It is important for pediatricians to increase their expertise in the area of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). With the increase prevalence rate of ASD and the emphasis on early detection, pediatricians need to be familiar with diagnostic criteria for ASD and know when to refer for a comprehensive evaluation. After a formal diagnosis is given, pediatricians will be “front line” in the medical management of comorbid medical/psychiatric symptoms of ASD for their patients. They will serve as the medical home for families to guide evidence-based treatment options and to help find community resources for the child with ASD. The goals of this chapter are to provide an overview of ASD diagnostic criteria; to increase knowledge in early detection and diagnosing ASD; provide information about common medical comorbidities for individuals with ASD; and build knowledge in guiding families as they find evidencedbased therapeutic resources for their child with ASD.
Keywords: Alternative treatments for autism, Autism, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Autism early screening, Autism evaluation, Autism identification, Autism interventions, Autism toolkits, Complementary and Alternative treatments, DSM-5, Pediatrician knowledge, Medical co-morbidities, Vaccines.