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About the Guideline

The pages in this section (accessible using the sidebar menu), in conjunction with the Recommendations and Good Practice PointsRecommendations and Good Practice Points, are a complete replication of the downloadable Guideline. In this web-based format, we're able to provide a better user experience.

You can continue exploring the contents of the Guideline by reading the following sections starting with the Acknowledgements, or you can jump ahead to any section you're interested in. You can also read a summary of the Guideline and what to expect from an assessment.

By registering for the Guidelineupdating your account to subscribe to this resource, you'll gain access to additional features and documents, including:

  • access to the Recommendations online, with the ability to easily view the supporting evidence that underpins each recommendation
  • downloadable PDF version of the full Guideline
  • downloadable PDF versions of the supporting documents.

Frequently Asked Questions

Autism CRC developed the Guideline, led by a team of autistic and non-autistic research and clinical experts. The first edition (2018) was supported by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). The Guideline was updated in 2023 by Autism CRC.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has approved the Guideline Recommendations, demonstrating they are high quality, based on the best available scientific evidence and developed to rigorous standards.

The Guideline was first developed in 2018 by a Guideline Development Group and the Recommendations approved by the National Health and Medical Research Council. It combined sources of evidence from research, clinical practice, and the views and preferences of the autistic and autism communities.

The second edition is an update of the original Guideline, undertaken by a Guideline Development Group comprising 17 members including autistic people, family members, practitioners, researchers, and community members. It was informed by an Umbrella Review of research published between 2018 and 2022, and extensive community consultation activities to provide opportunities for the autistic and autism community within Australia to give input into the update of the Guideline.

The Guideline is comprised of 11 Guiding Principles and 66 consensus-based Recommendations (inclusive of Guiding Principles) with associated Good Practice Points. The Recommendations and Good Practice Points may include examples for illustrative purposes. These examples are provided to contextualise the information and should not be interpreted as a complete list.

The 2023 Guideline combines new evidence and perspectives with those from the 2018 Guideline, resulting in revised and new Recommendations where required. The Guideline’s purpose, scope, intended audience, and rigorous process through which it has been developed remain unchanged.

Our microlearning module will step you through the updates.

The National Health and Medical Research Council approved the Guideline Recommendations. This strongly indicates that the process outlined is considered optimal clinical practice in Australia. To ensure all individuals and families receive best clinical care, we suggest practitioners adopt the Recommendations outlined in the Guideline as soon as practical.

The Guideline makes recommendations about the roles of a range of professionals at different stages of assessment and diagnosis, as well as their qualifications and expertise. Practitioners are advised to read the Guideline to understand the specific Recommendations for their profession.

There is no biological test or marker for autism. It is usually diagnosed by trained clinicians, who observe certain characteristics such as social communication, behaviours and intense or focused interests.

The Guideline defines a clear process for the assessment and diagnosis of autism. It suggests using either of the following international manuals to help make diagnostic decisions:

  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5)
  • International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11)

Autism CRC has developed a range of resources, partnering with universities and professional organisations to deliver learning opportunities to help support practitioners implementing the Guideline with clinical practice. We suggest you:

  • Read the Guideline – including the full range of Recommendations and Good Practice Points.
  • Consider the training and expertise you or your team may require to deliver the recommended practice.
  • View our range of eLearning opportunities and resources for practitioners.

No. The Guideline makes Recommendations for the assessment and diagnosis of autism. The assessment team decides intervention and support strategies, within the context of their own organisation and local requirements.

For more information, please contact Autism CRC on 07 3377 0600 or