Medicine and Health Sciences
Overall, the number of children who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has increased. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC; CDC, 2012a) now estimates that 1 in 88 children have ASD (1 in 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls). This represents a 23% increase from data collected two years previously (CDC, 2009). This increased prevalence suggests that there is a growing need for screening and further referral, when indicated, for a diagnostic evaluation for children suspected of having ASD. To receive appropriate diagnostic services, a child must be able to obtain a comprehensive evaluation conducted by competent and qualified personnel using a protocol of acceptable tools and procedures. This is especially critical since early diagnosis of ASD is needed to help children and their families to realize the positive outcomes that can be achieved by participating in appropriate intervention services at the earliest point (e.g., National Research Council, 2001; Volkmar, Reichow, & Doehring, 2011). It is essential then that parents, providers and educators remain vigilant in ensuring that all children, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status are appropriately diagnosed as early as possible, and provided with the individualized services that can lead to optimal outcomes. This document contains guidelines to meet the need for a common understanding across Connecticut regarding the elements essential in making an accurate diagnosis of ASD. The Connecticut Guidelines for a Clinical Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (hereafter referred to as Guidelines) are a result of collaborative efforts that were initiated under the Connecticut Act Early Project. This project began in 2007 as a partnership among the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD). As part of the Act Early Campaign, regional summits of state teams were held during 2008-2010, with a Connecticut team participating in the New England Act Early Summit in Providence, Rhode Island in April 2010. The team consisted of representatives from the University of Connecticut Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service; the Connecticut Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (both of the University of Connecticut Health Center); the Yale Child Study Center and the Yale Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Program (both of the Yale School of Medicine); Connecticut Children’s Medical Center; Hospital for Special Care; the Connecticut State Departments of Children and Families, Developmental Services, Social Services; the Connecticut Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities; the Connecticut chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics; a local Head Start Agency; parent advocacy organizations. Parents of children and adults who have ASD were also on the team.
University of Connecticut School of Medicine and Dentistry, "Connecticut Guidelines for a Clinical Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder" (2013). Articles - Patient Care. 45.