Connecticut Guidelines for a Clinical Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder

December 10, 2013

The Connecticut Guidelines for a Clinical Diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder are a direct result of collaborative efforts that were initiated under the Act Early Summit Project. The Summit Project began in 2007 as a partnership among the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Maternal and Child Health Bureau at the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD). Together, these agencies implemented the Act Early Regional Summit Project which was supported by the CDC's Learn the Signs.Act Early campaign (Daniel, Prue, Taylor, Thomas, Scales, 2009) and the Combating Autism Act of 2008 (Public Law 109-416).

The purpose of the Guidelines is to provide a consistent and comprehensive source of information for evaluating whether a child has a clinical diagnosis of an ASD. These guidelines provide recommendations and guidance to professionals about conducting a clinical diagnostic evaluation. The document is written to support informed decision making in how professionals conduct an evaluation leading to a clinical diagnosis of ASD. Although its content is informed by current literature, research and practice, the document is not intended to provide an extensive review. Additionally, while the focus of these guidelines is on the early identification and diagnosis of young children, the principles included in the document apply to all children. This document addresses the need for a common understanding across Connecticut regarding the elements essential in making an accurate diagnoses of ASD at the earliest point in time. It is essential that parents, providers and educators remain vigilant in ensuring that all children, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status are appropriately diagnosed at the earliest point in time and provided with the individualized services that can lead to optimal outcomes.

You may find a copy of the document on the CT UCEDD website: