Early surveillance program for autism within General Practices
This project will synergise and build on existing State and Federal programs to identify barriers and develop mechanisms for accurate early detection of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in Australia. The project will also evaluate an integrated model of care for autism surveillance within the primary care setting of General Practice, followed by standardised assessment and care pathways incorporating the National Guideline for the Assessment and Diagnosis of Autism in Australia (National Guideline) for further assessment and early intervention.
Specific objectives include to:
- Work with key stakeholders to: (a) develop a method for ‘universal’ surveillance of autism in 18- to 24-month-olds across Australia, and (b) carry out a “real life” evaluation of a care pathway for children at ‘high likelihood’ of an autism diagnosis using the National Guideline.
- Examine the Autism Surveillance Pathway (ASP) with regard to uptake and completion of the surveillance program and the accurate diagnosis of autism against the current program (Surveillance as Usual [SaU]).
Through this project, the Autism CRC will achieve its aim of developing a feasible, effective and national program for the surveillance of Australian toddlers for early signs of autism. A major outcome of this project will be the cooperation of various agencies and organisations, which will enable the embedding of the surveillance program within the existing health system and facilitate the long-term sustainability of the program. In addition, this project will allow the evaluation of the National Guideline.
- Valsamma Eapen, University of New South Wales