On the basis of the most recent epidemiologic research, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects approximately 1% to 2% of all children. (1)(2) On the basis of some research evidence and consensus, the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers isa helpful tool to screen for autism in children between ages 16 and 30 months. (11) The Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, changes to a 2-symptom category from a 3-symptom category in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition(DSM-5): deficits in social communication and social interaction are combined with repetitive and restrictive behaviors, and more criteria are required per category. The DSM-5 subsumes all the previous diagnoses of autism (classic autism, Asperger syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified) into just ASDs. On the basis of moderate to strong evidence, the use of applied behavioral analysis and intensive behavioral programs has a beneficial effect on language and the core deficits of children with autism. (16) Currently, minimal or no evidence is available to endorse most complementary and alternative medicine therapies used by parents, such as dietary changes (gluten free), vitamins, chelation, and hyperbaric oxygen. (16) On the basis of consensus and some studies, pediatric clinicians should improve their capacity to provide children with ASD a medical home that is accessible and provides family-centered, continuous, comprehensive and coordinated, compassionate, and culturally sensitive care. (20)

Harrington, Allen, (2014). The clinician’s guide to autism.¬†Pediatrics in review, 2014 Feb;35(2):62-78; quiz 78.¬†https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24488830