Recent media attention has brought to light that the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) is increasing; it is estimated that 1 in 68 children are now being diagnosed with ASD (Centres for Disease Control, 2014). In the 2007 document, Pay Now or Pay Later: The Final Report on the Enquiry on the Funding for the Treatment of ASD, The Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology responded to the growing sense of urgency regarding the needs of Canadian individuals with ASDs and their families and called for the development of a national autism strategy, including the development of evidence-based standards for the diagnosis and treatment of ASD, innovative funding methods for the care of those with ASD, the provision of additional federal funding for autism research and the implementation of a national surveillance program for ASD. It is clear that the early identification and treatment of ASDs is recognized widely as a critical issue in need of attention. As a response to their recommendation, the Miriam Foundation published Best Practices Guidelines to help researchers, practitioners and families in Canada.
Best Practices Guidebook
The purpose of this set of documents is to delineate Canadian Best Practice Guidelines for Early Screening, Assessment and Diagnosis of ASDs in very young children (ages 0-5 years). The best practices described in this document were derived from scientific literature and agreed upon by a panel of Canadian ASD researchers, input from active clinicians, as well as parents.
This 12-page document offers practical guidelines and tools for physicians to use in their practice to assist them in the surveillance and screening of ASDs.
Waiting Room Poster
This poster describes some of the early warning signs of ASDs and urges parents to discuss any signs or symptoms with their child’s physician.
This pamphlet describes the process of being screened and assessed for ASDs in lay terms for all to understand.