What are the AACAP guidelines on the assessment and treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?

Updated: Sep 30, 2019
  • Author: James Robert Brasic, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Caroly Pataki, MD  more...
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The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry's practice guidelines for the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with ASD include the following recommendations: [180, 181]

  • Questions about core symptoms of ASD should be a routine part of psychiatric and developmental assessments of young children.

  • If screening reveals significant ASD symptomatology, a thorough evaluation should be performed and possible comorbid diagnoses should be considered.

  • Children with ASD should undergo a multidisciplinary assessment, including a physical examination, a hearing screen, communication and psychological tests, and genetic testing.

  • Clinicians should help families obtain educational and behavioral interventions, such as applied behavioral analysis (ABA) programs.

  • Pharmacotherapy should be offered for specific target symptoms or comorbid conditions.

  • Clinicians should maintain an active role in the planning of long-term treatment.

  • Families should be asked about the use of alternative/complementary treatments.

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