Why Is This Case Important?

A young boy in a jacket

A key part of the screening process includes communicating results of the screening tool to parents.

This can be a highly emotional experience, particularly if the screener has detected concerns. Good communication skills are essential to helping parents understand the concerns and ensure their child sees appropriate specialists to determine if there is a developmental delay.

This case provides a sample situation a physician may encounter and potential approaches to responding to parent reactions and concerns.

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Key Learning Objectives

A young boy reading a book
  1. Discuss with parents a screening result that indicates need for further evaluation
    • Know how to describe the difference between a concerning screen and a diagnosis to a parent
    • Identify reasons why parents may be reluctant to pursue a diagnostic evaluation after a concerning ASD screen
    • Describe some important techniques that a physician should include when discussing a concerning screen with different families
  2. Understand how to support a family when their child has been diagnosed with ASD
    • Describe specific techniques a primary care provider (PCP) can use to support a family whose child has been diagnosed with ASD
    • Identify various emotional responses parents may have after their children receive an ASD diagnosis
    • Name the stages of grief parents often experience when their child is diagnosed with a disability

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