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(Canada) BC: Up to 20 months for ASD assessment due to "increasing prevalence"

Oct 24, 2019, CBC: Autism diagnosis procedure should be reformed to ease wait times and stress, society says https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/autism-diagnosis-in-bc-wait-times-1.5333335 British Columbia: Lindsay Roberts is home-schooling her son, not by choice but because the five-year-old boy would be prone to hitting people, screaming and suddenly running away if he became overstimulated in a classroom without any support. "My little guy couldn't start kindergarten because he can't access support without a diagnosis,'' Roberts said of Colton Roberts, who is showing symptoms of autism, the same neurodevelopmental disorder that affects his eight-year-old brother Travis. So far, Colton has seen a pediatrician he was referred to by his family doctor, but is still waiting to see another specialist who could assess and diagnose his condition. "The wait list for the pediatrician is a year and then the wait list for the actual assessment with the psychiatrist is another year to 18 months,'' Roberts said from Lake Country, B.C.... Dr. Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, chair of the Canadian Pediatric Society's task force on autism spectrum disorders, said the increasing prevalence of the condition calls for community-based pediatricians and other primary health-care providers to be trained and supported to assess and diagnose it and provide follow-up care.... The society has released recommendations for a more flexible approach to diagnosis that would include community-based pediatricians, not just doctors and psychiatrists licensed to do so, using a range of interventions and resources including screening tools and a checklist for assessments involving conditions that could be associated with autism, such as dental, vision and hearing issues as well as sleep issues, anxiety and ADHD..... The society says autism spectrum disorder affects one in 66 Canadians aged five to 17, with boys diagnosed four times more often than girls.... Comment posted: Prior to 1980 the rate of autism was less than 1 in 10,000. Today, autism affects more than 1 in 68 children (age 5 – 17) in some Canadian provinces, and at the current rate of growth autism is projected to affect 1 in 2 children by 2030. The impact of autism on our education, medical, social support systems and families is catastrophic. Yet the medical industry and mainstream media virtually ignore this epidemic while creating disaster scenarios when a few dozen individuals contract measles.