Skip Navigation LinksCaring-for-Children-with-Autism-Spectrum-Disorders-A-Resource-Toolkit-for-Clinicians

aaa print


Caring for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Resource Toolkit for Clinicians

This toolkit was developed to support health care professionals in the identification and ongoing management of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in the medical home. The toolkit is divided in to the following sections listed below. Please choose a section for specific information and tools that can be found in the toolkit. Some sample tools are provided on this page.

 
 
 

 

 
 
 

Introduction

 
 
 

This section contains the 2 ASD clinical reports and developmental screening policy statement. It also contains other AAP ASD publications and helpful Web sites.

 
 
 

 

 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 

Identification

 
 
 

 

 
 
 

This section contains freestanding algorithms for ASD and general developmental screening that can serve as quick references for the clinician. It also includes surveillance and screening tools that are sensitive to ASD for 3 different age groups. No tool is perfect and inclusion of these tools does not imply AAP endorsement; they were chosen because of their easy accessibility and reliability based on current available research.

 
 
 

 

 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 

Referrals

 
 
 

 

 
 
 

This section provides sample referral forms and letters that can assist the clinician in gaining access to insurance payment for early intervention, educational, and therapeutic services for patients with ASDs.

 
 
 

 

 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 

Physician Fact Sheets

 
 
 

 

 
 
 

This section provides the clinician with additional informational fact sheets that complement and further explain selected topics addressed in the 2 ASD clinical reports: seizures, sleep, nutrition, gastrointestinal disorders, behavior, education, complementary and alternative medicine, and more. It also contains a form that can be inserted into the child?s clinical record as an age-specific flowchart to guide the clinician through the maze of tests and interventions appropriate for the diagnosis and management of children with ASDs.

 
 
 

 

 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 

Family Handouts

 
 
 

 

 
 
 

This section contains the greatest number of tools and is especially formatted to help the clinician provide focused information to families when they identify a specific concern or need that emerges throughout the life span. Handouts address early intervention, school interventions, behavioral techniques, vaccines, strategies to prepare children for medical appointments, a form for local emergency medical services, coexisting health conditions, and more (these serve as companions to the Physician Fact Sheets).

 
 
 

Introduction

 
 
 

 

 
 
 

 

 
 
 
  • Autism A.L.A.R.M. -PDF

    The A.L.A.R.M. bullets were developed to raise physician awareness, promote surveillance and screening, and ensure that all children receive appropriate and timely interventions. The flipside includes the new algorithm developed as part of the AAP clinical report, Identification and Evaluation of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders (2007).

     

     

  •  

  • American Academy of Pediatrics clinical report, Identification and Evaluation of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders -Link

    This clinical report supports health care professionals in identifying children with ASDs as early as possible.

     

     

  •  

  • American Academy of Pediatrics clinical report, Management of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders? -Link

    This clinical report supports health care professionals in the management of children with ASDs in the medical home.

     

     

  •  

  • American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement, Identifying Infants and Young Children With Developmental Disorders in the Medical Home: An Algorithm for Developmental Surveillance and Screening- Link
    This policy statement supports health care professionals in developing a pattern and practice for addressing developmental concerns in children from birth through 3 years of age.

  •  

  • Policy Statements and Clinical Reports Authored by the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Children with Disabilities and Additional Resources and Web Links- Sample

    This document provides additional resources for pediatricians and parents addressing the identification and management of children with ASDs, including select policy statements and clinical reports authored by the Council on Children with Disabilities.

 
 
 

 

 
 
 

Identification

 
 
 

Surveillance and Screening Tools -

 
 
 

 

 
 
 

This section provides information about screening tools in general, including the difference between Level 1 and Level 2 screening tools.

 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Surveillance and Screening Algorithm: Autism Spectrum Disorders -

    This tool was designed as part of the AAP clinical report, "Identification and Evaluation of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders." It guides the surveillance and screening process for identifying children with autism.

     

     

  •  

  • Developmental Surveillance and Screening Algorithm Within a Pediatric Preventive Care Visit- Link

     
     
     

    This tool was designed as part of the AAP policy statement, ?Identifying Infants and Young Children With Developmental Disorders in the Medical Home: An Algorithm for Developmental Surveillance and Screening,? to guide the surveillance and screening process for identifying children with general developmental problems.

     
     
     

     

     
     
     

    Surveillance Tools

     
     
     

     

     
     
     

     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     

     

     
     
     

     

     
     
     
    • Examples of DSM-IV-TR Criteria for Autism/Examples of DSM-IV-TR Criteria for Asperger Syndrome-

      These tools help primary care professionals recognize several of the criteria required as part of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) requirements for diagnosis of autism or Asperger syndrome.

       

       

    •  

    • Is Your One-Year-Old Communicating With You?- See excerpt
      This AAP patient education brochure is designed to help encourage parents to share concerns they have about their baby's language development as early as possible. A printed copy is provided with this toolkit. The brochure can be ordered from the AAP online Bookstore (www.aap.org/bookstore) and should be handed out to parents at their child's 1-year well-child visit.

    •  

    • CDC/AAP Developmental Growth Chart- PDF

      This chart was developed jointly by the AAP and CDC for primary care professionals to hang in their waiting or examination rooms. It lists developmental milestones, important AAP screening recommendations, and physical growth markers. A printed copy is provided with this toolkit.

       

       

    •  

    • Web-based ASD Video Glossary Flyer

      This flyer contains information about a new Web site with more than 150 video clips designed to help pediatricians and parents recognize early signs of autism.

       

       
     
     
     

    Screening Tools

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    • Selected Level 1 and Level 2 ASD Screening Measures -

       

      This table lists several screening tools available, psychometric properties, and information about how to obtain the tools.

       

       

       

       

    •  

       

       

    • CSBS DP Infant-Toddler Checklist/CSBS DP Scoring Instructions -

       

      This checklist is designed to identify different aspects of social-communication development in infants and toddlers. A caregiver should complete this checklist when the child is between 6 and 24 months of age. It does not provide a diagnosis, but rather identifies children needing further evaluation. A scoring handout is also included.

       

       

       

       

    •  

       

       

    • M-CHAT/M-CHAT Scoring Instructions -

       

      This screening tool was designed to help primary care professionals with early identification of children with autism. The M-CHAT does not provide a diagnosis but can indicate if a child is at risk and should receive further evaluation. A scoring handout is also included.

       

       

       

       

    •  

       

       

    • The Childhood Asperger Syndrome Test (CAST)/Social & Communication Development Questionnaire-Key -

       

      This screening tool helps primary care professionals with early identification of children with Asperger syndrome. The CAST does not provide a diagnosis but can indicate if a child is at risk and should receive further evaluation. A scoring handout is also included. The AAP does not recommend universal screening for Asperger syndrome for all children.

       

       

       

       

     

     

     

    Other Resources

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    • Screening and Testing for Autism: Coding Fact Sheet for Primary Care Pediatricians -

      This handout was developed to guide pediatricians in coding for services related to autism.

       

       

    •  

    • The Medical Laboratory Evaluation of a Child Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder - Sample
      This resource discusses the pediatrician's role in the medical evaluation of the child diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

     

     

     

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Referral

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
  • The Medical Home and Early Intervention Programs - PDF

    This brochure is designed to educate pediatric clinicians about early intervention programs funded under Part C of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, educate early intervention programs about the role of the medical home, and provide strategies for effective collaboration and communication.

     

     

  •  

  • Early Intervention Program Referral Form - Word Doc

    This editable form is designed to simplify the referral process to early intervention programs and allows primary care professionals to indicate the types of information they would like to receive from the early intervention program.

     

     

  •  

  • Tips for Writing Letters for Insurance Coverage of Recommended Therapies/Sample Letters -

    This document was developed to assist primary care professionals in obtaining payment for recommended therapies. Sample letters are also included as editable files.

     

     

  •  

  • Local List of Possible Community Resources for Pediatric Practices - Sample
    This editable form is designed for primary care professionals to insert names and contact information of local referral sources and family groups so that the information is readily available when needed.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Physician Fact Sheets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  •  

     

    Autism Checklist for Health Care Professionals-

    This checklist was developed to assist health care professionals in ensuring that important steps are taken in the identification, diagnosis, intervention, and management of children with ASDs and their families and can be placed in the child's chart to track when these steps have been completed.

     

     

  •  

  •  

     

    Meeting the Needs of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder During Medical Visits, Dental Visits, and Other Challenging Procedures: Advice for Health Care Professionals-

    This document is designed to provide guidance to health care professionals on how to make visits go as smoothly as possible for patients with ASDs. It includes steps an office can take to better prepare for these visits.

     

     

  •  

  •  

    The following resources are fact sheets that provide primary care professionals with background information about a variety of topics. They can be used to prepare for questions parents may ask during a visit.

     

  •  

  • Adolescence and Transition to Adulthood

    •  

  • Asperger Syndrome

    •  

  • Behavioral Principles- Sample

    •  

  • Complementary and

    •  

  • Alternative Medicine

    •  

  • Therapies

    •  

  • Dietary Treatments

    •  

  • Used for Behavioral

    •  

  • Management

    •  

  • Eating and Nutrition

    •  

  • Gastrointestinal

    •  

  • Problems

    •  

  • How to Decide on

    •  

  • Treatments When Parents Are Seeking

    •  

  • Complementary and Alternative Medicine

    •  

  • Psychopharmacology

    •  

  • Seizures and Epilepsy

    •  

  • Sleep Disorders

    •  

  • Toilet Training

Family Handouts

 

Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs)- See excerpt

 

  • This booklet, written for parents, provides critical information about ASDs and answers the most common questions asked by parents about ASD. A printed copy is provided with this toolkit.


Emergency Information Form for Children With Autism

 

  • This editable form is used to record health information for children with ASDs. It should be kept in multiple locations for easy access by physicians and emergency medical personnel. A parent should fill this out with the help of the primary care professional and provide it to the local emergency medical services professionals.


The following handouts are in question-and-answer format for parents on a variety of topics. They can be given to parents to enhance discussions you have about these issues.

Behavioral Challenges - Sample
Diet
The Early Intervention Program
Gastrointestinal Problems
Growing Up: Moving From Childhood to Adolescence
Guardianship*
Lab Tests
Medications
Medicines and Your Child
Nutrition and Eating Problems
School-based Services
Seizures and Epilepsy
Sibling Issues
Sleep Problems
Support Programs for Families
Toilet Training
Transition to Adulthood: The Ultimate Outcome
Vaccines
Visiting the Doctor *The Doctor's Form Letter included in this handout is also provided as a Word document to allow for modification.

     

      If you are interested in purchasing Autism-Caring for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Toolkit for Clinicians, please visit the AAP Bookstore.