Early Childhood Intervention Australia (ECIA) applauds the announcement by the Coalition Government earlier today of a new national standard for assessment and diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which will improve diagnostic consistency across Australia.
ECIA CEO, Yvonne Keane, today welcomed the release of the national guideline, developed by the Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (Autism CRC) in consultation with more than 1000 autistic adults, family members, clinicians and policy makers, and which was funded by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).
Ms Keane said that “The development and implementation of a consistent, national guideline for ASD diagnosis will provide families of people undergoing assessment with greater clarity as to how Autism is diagnosed.”
“In particular, ECIA is pleased that the guideline has been created with sufficient flexibility to apply to the assessment of a child, as well as adults – providing families of children who are being assessed with greater peace of mind.” Ms Keane said.
ECIA is the peak national organisation promoting the interests of service providers to young children, aged 0 to 6, with developmental delay or disability, their families and communities.
According to the latest National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) data, there are 22,932 children age 0-6 with an approved NDIS plan. Approximately 60 per cent of these children have autism as a primary disability.
Ms Keane said the guideline released today should complement the National Guidelines for Best Practice in Early Childhood Intervention that ECIA designed and developed for the NDIA, to help to deliver greater outcomes for children under the NDIS.
“The autism assessment and diagnosis guideline released today is a step-by-step, evidenced-based, best practice tool for health professionals who are conducting an autism assessment.”
“It aims to provide a benchmark diagnostic standard, and importantly provides key information helpful when accessing supports. Accessing best-practice early childhood intervention supports as quickly and fluidly as possible is critical to the outcomes for children aged 0 to 6.”
“ECIA looks forward to working with the NDIA to support the implementation of the autism assessment and diagnosis guidelines in the early childhood intervention sector.” Ms Keane said.
To obtain a copy of the National Guideline for the Assessment and Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Australia please go to www.autismcrc.com.au/national-guideline
To obtain a copy of the National Guideline for Best Practice in Early Childhood Intervention please go to www.ecia.org.au/Resources/National-Guidelines-for-Best-Practice-in-ECI
To find out more about best practice service provision for children with a developmental delay or disability please go to www.ecia.org.au