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Strengthen the Evidence for Maternal and Child Health Programs

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Professional Resource Guide

This professional resource guide presents resources about autism spectrum disorder (ASD) screening, diagnosis, treatment, care, and impact on family life. It includes tools for health care practices; training; improving state systems and services; research; and finding data and statistics, journal articles, reports, and other materials.

Resources for Professionals

1. Overview

2. Screening, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Care

  • American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP): Council on Children with Disabilities—Autism. Policies, articles, webinars, training materials, toolkits, and guides about caring for children and adolescents with ASD. Topics include prevalence, identification, diagnosis, management, treatment, and research. Also see the Autism A.L.A.R.M. guidelines for a brief checklist on screening and intervention.
  • Autism Speaks. Information on the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and care of individuals with ASD and their families. Includes information about research initiatives, professional development resources, and a collection of video clips about early warning signs, diagnostic features, and treatments.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Autism Spectrum Disorders. Information about ASD and symptoms, screening and diagnosis, treatment, data and statistics, and research networks and initiatives. Includes screening and diagnostic tools and information, guidelines and recommendations, journal articles, and developmental milestone checklists and a fact sheet for families. See Learn the Signs. Act Early for tools to improve early identification of children with ASD and other developmental disabilities so children and families can get the services and support they need as early as possible.
  • First Signs. Information for health professionals and educators about the importance of early identification and intervention for ASD. Lists key social, emotional, and communication milestones for infants and young children (from birth to age 3) and describes critical warning signs for when a child is at risk. Resources include a collection of video clips, a list of validated screening tools, screening guidelines, and an early intervention referral guide.
  • National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders (NPDC on ASD). Briefs for 27 identified evidence-based practices for early identification, intervention, and education. The briefs contain a description of the practice, instructions for implementation, an implementation checklist, and a list of references that forms the evidence base.
  • Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI): Autism Center. General information about the causes, diagnosis, and characteristics of ASD; a collection of assessment resources; ASD service guidelines; and a parent's guide to ASD. In addition to ASD, OCALI has information on low incidence disorders such as multiple disabilities and traumatic brain injuries.

3. Training

4. State Systems and Services

  • Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP): State Public Health Autism Resource Center (SPHARC). Resources for state Title V agencies and others interested in improving systems for children and adolescents with ASD and their families. Includes technical assistance webinars, learning modules, and state program highlights. Topics include prevalence, screening, financing, health reform, care coordination, cultural competence, family involvement, medical home, and transition.
  • Easter Seals: State Autism Profiles. Collection of reports about autism services in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The profiles highlight the number of children with autism who have received the state's special education services, state health insurance coverage for autism (if available), Medicaid services specific to individuals with autism, educational programs provided to students with autism or training that focused on autism, other state resources, and state legislation.

5. Research

6. Data and Statistics

7. Journal Articles, Reports, Briefs, Guides, and Multimedia Resources

8. News and Commentary

  • Autism Speaks: News. Blogs, electronic newsletter, science digest, and press releases about ASD-related news, legislative updates, scientific developments, personal stories, and fundraising events. Use the left navigation bar to choose the media. Autism Speaks also presents a list of magazines and newsletters about ASD by other organizations.

9. MCH Digital Library Guides on Related Topics

Resources for Families

See the MCH Digital Library family resource brief Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Resources for Schools

See the MCH Digital Library school resource brief, Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Please provide feedback on this professional resource guide.

Autism Spectrum Disorder: Professional Resource Guide, 3rd ed. (March 2014). (Updated: August 2014).

Author: Susan Brune Lorenzo, M.L.S., MCH Digital Library.
Contributor: Tracy Lopez, M.S.L.S., MCH Digital Library.
Reviewers: Lauren Agoratus, M.A., parent of a child with autism, Family Voices and Family-to-Family Health Information Resource Center at the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network of N.J.; Lynn L. Cole, M.S., R.N., P.N.P., Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities at the University of Rochester Medical Center; Olivia K. Pickett, M.A., M.L.S., MCH Digital Library.
Editor: Ruth Barzel, M.A., MCH Digital Library.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U02MC31613, MCH Advanced Education Policy, $3.5 M. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.