Pediatric Annals

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CME Article 

Management of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Primary Care

Scott M. Myers, MD

Abstract

The prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) is now estimated to be 6 to 7 per 1,000 children, so most general pediatricians are expected to care for at least several affected patients. Although specific features change over time and outcomes vary, most children with ASDs remain within the spectrum. Regardless of their intellectual functioning, these individuals continue to experience difficulty with social relationships, independent living, employment, and mental health. Therefore, it is important for pediatricians to provide a medical home that includes longitudinal routine healthcare as well as chronic disease management to improve the quality of life for patients with ASDs and their families.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Scott M. Myers, MD, is a Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician, Geisinger Health System, Danville, Pennsylvania, and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia.

Address correspondence to: Scott M. Myers, MD, Geisinger Medical Center, 100 N. Academy Ave., Danville, PA 17822-13391; fax 570-271-6002; e-mail: smyers1@geisinger.edu.

Dr. Myers has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES

  1. Using a chronic disease management model, describe the key goals in continuous management of autism in the office setting.
  2. Discuss the empiric evidence supporting educational/habilitative interventions used in children with autism spectrum disorders.
  3. Outline the medical interventions available for children with autism spectrum disorders with emphasis on current evidence of proven efficacy and the need for ongoing monitoring.

Abstract

The prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) is now estimated to be 6 to 7 per 1,000 children, so most general pediatricians are expected to care for at least several affected patients. Although specific features change over time and outcomes vary, most children with ASDs remain within the spectrum. Regardless of their intellectual functioning, these individuals continue to experience difficulty with social relationships, independent living, employment, and mental health. Therefore, it is important for pediatricians to provide a medical home that includes longitudinal routine healthcare as well as chronic disease management to improve the quality of life for patients with ASDs and their families.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Scott M. Myers, MD, is a Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician, Geisinger Health System, Danville, Pennsylvania, and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia.

Address correspondence to: Scott M. Myers, MD, Geisinger Medical Center, 100 N. Academy Ave., Danville, PA 17822-13391; fax 570-271-6002; e-mail: smyers1@geisinger.edu.

Dr. Myers has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES

  1. Using a chronic disease management model, describe the key goals in continuous management of autism in the office setting.
  2. Discuss the empiric evidence supporting educational/habilitative interventions used in children with autism spectrum disorders.
  3. Outline the medical interventions available for children with autism spectrum disorders with emphasis on current evidence of proven efficacy and the need for ongoing monitoring.

The prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) is now estimated to be 6 to 7 per 1,000 children, so most general pediatricians are expected to care for at least several affected patients. Although specific features change over time and outcomes vary, most children with ASDs remain within the spectrum. Regardless of their intellectual functioning, these individuals continue to experience difficulty with social relationships, independent living, employment, and mental health. Therefore, it is important for pediatricians to provide a medical home that includes longitudinal routine healthcare as well as chronic disease management to improve the quality of life for patients with ASDs and their families.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Scott M. Myers, MD, is a Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician, Geisinger Health System, Danville, Pennsylvania, and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia.

Address correspondence to: Scott M. Myers, MD, Geisinger Medical Center, 100 N. Academy Ave., Danville, PA 17822-13391; fax 570-271-6002; e-mail: smyers1@geisinger.edu.

Dr. Myers has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES

  1. Using a chronic disease management model, describe the key goals in continuous management of autism in the office setting.
  2. Discuss the empiric evidence supporting educational/habilitative interventions used in children with autism spectrum disorders.
  3. Outline the medical interventions available for children with autism spectrum disorders with emphasis on current evidence of proven efficacy and the need for ongoing monitoring.

10.3928/00904481-20090101-08

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