The CDC recently released this American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)-endorsed curriculum which is designed to educate future pediatricians on identifying, diagnosing, and managing autism spectrum disorders through case-based scenarios. The curriculum is a flexible, interactive learning tool that emphasizes practical skills for patient and parent interaction. The full curriculum and videos are available online
The federal Agency on Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) recently conducted a review of the research on autism therapies looking at what evidence is available regarding the effectiveness, benefits, and harms of therapies used to address the core and associated symptoms seen among children ages 2–12 years with autism spectrum disorders. The findings were published in two separate reports, one for clinicians and one for parents titled, "Therapies for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Review of the Research for Parents and Caregivers."
Some medical and behavioral treatments show promise for reducing certain behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), but more research is needed to assess the potential benefits and harms, according to a new AHRQ-funded report. The research results were published online in the journal Pediatrics.
The comparative effectiveness report found that two commonly used medications—risperidone and aripiprazole—show benefit in reducing some behaviors, including emotional distress, aggression, hyperactivity and self-injury. However, these medicines are associated with significant side effects, such as rapid weight gain and drowsiness. The review found that no medications used for ASDs improved social behaviors or communication skills. The report also found that several medications show promise and should be studied further, but that secretin, which has been studied extensively, has shown no effectiveness.