App available for parents to help diagnose autism

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every 64 8-year-old's from Arizona has been diagnosed with autism. 

That number may soon increase thanks to a new app that helps parents diagnose their children from home and seek treatment as early as possible.

"He was you know, rubbing the walls, banging on the walls, banging his head, and to him it was like it felt good to him," said Veronica Allen, a parent.

Allen said she always knew something was wrong with her son Austin. After rounds of doctor visits Austin's issues were simply dismissed as "behavioral problems."

"I was like am I a bad mom?" said Allen.

Austin was eventually diagnosed with autism by the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center. Now, thanks to a new app called NODA, SAARC is helping parents diagnose their kids earlier, and from the comfort of their home.

"Kids are getting diagnosed far too late, and we know from decades of research that early intensive intervention is the single most important thing we can do for children with autism," said Dr. Christopher Smith.

The NODA app will ask you take a series of cell phone videos that are of normal activities; like your child playing at home, or even sitting down and eating at the dinner table. Clinicians will use that information as well as other data to make a diagnosis, and within two weeks you'll find out whether or not your child has been diagnosed with autism.

"When I played it over I realized you know what, there is something going on with my son," said Allen.

Because Austin was diagnosed at such a young age, he's been able to make great improvements. Dr. Smith hopes that by using the NODA app, parents will get an earlier diagnosis and in turn an earlier start to treatment.

"18 months of time that the parent might have been spending on waiting lists, now that time can be better spent on an early intensive intervention program," said Dr. Smith.

"All the answers were right there; they were all there," said Allen.

To download the free app visit https://behaviorimaging.com/noda 

The company says that during April, which is autism awareness month, the diagnostic service is also free. The app can be used for children ages 2-7.
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