American Academy of Pediatrics (APA) has urged its members to refrain from depending on a couple of tests for children with autism, or behavioral issues. They believe these tests could be harmful to the children due to the possibility of misdiagnosis.
A group of experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Environmental Health was asked to list down diagnostic and patient management decisions that have led to misdiagnosis and eventually inappropriate therapy. Two of the vice tests in the executive committee’s list pertain to diagnosis related to autism spectrum disorders (ASD). They include testing urine for metals or minerals and testing their hair for environmental toxins.
“Toxicologic exposures have not been conclusively associated with the development of autistic behaviors in children. Testing for metals and minerals may be harmful if treatment is guided on the basis of these results,” writes the academy explaining why testing urine for the presence of minerals should not be undertaken.
They go on to say that there is no scientific basis for conducting chemical analysis on a child’s hair to diagnose any early childhood condition including ASD.
The recommendations were part of the academy’s initiative ‘Choose Wisely’ that aims to phase out redundant or repetitive procedures.