Children suspected of having an autism spectrum disorder should
have access to a multi-agency assessment and be provided with a key
worker, according to new national guidelines.
The worker should be appointed as soon as ASD is suspected, and a
family care plan identifying ASD interventions for the child and
family drawn up within six weeks of the initial multi-agency
The guidelines were compiled by the National Initiative for Autism:
Screening and Assessment core working group, which comprises
health, education and social work professionals and parent and
voluntary sector representatives.
The guidelines urge local areas to establish an ASD co-ordinating
group to review services and identify training and resource needs
within 18 months. Each area would have an ASD-trained teacher to
set up individual educational plans.
David Potter, head of policy at the National Autistic Society,
said: “The best results for children with ASD come from early
interventions that address the range of difficulties these children
– National Autism Plan for Children is available from www.nas.org.uk/profess.niasa.html