The UK NSC policy on Autism screening in children
Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) is a lifelong condition that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them. Autistic spectrum disorder is the term that is used to describe a group of disorders, including autism and Asperger syndrome. The word ‘spectrum’ is used because the characteristics of the condition vary from one person to another. Those with autism may also have a learning disability. Those who have Asperger syndrome tend to have average, or above average, intelligence, but still have difficulty making sense of the world.
Screening should not be offered.
This policy was reviewed in Nov 2012 but no significant changes were made. It is due to be considered again in 2015/16, or earlier if significant new evidence emerges.
Evidence Supporting the Policy
The Child Health Sub-Group of the NSC reviewed the evidence on screening for autism and decided that the introduction of screening could not be recommended to the UK NSC.
The British Psychological Society
Institute of Child Health
The National Autistic Society
Royal College of General Practitioners
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
Royal College of Psychiatrists
The stakeholder groups will be involved when the policy is next reviewed. If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us.
Related documentsAppendix 1 - autism knowldege update (December 2010) (PDF document, 90KB, 24/08/11)
Appendix 2 - autism knowledge update (December 2010) (PDF document, 53KB, 24/08/11)
Appendix 3 - autism knowledge update (December 2010) (PDF document, 77KB, 24/08/11)
Appendix 4 - autism knowledge update (December 2010) (PDF document, 16KB, 24/08/11)
Knowledge update on screening for autism in children (December 2010) (PDF document, 54KB, 24/08/11)
NSC ASD Policy Position Statement (November 2012) (PDF document, 3.84MB, 11/12/12)