By Andrea Viney
New autism and ADHD guidelines set the benchmark for best practice evidence-based assessment, treatment, and support for autistic people and those with ADHD.
So what are they and why are they important?
National Supporting Autistic Children Guideline
Australia’s first national autism guideline has just been released, outlining how to best provide clinical support to autistic children and their families.
Developed to assist the learning and wellbeing of autistic children up to the age of 12, the new guideline aims to ensure clear, consistent support for families.
For the first time, families of autistic children will have a clear description of safe and effective clinical practice, and a roadmap to empower their choices.
The guideline was developed in consultation with more than 1000 community members, by a core team of researchers, clinicians and autistic people, and provides 84 recommendations around creating and implementing therapy goals.
Professor of Autism Research at the Telethon Kids Institute and co-author of the national guideline, Andrew Whitehouse, says the guideline will helps ensure the right support and accommodations for autistic children are provided “as early as possible”.
The guideline also highlights the importance of affirming and embracing the uniqueness of each child and eliminating hurdles. “It is our job to remove barriers in their lives, so they can be who they want to be,” he says.
Read the guidelines in full here; autismcrc.com.au/access/supporting-children/guideline
Australian Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guideline For ADHD
Clinical guidelines on the identification, diagnosis and treatment of people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) were also launched in October, after a two-year collaboration between clinical professionals, researchers, and people with lived experience.
The Federal Government provided $1.5 Million to the Australian ADHD Professionals Association (AADPA) to develop the guideline, with a focus on everyday functioning and quality of life.
The use of medications, family support, and a need for further research are among the list of 111 recommendations to help inform clinicians about the best way to support and empower people with ADHD.
“This guideline sets the benchmark for best practice evidence-based assessment, treatment and support for people living with ADHD, and also lays a roadmap for ADHD clinical practice, research and policy,” said Federal Health Minister, Mark Butler, when launching the guidelines.
Mr Butler said the guideline is as an important tool for clinicians, including medical and allied health professionals, nurses and pharmacists, as well as those involved in the support of people with ADHD, such as educators and families.
“Earlier diagnosis, better treatment and care will help improve the lives of people living with ADHD so they can reach their full potential,” he said.
Read the guidelines in full here; adhdguideline.aadpa.com.au