is only FDA-approved for children 16 to 30 months of age.

EarliPoint captures moment-by-moment-looking behavior undetectable to the human eye. For a child, it is as simple as watching a short video—like scenes of toddlers playing—while the device assesses the individual focal points at a rate of 120 times per second. Each data point is then compared to thousands of discrete measurements within a clinically validated database, so that parents, caregivers, and providers have timely, objective, and accurate information concerning potential developmental vulnerabilities.

Mason was the first child our team of clinicians assessed utilizing EarliPoint after his parents, Aaron and Amber, contacted our team with concerns. “Before he was a year old, I began suspecting autism. At seven months old, he was rocking and hand flapping,” said Amber. “He was late to crawl, walk, and talk.”

At Mason’s 18-month doctor’s appointment, Amber completed the Modified Checklist for Autism-Revised™ in Toddlers (M-CHAT-R). M-CHAT-R is a screener that will ask a series of 20 questions about your child’s behavior and is intended for toddlers between 16 and 30 months of age. Her pediatrician gave her the option to wait or to move forward with pursuing further evaluation.

Amber, knowing the importance of early intervention, decided to move forward, and that is when she was referred to our team. “I built a relationship with Arti [Clinical Care Coordinator at Els for Autism] who would call just to check in as we waited for Mason’s appointment. People were saying to go to a neurologist, but I said, ‘No, I’m waiting to go to Els for Autism.’”

The call from Arti came in December, and Amber and Aaron were given the opportunity to have Mason go through a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation, with or without the use of EarliPoint. They chose to have the evaluation include the utilization of EarliPoint.

However, Amber almost canceled the appointment one week before the appointment. “I was second-guessing myself due to other people’s opinions saying I was wrong in thinking Mason could have autism.”

But her motherly intuition kicked in, and she kept the appointment. “Talking with other parents, who went through the process of diagnosing their child with autism, they all said it was a very long and sad process,” she says. “No one wants to see their child be diagnosed with autism; however, I am thankful the process for Mason and me was the complete opposite.”

In fact, Mason laughed as he watched the short video capturing data point entries to make the formal diagnosis of autism. “Without Els for Autism, I would be crying sad tears; instead, I’m crying happy tears knowing this is a resource and they have my back. I no longer feel lost, and I have been sharing with families about the programs and services offered at Els for Autism.”

Aaron and Amber are currently seeking programs and services for Mason and themselves, including our RUBI parent training program and Spring into Action Early: Intensive Behavior Intervention (EIBI) program.

We are thankful to Aaron, Amber, and Mason for allowing us to share their story and for everyone who made it possible for Els for Autism to acquire EarliPoint, which will now allow our team of clinicians to see more families with decreased wait times while still providing a gold-standard autism evaluation.