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Towards Earlier Identification: Physicians Assistants' Perceptions of their Ability to Identify, Diagnose, and Refer Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Early detection is imperative for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to achieve optimal functioning. Knowledge of early signs of ASD, as well as open communication, can mitigate delayed diagnosis. This study explored physician assistants' (PA) abilities to diagnosis ASD as well as gathered information on their training. A majority of respondents who see pediatric patients received training on developmental milestones, but far fewer received training to identify red flags for ASD. Few PAs are talking with every patient's caregivers about a variety of behavioral health conditions, not just ASD. Overall, PAs rated their current skills working with patients with ASD lower than their desired level, suggesting a desire to become more adept at meeting their patients' needs.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2019

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  • The Journal of Allied Health is the official publication of the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP). The Journal is the only interdisciplinary allied health periodical, publishing scholarly works related to research and development, feature articles, research abstracts and book reviews. Readers of the Journal comprise allied health leaders, educators, faculty and students.
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