Autism Diagnosis in Primary Care

View this tip sheet that offers strategies that primary care pediatricians and other clinicians can use to make an autism diagnosis in the primary care setting. 


Overview of Autism Spectrum Disorder

As the leading pediatric health organization in the United States, the American Academy of Pediatrics is uniquely positioned to provide support and evidence-based guidelines to pediatricians caring for children and youth with ASD.

The Academy's Council on Children with Disabilities (COCWD) Autism Subcommittee (ASC) serves as the main point of contact for the Academy on issues related to care of children and families with ASD. The COCWD ASC provides evidence-based guidance specific to caring for children and youth with ASD and facilitates the translation of evidence-based guidance into education, practice, policy and advocacy for pediatricians, caregivers, and the public. More information  about the subcommittee is provided here.

Here you will find information about ASD tools and resources for pediatricians, and ASD resources for parents, families, and caregivers are available on the AAP parenting website,

Considerations for Prescribing /Recommending Common Supports and Services for Children on the Autism Spectrum

This resource provides pediatricians and other pediatric clinicians with practical information about prescribing or recommending common supports and services for children on the autism spectrum, or for whom there are indicators of autism.  


Quick Facts

AAP Recommendations

The AAP recommends that all children be screened for ASD at ages 18 and 24 months, along with regular developmental surveillance. Toddlers and children should be referred for diagnostic evaluation when increased risk for developmental disorders (including ASD) is identified through screening and/or surveillance. Children should be referred for intervention for all identified developmental delays at the time of identification and not wait for an ASD diagnostic evaluation to take place.

Executive Summary: Identification, Evaluation, and Management of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Identification, Evaluation, and Management of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Promoting Optimal Development: Identifying Infants and young Children With Developmental Disorders Through Developmental Surveillance and Screening

Tools and Resources for Pediatricians

Here you will find resources, tools, and trainings to assist in the care for children and youth with ASD and their families/caregivers.

Resources for Pediatricians to Share with Families

Pediatricians are trusted sources of knowledge and guidance to support health and well-being. Here you will find resources for pediatricians to share with families to provide ongoing support and care for children and youth with ASD.

Podcasts and Voices Blogs

Learn what others are saying. Listen to our podcasts and read our blog posts.

Late Autism Diagnosis: Blessing or Curse?

As we prepare to close out the month of April, let us remember it is Autism Acceptance Month. All pediatricians and health care professionals should make sure they are doing everything within their power to ensure children with autism have the supports they need for mental health.

Voices Blog


April 24, 2023

Helping Teens on Autism Spectrum Transition to Adulthood

Pediatricians play a vital role in helping young patients with ASD successfully plan and prepare for the next stages in life.

Voices Blog


April 5, 2022

Embracing Neurodiversity in Our Health Systems

The medical community can make improvements in supporting those who think and learn differently through hiring, patient care and research.

Voices Blog


April 11, 2022

Last Updated



American Academy of Pediatrics