Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a group of severe disorders of development. They can disrupt social relationships and communication, play, and academic skills. ASDs usually lead to lifelong disability. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that an average of 1 in 68 children in the US have an ASD. Science shows that early detection of ASD, when followed by the right interventions, can lead to better outcomes for children affected by autism. These include improved language, social, and adaptive functioning, and a reduction in inappropriate behaviors. It is important to identify and refer children with ASD as early as possible to the Early Intervention Program.

More information about autism is available from the New York State Department of Health Bureau of Early Intervention's publication Clinical Practice Guideline on Autism/Pervasive Developmental Disorders: Assessment and Intervention for Young children (Age 0-3 years). This publication provides recommendations based on the best scientific evidence available about "best practices" for assessment and intervention for young children to parents, clinicians, and others interested in autism. Information is also available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's autism information center at

  • The Best Practice Protocol for Early Screening of Young Children for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) by Pediatric Primary Care Providers was developed to promote pediatrician's knowledge and understanding of ASDs and their adherence to American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines for universal screening of toddlers for ASDs. The protocol was completed in fulfillment of Section 2500-J of the New York State Public Health Law, which requires the Commissioner of Health to establish best practice protocols for early screening of young children for ASD. The best practice protocols must incorporate standards and guidelines issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). A physician desk reference was also developed and is adapted from the online comprehensive version of the Best Practice Protocol. For more information regarding the physician desk reference, please contact the NYS Department of Health, Bureau of Early Intervention at (518) 473-7016 or e-mail
    Production of the online protocol and desk reference were made possible with a state implementation grant number H6MMC15104 from the Health Resources and Services Administration. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of HRSA.
  • This audio series from the American Academy of Pediatrics helps answer parents' questions about autism spectrum disorders. It offers a collection of interviews with developmental and behavioral pediatricians, a pediatric neurologist, autism researchers, and parents of children with autism.
  • Autism/Pervasive Development Disorders (PDD) Training - These trainings provide recommendations for parents and professionals based on available scientific evidence about "best practices" for assessment and intervention for young children with autism and PDD. Trainings are presented by an early intervention training contractor. Autism/PDD course schedules can be found at the following site:

Training Videos

Videos in Spanish