Autism Scanning Project

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Autism Scanning Project

In autism treatment, the best method is intense special education applied in early ages. To start education, first the child must be diagnosed as soon as possible. To support works in early diagnosis, Tohum Autism Foundation, in colloboration with Ministry of Health, executed Autism Scanning Project in 2006, which was financed by European Union. This project is a pioneer Project since it is the first one in Turkey in the area of autism.
 
In this project, approx. 46.000 children aged between 18 and 36 months were evaluated for autism spectrum disorder. The project included children whose parents visited community health centers and mother-child health planning centers for routine controls. 5 provinces of Turkey were in scope: Bursa, Gaziantep, İzmir and Kocaeli. The evaluation had two phases. On the first phase, nurses and midwives applied M-CHAT (Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers) screening tool. M-CHAT consists of 23 questions which are to be replied by either parents or first caretakers opinion. As a result of this evaluation, children who are under risk were checked by doctors with CHAT (Checklist for Autism in Toddlers) scanning tool. CHAT includes childrens opinions alongside parents opinions. Research findings show that there are grand difference between results in provinces, however there is very little difference between genders.
Recent researches conducted in USA and Australia ascertained the ratio between school-age children with autism and their counterparts. This ratio is 1 to 150 in  USA, whereas it’s 1 to 160 in Australia. On above project, the autism spectrum disorder risk of children between ages of 18-36 months was revealed. Therefore, the results reached on this project indicate the risk of autism spectrum disorder, not the autism spectrum disorder prevalence. This risk is estimated to be close to the risk state in USA and Australia. For further research there is need for dissemination work on school-age kids. Children who turno ut to be in risk group on dissemination Works should be clinically evaluated by pedagogues.
 
This project is the first project in the area of autism risk research in five provinces and on a very big mass. Furthermore, on scope of this project meetings were held with autism authorities in target provinces and hundreds of doctors and medical personel were trained on autism. All these works carry a very functional importance in information and awareness for autism. Through this project, parents of children who are under autism risk were warned to visit experts for more detailed evaluations. This point is crucial in rendering service to families.
 

Autism Scanning Final Report (in Turkish)