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Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Prime Approach to Care Management

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CE1018 | Contact Hours: 2


This activity aims to inform health care professionals about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), challenges encountered in the care of individuals with ASD, and ways to provide and manage care. After studying the content presented, you will be able to:

1. Define Autism Spectrum Disorder.
2. Identify the five major types of ASD.
3. Recognize how ASD affects patients and their families.
4. Identify signs and symptoms of patients with ASD.
5. Identify therapies utilized in the management of ASD.
6. Define healthcare barriers encountered by patients and family members regarding ASD.
7. Integrate the best practices tailored to the complex care of an individual with ASD.
8. Explain appropriate management and support needs for patients and family members/caregivers.






Tia Wilson, BSN, RN


All learners must complete the entire activity and complete the evaluation to receive contact hours.


This nursing continuing professional development activity was approved by the Ohio Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. (OBN-001-91).

In addition to states that accept American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) courses, CE Leaders is an approved provider by the Florida Board of Nursing, and a registered provider with the Arkansas State Board of Nursing, District of Columbia Board of Nursing, Georgia Board of Nursing, Kentucky Board of Nursing, New Mexico Board of Nursing, South Carolina Board of Nursing and West Virginia Board of Registered Nurses (Provider # 50-33450).


No one with the ability to control content of this activity has a relevant financial relationship with an ineligible company.


Approximately 1 in 44 children in the United States is living with Autism Spectrum Disorder. As the name suggests, ASD is a spectrum of disorders that affects the brain and the ability to learn. It poses challenges for those affected in many aspects, including cognition, perception, and behavior, though many individuals harbor extraordinary learning abilities and talents. Every person living with ASD is not the same and can be affected by a different form. Even though learning for a person with ASD is different from the status quo, it does not mean that they are any different from you and I. Health care professionals in nearly every setting have the potential to interact with patients living with ASD as it is a lifelong, incurable condition. It is pertinent for health care professionals and caregivers to understand the appropriate approach to comprehensive care management of children and adults living with ASD. As nurses, we can educate the public on the nature of ASD and cultivate an understanding and accommodating foundation for these individuals.

With some forms of ASD, it can be difficult for patients and families to handle their care to ensure healthy development and lifestyle choices. However, proper education can facilitate a better outcome for these individuals. So, what is Autism Spectrum Disorder?


1. Akobirshoev I, Mitra M, Dembo R, Lauer E. In-hospital mortality among adults with autism spectrum disorder in the United States: A retrospective analysis of US hospital discharge data. Sage Journals. Available at Published June 12, 2019. Last accessed on June 6, 2022.

2. Asperger's syndrome. Nationwide Children's Hospital. Available at Last accessed on June 7, 2022.

3. Furfaro H. Sleep problems in autism, explained. Spectrum News. Available at Published August 5, 2021. Last accessed on June 9, 2022.

4. Mason D, Ingham B, Urbanowicz A, et al. A systematic review of what barriers and facilitators prevent and enable physical healthcare services access for autistic adults. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. Available at Published May 23, 2019. Last accessed on June 6, 2022.

5. Medical conditions associated with autism. Autism Speaks. Available at Published 2022. Last accessed on June 13, 2022.

6. Persico AM, Ricciardello A, Cucinotta F. The psychopharmacology of autism spectrum disorder and Rett syndrome. Handbook of Clinical Neurology. Available at Published November 11, 2019. Last accessed on June 9, 2022.

7. Pervasive developmental disorder - not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). Autism Speaks. Available at Published 2022. Last accessed on June 8, 2022.

8. Rett Syndrome fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Available at,has%20an%20identified%20MECP2%20mutation. Last accessed on June 6, 2022.

9. Tidy DC. Childhood disintegrative disorder (Heller's syndrome) CDD. Available at Published January 25, 2021. Last accessed on June 7, 2022.

10. What are the health problems that co-occur with autism? Applied Behavioral Analysis | How to Become an Applied Behavior Analyst. Available at Published August 17, 2021. Last accessed on June 12, 2022.

11. Zeliadt N. Autism's sex ratio, explained. Spectrum. Available at Published June 13, 2018. Last accessed on June 13, 2022.

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