Best Practice Guideline

Autistic Spectrum Disorders:
Best Practice Guidelines for Screening, Diagnosis and Assessment


California Department of Developmental Services;
a panel of experts, including Howard G. Cohen, PhD, Valley Mountain Regional Center,

Stockton, CA (Co-Director)

Renee Wachtel, MD, Child Development Center, Children’s

Hospital Oakland, Oakland, CA (Co-Director)

Catherine A. Hayer, MS, MA, Child Development Center,

Children’s Hospital Oakland, Oakland, CA (Co-Collaborator)


This course meets the qualifications for 9 hours of continuing education
consisting of reading and taking a post-test on
Autistic Spectrum Disorders:
Best Practice Guidelines for Screening, Diagnosis and Assessment

Learning Objectives

In this 9 unit course clinicians will:

Receive a consistent and comprehensive base of information for screening, evaluation and assessment of persons with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD).


Learn current evidenced-based guidelines for screening, diagnosis and assessment of ASD.


Be exposed to recommendations based on published research, clinical experience and judgment available about “best practice” for screening, evaluating and assessing persons suspected of having ASD.


Have increased knowledge and awareness of ASD


Have a basis for training to achieve high quality clinical screening and diagnostic skills.


is approved by the:

American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists - maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
Board of Registered Nursing (#13620)
California Board of Behavioral Science accepts our CE Provider Approvals through APA, NASW, and NBCC. Course meets the qualifications for hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Science
Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, Mental Health Counseling (BAP 753 )
NAADAC - The Association for Addiction Professionals (#575)
National Board for Certified Counselors - has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6055. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. (ACEP #6055)
Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors (#1761)
The Texas Board of Social Work Examiners (#6246)
maintains responsibility for the program.




how it works

Due to the wonders of technology, the minute you submit your order over our secure line, it is encrypted, and processed safely and securely by, a secure web processor. Or, if you prefer, call us toll-free 888-777-3773.

You will immediately receive confirmation of your order, your password and how to access the course material. (Please do not block e-mails from, and

If you ordered an online course, you can begin to take the course immediately.

You will receive instructions, via e-mail, on how to take your test online.

Contact us or call if you need technical support.

Your test will be graded online, so the moment you have passed, you may print out your certificate of completion.

That's it! You are done!



Section I Introduction

Core Concepts that Guide Screening, Diagnosis and Assessment

Section II Birth Through Age Five

Chapter 1 Screening for Autistic Spectrum Disorders

Chapter 2 Diagnostic Evaluation                              

Chapter 3 Assessment for Intervention Planning                  

Chapter 4 Formulation, Presentation and Documentation of Findings  

Section III Age Six and Older

Chapter 5 Issues and Concepts in Referral, Diagnostic

Evaluation and Assessment                                      

Chapter 6 Referral

Chapter 7 Components of a Diagnostic Evaluation/Assessment Process      

Chapter 8 Differential Diagnosis                                 

Chapter 9 Elements of Diagnostic Formulation, Presentation

and Documentation


Appendix A

“Autistic Spectrum Disorder” and “Pervasive Developmental Disorder“       

Appendix B

“Red Flag” Indicators for Developmental Changes                      
Appendix C

Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT)

Appendix D

Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT), Spanish              

Appendix E

Pervasive Developmental Disorder Screening Test-II                      

Appendix F

Instruments for Diagnostic Evaluation and Assessment for

Intervention Planning—Birth through Age 5                          
Appendix G

Instruments for Diagnostic Evaluation and Assessment—Age 6 and Older      

Appendix H

Asperger’s Disorder                                             




Appendix I

Medical Centers in California with Specialization in Autistic

Spectrum Disorders                                            

Appendix J

California Regional Centers                                        

Appendix K

Panel of the Northern California Autism Collaborative                    

Appendix L

Association of Regional Center Agencies Eligibility Committee              

Appendix M

Director’s Advisory Committee on Autistic Spectrum Disorders              

Appendix N

List of Best Practice Recommendations                        



Cost of the 9 unit course is $110


All material included in this course is either in the public domain, or used with express permission.

APA Ethics

We do adhere to the American Psychological Association's Ethical Principles of Psychologists. Our courses are carefully screened by the Planning Committee to adhere to APA standards. We also require authors who compose Internet courses specifically for us follow APA ethical standards.

Many of our courses contain case material, and may use the methods of qualitative research and analysis, in-depth interviews and ethnographic studies. The psychotherapeutic techniques depicted may include play therapy, sandplay therapy, dream analysis, drawing analysis, client and therapist self-report, etc. The materials presented may be considered non-traditional and may be controversial, and may not have widespread endorsement within the profession. maintains responsibility for the program and its content.

Take the test online!
Print out your own certificate!
This course counts as a 'regular' (not self-study) course by the CA BBS!

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