Assessment, diagnosis and interventions for autism spectrum disorders

Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network

Diagnostic criteria

  • All professionals involved in diagnosing ASD in children, young people or adults should consider using the current version of either ICD or DSM. The classification system used for diagnosis should be recorded in the patient's notes

Recognition, assessment and diagnosis


  • Population screening for ASD is not recommended


  • As part of the core programme of child health surveillance, healthcare professionals can aid early identification of children requiring further assessment for ASD and other developmental disorders. Clinical assessment should incorporate a high level of vigilance for features suggestive of ASD, in the domains of social interaction and play, speech, language and communication difficulties and behaviour
  • Children under three years of age who have regression in language or social skills should be referred for assessment for ASD
  • Instruments may be used for information gathering, but they should not be used to make or rule out a referral for an assessment for ASD

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