This month, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) published an “AACAP Official Action” document in their journal titled Practice Parameter for the Assessment and treatment of Children and Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorder. The title is a mouthful, and so is the document – 28 pages giving 7 recommendations for psychiatrists to follow when working with children and adolescents with ASD. A review of the publication further supports certain best practices used and recommended by TAP and many other service providers. Some key points included by the AACAP include:
- Young children should be routinely screened for signs of possible ASD symptoms.
- A thorough diagnostic evaluation should be performed if a screening indicates concern, and it should be “an appropriate” multidisciplinary assessment.
- Treatment should be appropriate and evidence based, including ABA-type services, communication-related interventions, and structured educational approaches.
- Medications are offered when needed to target specific symptoms or comorbid conditions.
The entire publication can be found HERE. While of interest to all who work with children and adolescents with ASD, it’s important to remember that the target audience for the document is child and adolescent psychiatrists, so it is a rather technical publication.
Russell J. Bonanno, M.Ed.
TAP Program Manager