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Arizona-designed app could help diagnose autism at an earlier age

PHOENIX — The Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center has released a new mobile app designed to help parents diagnosis their children with autism at an earlier age.

“This app will clinically guide the parents to collect the information in their home that is relevant for the diagnosis of autism,” Chris Smith with SARRC said.

The free app, called the Naturalistic Observation Diagnostic Assessment, correctly identified more than 88 percent of autism cases.

“This is a very valid approach for identifying developmental delays related to autism spectrum disorder,” Smith said.

NODA asks parents to record their children in specific scenarios and upload the video. Clinicians then analyze the footage and determine if a child is autistic.

Most children are not diagnosed with autism until they are 5 years old. NODA should lessen that number.

“If parents have concerns, they can go directly to this app and get real answers sooner than they can go through their general practice (doctor),” Smith said.