The National Guideline for the Assessment and Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders is the first unified approach to the assessment and diagnosis of autism in Australia. Launched in 2018, the Guideline defines clinical best practice and a new diagnostic standard. It aims to make the practice of assessing and diagnosing autism clearer and more consistent throughout the country so that individuals and their families receive the best possible care.
A National Guideline Implementation Toolkit is now available to help clinicians to upskill and deliver the recommendations in the Guideline. Individuals undergoing an assessment, parents and caregivers can also access resources to learn more about the Guideline and what to expect from the assessment process.
Register or log in for access to the National Guideline and Implementation Toolkit for clinicians. Community resources are available without registration.
The National Guideline for the Assessment and Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders was informed by six Guiding Principles.
The Guideline recommends an evidence-based approach to assessment, where clinical decision-making is informed by the best available research evidence.
Individual and Family Centred
The Guideline recommends an individual- and family-centred approach, where assessment professionals collaborate with and identify the unique needs and strengths of the person undergoing assessment and their family.
The Guideline recommends a holistic framework is followed, where individuals are evaluated within their personal, activity and environmental context, and referrals for support are based on functioning and need, not a clinical diagnosis.
The Guideline recommends a strengths-focused approach to assessment. This approach focuses on identifying the strengths, skills, interests, resources and support systems of the individual and their caregiver/s, and placing as much importance on them as identifying limitations.
The Guideline recognises that ALL Australians must be able to access a timely and rigorous assessment, regardless of age, gender, cultural background, socioeconomic status or geographical location.
The Guideline recommends a lifespan approach to assessment, where the individual’s present and future challenges and opportunities are considered.
The National Guideline for the Assessment and Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders was developed and published by Autism CRC with financial support from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). The National Guideline Implementation Toolkit and community resources were developed with financial support from the Australian Government's Department of Social Services.
We thank Dr Emma Goodall for providing the cover art for the National Guideline.
The artwork is titled The Disconnect in the Infinity of Neurodiversity. Artist Dr Emma Goodall describes the artwork below.
“Hidden under the layers of the ¾ of an infinity symbol are a normal distribution curve, a brain and branches seeking connection from a brain/person to an anchor. The ¾ infinity symbol also more explicitly shows the variety within the spectrum but the gaps in knowledge and connections.”