Why Is This Case Important?

A young boy in a bike helmet

Anticipatory guidance is a vital component of a primary care provider’s (PCP) work. Parents turn to their PCP for advice on how to deal with their child’s needs and expect them to provide their expertise on a variety of issues.Families of children who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often feel alone because their child may not act like other children when going through different developmental stages. Being able to offer anticipatory guidance that is geared toward the child with ASD is important for every PCP.

This case discusses the use of medications, some which are off label, for which FDA approved uses are limited. A PCP may encounter a child with ASD on one or more of these medications in the course of his or her practice. It is important to be aware of side effect profiles, contraindications and health monitoring in children on these medications. While these side effects should be monitored by the prescriber, the PCP needs to make sure these are monitored, be aware of the possible drug interactions with medications he or she will prescribe, and know the side effects so they can be considered in the differential diagnosis of symptoms brought to the PCP office for treatment.


Navigating the Modules

  • Use the links at the lower left and right of each page to move forward and backward through the course.
  • Each section of the case is followed by a series of questions.
  • Some questions have multiple tabs; please be sure to click them all.
  • Be on the lookout for videos that show key content and materials you can download and use in practice.
  • Following completion of the entire module, you will be given a link directing you to the CDC Training and Continuing Education Online website to secure CE credit.
  • At any time during the module, you can use the “Course Information” links to find information about the course, navigating the module and continuing education credit. You will not exit the module by clicking on these links.

A happy young boy

Key Learning Objectives

  1. Recognize some of the common developmental issues that present in children with ASD and how to evaluate them
    • Describe the different types of sleep problems seen in children with ASD
    • Provide a differential diagnosis for feeding problems in children with ASD
    • Describe the common challenges to toilet training children with ASD
  2. Identify management approaches and strategies for the common developmental issues seen in children with ASD
    • Describe behavioral strategies that may promote improved sleep in children with ASD
    • Identify the indications for using medications in the treatment of sleep difficulties
    • Recognize strategies to improve eating habits in children with ASD
    • Become familiar with techniques for toilet training children with ASD

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