Knowledge of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Potential First-Contact Professionals

Michelle Hartley-McAndrew, MD, Kathy Ralabate Doody, PhD, Jana Mertz, MBA


This paper aims to report the professional perspectives on characteristics and diagnostic criteria of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) in individuals who would have a high probability of having first contact and knowledge of autism spectrum disorders.  Areas surveyed help to gauge professional knowledge of treatments and services in the community as well as identify needs for additional training.  An anonymous, on-line survey was distributed via email to various hospital-based, community medical and therapeutic practitioners as well as educators, related service providers, and administrators.  It was found that while there is solid understanding of the increased prevalence of ASDs, the knowledge of specific diagnostic criteria under the relatively new DSM-V criteria as well as active screening is somewhat lacking among professionals surveyed.


DSM-V, ASD, ASD knowledge, awareness, professionals

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