Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Releases New Study on Training Pediatricians to Decrease Wait Times for Autism Diagnosis in Children

July 17, 2013

A three-year study conducted by researchers at Vanderbilt University, entitled "The diagnosis of autism in community pediatric settings: Does advanced training facilitate practice change?" concluded that training pediatric health care providers to identify and diagnose children with autism will increase speed and accuracy of autism diagnoses. By training health care professionals in the pediatric community to determine signs of autism in children, researchers discerned that the waiting period for children to receive a diagnosis from a specialist can be greatly reduced. 

According to a summary of the journal article on DisabilityScoop, "After participating in the two-day trainings, researchers found that the health care providers reached the same diagnostic conclusions as specialists 90 percent of the time."  This high level of accuracy in autism diagnoses after specialized training is significantly beneficial to young children. Amy Swanson, lead author of the study, shares with DisabilityScoop: "Given the potentially harmful consequences of lengthy waits for comprehensive diagnostic evaluations, the potential impact of such training programs for advanced autism diagnosis within community practice settings could be quite powerful."

  • Access the journal article here
  • Access a DisabilityScoop article on the study here