Many studies that examine factors which the quality of care and age of diagnosis in autism have called for increased education of primary physicians. Among these primary physicians, general pediatricians may be the link to earlier diagnosis and earlier intervention, which could lead to better outcome in children with autism spectrum disorders, or ASD. Increased autism awareness among pediatricians and education on the early signs of autism and how to manage it, are challenges that should be addressed in the physician community.
Autism Speaks is proud to collaborate with the Advanced Studies in Medicine Program at Johns Hopkins University, which produced a new video summarizing the challenges with screening, assessments, comorbidities and treatment of autism spectrum disorders. This video is entitled “Screening for Autism and the Management of Neurobehavioral Comorbidities: A Primer for General Pediatricians”. The learning program is directed to general pediatricians and other primary caregivers who are not familiar with how to identify, refer or treat children with ASD. The complete video series is available online at http://www.jhasim.com/Autism/. The video is intended to be used by health professionals to better understand signs and symptoms of autism, and not as a tool for parents or other caregivers to diagnose autism in their own children.
Autism Speaks funded researcher Rebecca Landa, Ph.D. chaired the program, which includes presentations by Ann Reynolds, Ph.D., James McCracken, M.D., and Laura Schreibman, M.D.. The purpose of the online educational program is to introduce physicians to the symptoms of autism, the screening and diagnostic tools used, warning signs to look out for, as well as potential treatment protocols to use when a physician sees a child who may be, or has been, diagnosed with autism.
Autism Speaks hopes that by collaborating with the Advanced Studies in Medicine Program, more physicians will be able to see the educational program. Primary care physicians can receive continuing medical education credits from John's Hopkins School of Medicine after participating in the 2 hour program from their office or home.