Lineagen has developed the FirstStepDX genetic test that looks for common genetic markers for Autism and conditions that can result in autistic-like behavior (like Fragile X). The genetic test has been developed specifically because early detection can lead to early intervention, which can lead to a better overall lifestyle for the child with Autism.
The test has been first introduced in rural Utah, with amazing results. It is about 70% accurate, which, short of an MRI scan, is the most accurate Autism medical test available. The reason this is so important is because the genetic markers are there in the child well before Autism starts to show it's symptoms, which may not be until age 3.
But what is even more important here is that Autism can be detected through a genetic test, as opposed to hours of psychological analysis. This saves time for the family, and also saves money for insurance coverage. And that's the kicker, because if insurance companies can save money on a test that is medical, then they are more likely to cover it.
So is there a down side to this test? Well, depending on when the test is administered, there is a fear that parents may choose to abort a pregnancy (assuming it can be conducted before birth), or abandon a child in accordance with safe harbor laws. The simple idea of that sickens me to think that anyone would treat their own child that way, but as people are known to do great acts of kindness, they are also known to do horrendous acts of evil.
My personal take on the test is this: IT'S A MEDICAL, GENETIC TEST! That means Autism is a MEDICAL CONDITION, and therefore should be covered by insurance.
So what do you think?