American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

EBP Compendium: Summary of Clinical Practice Guideline

The Children's & Women’s Health Centre of British Columbia (British Columbia)
Autistic Disorders: What Can Physicians Do?

Ho, H., & Smith, D. (2001).
BC Medical Journal, 43(5), 272–76.

AGREE Rating: Recommended with Provisos

Description:

This guideline provides recommendations for the diagnosis and assessment of autism spectrum disorder/pervasive developmental disorder. The target audience of this guideline is physicians.  

Recommendations:

  • Assessment/Diagnosis
    • Assessment Areas
      • Hearing, Cognition/Language - If delays are observed in developmental milestones, especially speech, language, and social skills, additional assessment is necessary. Hearing loss should be ruled out with a hearing test. “Screening by a community speech/language pathologist helps to identify the extent of the problem” (Community Assessment).
    • Assessment Instruments
      • Screening - “Screening instruments are not designed for diagnostic purposes. For example, the Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, used by community professionals to identify children at risk for developing autistic-like developmental disabilities, is not very sensitive at diagnosing autism” (Multidisciplinary Diagnostic Team Assessment).
  • Service Delivery
    • Provider
      • “The multidisciplinary diagnostic team assessment is ideally (but not exclusively) administered by a specialty team with experience in autism. If such a team is not available, it can be done in a serial fashion in the child’s community” (Multidisciplinary Diagnostic Team Assessment).
      • “A team conference with parents and community services providers is recommended to arrive at a consensus for a treatment plan based on the child’s strengths and weaknesses” (Multidisciplinary Diagnostic Team Assessment).
      • If delays are observed in developmental milestones, especially speech, language, and social skills, additional assessment is necessary. Hearing loss should be ruled out with a hearing test. “Screening by a community speech/language pathologist helps to identify the extent of the problem” (Community Assessment).

Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorders

Access the Guideline

Added to Compendium: October 2011

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