AAP: Primary Care Can Make Autism Diagnosis More Equitable and Timely

AAP: Primary Care Can Make Autism Diagnosis More Equitable and Timely

AAP: Primary Care Can Make Autism Diagnosis More Equitable and Timely


A recent article in AAP News (a publication of the American Academy of Pediatrics) highlights how empowering and supporting primary care physicians to diagnose autism will help make the system more equitable for more families, allowing them to get the timely assessment, diagnosis, and care they need.

The news item, from co-authors Sarabeth Broder-Fingert, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP, and Sara L. Swoboda, M.D., FAAP, both members of the AAP Council for Disabilities, explores some of the pressing reasons that we need greater primary care participation in autism diagnosis, including:

    • Kids in some groups are being left behind: Although 1 in 36 children has  autism, many kids from ethnic and racial minority groups, rural communities, and low-income households experience significant delays in being evaluated
    • Kids are left waiting while precious time slips by: Until recently, autism was almost always evaluated and diagnosed by specialists, but with more awareness of autism, there are more cases than specialists can handle, causing massive waitlists

The authors make the case that the child’s medical home is the ideal place for the diagnostic process and activation of services. Primary care clinicians have a more complete picture of the child’s health and history, and “they also may be knowledgeable about local and culturally congruent supports and services”. When more children are diagnosed and managed in their medical home, specialists will also be able to focus on the children who will benefit from their expertise the most.

We at Cognoa couldn’t agree more!

This is why we created Canvas Dx, a medical device specifically designed for the primary care setting that equips pediatricians and other clinicians to act early, equitably, and definitively on early developmental and behavioral concerns. Learn more about Canvas Dx here and book a meeting to learn more about how Canvas Dx can work in your practice.