Diagnostic Assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Cross-Disciplinary Analysis
Esteves, Jeffrey Brent
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To date, there are no known biological markers to diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Thus, diagnosis generally relies on behavioural assessment and considerable clinical judgement. Currently, very little is known about the assessment methodology Canadian physicians and psychologists use, to diagnose ASD. The current study provides information regarding these practices. A total of 64 participants (23 physicians and 41 psychologists) completed an online survey. Overall, the participants reported a relatively homogenous set of assessment practices. Small differences were noted in the usage of some assessment tools and in the composition of their clinical team. Assessment tool usage differed depending on the estimated cognitive level of the client population a clinician worked with. Limitations and future directions for the research are discussed. It is hoped that these results will help promote further research into the clinical practice of diagnosticians working with children diagnosed with (or being assessed for) ASD.