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WOOD TV, W. MI: Autism provider sees 30 percent increase in referrals; waitlist 9 months

Mar 28, 2024, WOOD TV, W. MI: Pine Rest works to keep up with demand for autism screening 

News anchor: Autism rates are on the rise nationwide. 


The impact is being felt here, in west Michigan, as well.


Reporter Brittany Flowers: Autism spectrum disorder is a complicated things to diagnosis because there’s no medical test like a blood test . . .


Instead it requires screening from an experienced medical professional.


Pine Rest is seeing a 30 percent increase in referrals for autism testing compared to 2020. They’ve also hired 30 percent more staff to keep up.


Still the waitlist for ASD testing is about 9 months. 


The issue is not unique to just Pine Rest either. Some parents or caregivers are waiting a year or longer just to get their child evaluated. This can cause major delays in getting treatment.


Andy Hicks, Volunteer Board Member: We’d like not to see waitlists. . . . .



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