What you'll learn

  • Describe the diversity of presentations of autism.

  • Describe the diagnostic criteria and process for ASD.

  • Identify common symptoms of co-occurring medical conditions.

  • Outline treatment or management of co-occurring conditions across the lifespan.

  • Explain how age, levels of independence of individuals with ASD, and guardianship can affect a patient’s medical care.

  • Describe clinician obligations to patients under ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).

Course description

Given the challenges of caring for adults with autism, many physicians and clinicians find themselves underprepared for the complexity of diagnoses, the diversity of presentations, and the coordination of care. The Clinical Care for Autistic Adults course, is led by nationally recognized experts, with extensive expertise caring for adults with autism.

If you provide care for, or are preparing to welcome patients with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) into your practice, this course will prove invaluable. It will inform and inspire you, and you will be empowered to provide personalized care for people with autism and their families.

Adult Autism Health Resources: This site supports caregivers and advocates in exploring vetted and actionable information around important health needs for autistic individuals.

Course Goals:

  • Recognize the range of needs that ASD presents across the spectrum and lifespan.
  • Examine the gaps that exist for support of adult patients with ASD.
  • Identify key team members in the ongoing support of patients with ASD from childhood through adulthood.
  • Apply best practices and strategies to better support patients during adult primary and specialist visits, screenings, and medical procedures.
  • Develop and utilize communication protocols to increase the effectiveness of transitions of care. 

Given the increasing prevalence among ASD in children and an aging population with ASD, relegating care to this patient population to specialized environments is neither sustainable nor advisable. All clinicians who work with adults will be working with individuals with ASD. Anyone who seeks to provide quality care to this population will come away from the experience more confident in their ability to deliver patient-centered, equitable care. 

Contact ceprograms@hms.harvard.edu with questions.

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