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April 2007

Revisiting Parental Concerns in the Age of Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Need to Help Parents in the Face of Uncertainty

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007;161(4):406-408. doi:10.1001/archpedi.161.4.406

More than 30 years ago, parental concerns about their children's development focused on delayed diagnosis of physical disabilities, such as hearing impairment and cerebral palsy. Fortunately, with better training and diagnostic tools, children with these and other physical disorders are now identified early. The next frontier of pediatric developmental morbidity includes more subtle problems of young children, especially socioemotional and communication disorders like autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Appreciating parents' concerns about these disorders and providing assistance is more complex and challenges the primary care clinician both to screen effectively and to offer ongoing insight and support through the diagnostic process and beyond.