Act Early Connecticut (UCONN UCEDD) Releases Clinical Guidelines for a Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder

January 24, 2014

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. Connecticut's stakeholders participated in the Act Early Summit in April, 2010. A key goal identified at the summit by the Connecticut Team was the publication of clinical diagnostic guidelines specific to Connecticut. Over the past several years, a multidisciplinary workgroup consisting of parents, autism researchers, educators, and practitioners from developmental behavioral pediatrics, early intervention, public schools/special education, developmental psychology, child psychiatry and law was enlisted to write the guidelines with support from an advisory group including members of the University of Connecticut UCEDD.  Altogether, these groups ensured that the guidelines are relevant and useful to diagnosticians, families, educators, public school special education administrators and personnel, advocates, and others in the state and are specific to the intricacies of Connecticut's systems.

The Guidelines were released at a legislative forum held at the State's Legislative Office Building on December 9, 2013 with a keynote speech given by Dr. Mark Swanson, former Senior Medical Advisor for the Division of Human Development and Disability at the CDC.  The next steps are to disseminate the Guidelines and to provide training to diagnosticians on their use.