New NICE guideline on the recognition, referral and diagnosis of children and young people on the autism spectrum

boy with autism

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) have commissioned the National Collaborating Centre for Women’s and Children’s Health to produce a new guideline on the recognition, referral and diagnosis of children and young people on the autism spectrum.

The guideline is aimed at GPs, paediatricians, psychiatrists, psychologists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists and other staff who care for children and young people with possible autism.

The guideline has been published today by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, along with the usual supporting documents. It contains 69 recommendations around the following structure:

  • Recognition
  • Following referral
  • Diagnostic assessment
  • Differential diagnosis
  • Assessment of coexisting conditions
  • Medical investigations
  • Information and support
  • Service descriptions and resource use

The key priorities for implementation are:

  • Local pathway for recognition, referral and diagnostic assessment of possible autism
  • Autism diagnostic assessment for children and young people
  • Communicating the results from the autism diagnostic assessment

Links

Autism: recognition, referral and diagnosis of children and young people on the autism spectrum (PDF). NICE, 28 Sep 2011.

Autism: quick reference guide (PDF). NICE, 28 Sep 2011.

NICE website – Autism (links to supporting documents)

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