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in Communication Disorders
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Summary of Clinical Practice Guideline

The Children’s & Women’s Health Centre of British Columbia (Canada)

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:

Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Assessment/Diagnosis/Screening

    • Assessment Areas

      • Cognition/Language, Hearing & Speech

        • 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 for Autism 

        • “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).

Social Communication Disorders
  • Assessment/Diagnosis/Screening

    • Assessment Areas

      • Cognition/Language 

        • If delays are observed in developmental milestones, especially speech, language, and social skills, additional assessment is necessary. 

    • Screening Areas

      • Cognition/Language

        • “Screening [of areas such as language and social skills] by a community speech/language pathologist helps to identify the extent of the problem” (Community Assessment).

  • Service Delivery

    • Provider

      • “Screening [of areas such as language and social skills] by a community speech/language pathologist helps to identify the extent of the problem” (Community Assessment).

Keywords:
Autism Spectrum Disorders

» Access the Guideline