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Community-based Interdisciplinary Pediatric Care Model for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders Implementation and Evaluation

The prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) in NC is now approximately 1 in 110. The provision effective clinical care for children and adolescents with ASDs is a rapidly emerging issue of importance. Individuals with ASDs have complex clinical needs most notably in the realm of mental health co-morbidity and behavioral challenges. Current clinical models to serve this need are rare and fragmented. Frequently medical professionals practice in isolation from non-medical professionals and families report poor inter-provider communication and limited guidance on navigating the complex mental health/behavioral health system. Key to this effort is a clinical partnership between a large interdisciplinary community pediatric practice in Greensboro, NC and a psycho-social autism focused outreach group(TEACCH). The medical providers in this partnership are 2 board certified developmental-behavioral pediatricians and the non-medical provider is a masters level psychologist from Greensboro TEACCH. The TEACCH therapist serves as an intake coordinator, clinic coordinator, helps develop behavioral interventions, and helps facilitate care coordination needs. The medical partners assess biomedical and/or psychiatric drivers for presenting behavioral concerns and helps to develop a treatment plan which include biological, psychological, and social interventions. The main objectives of this project are to establish a working partnership between the clinical entities, develop an integrated medical-psychosocial clinical service for this population, and put into place the Information Technology infrastructure to allow for this clinical activity. If partnership continuation is deemed feasible, we aim to begin planning for expansion of the IT infrastructure and the clinical partnership.

For more information, please contact: Rob Christian, M.D., FAAP Pediatrics and Psychiatry

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