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17 Jul 2020 5:25
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  •   Home > News > Health & Safety

    Long waits for autism diagnosis are being put down to systemic issues in the health system

    Long waits for autism diagnosis are being put down to systemic issues in the health system

    Under the Waitemata District Health Board, it takes up to four months for a child to be seen by a paediatrician - but in Southland the wait time to see a psychologist is about a year.

    Autism New Zealand says research it's just done shows there's a two year lag between the first signs of autism and getting a diagnosis, which is not acceptable.

    CEO Dane Dougan says the system needs to change.

    He says the organisation has been working with Plunket on an early identification tool.

    Dougan says signs of autism start to show at 12-18 months so this tool can pick up these signs early and families and children can be given support sooner.

    He says the earlier autism's identified, the better chance the child goes on to live to their full potential.

    © 2020 Newstalk ZB, NZCity

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