Autism Spectrum Disorder Management Practices and Level of Knowledge Among General Pediatricians

  • Ayşe Aysima Özçelik GAZİANTEP UNİVERSİTY
  • Şebnem Soysal Gazi University Faculty of Medicine
  • Ebru Arhan Gazi University Faculty of Medicine
  • Ercan Demir Gazi University Faculty of Medicine
  • Kıvılcım Gücüyener Gazi University Faculty of Medicine
  • Ayşe Serdaroğlu Gazi University Faculty of Medicine
Keywords: Autistic spectrum disorder, pediatrician, practices, knowledge


Objectives: Early diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is challenging and may be delayed up to preschool years since there is no pathognomonic sign or laboratory test to detect the illness. For early diagnosis and treatment, pediatricians  should be aware of the psychological disorders and medical issues that children withASD encounter.  Pediatricians play  an important role in the early recognition of ASD, because they are usually the first point of contact for children with ASD. Methods: This study focuses on the role of pediatricians’ awareness of autism and its effects on the life events of the autistic children. The study involved 270 volunteer pediatricians (residents, pediatricians), from state  and university hospitals.Results: ASD that the participants were most commonly aware of were lack of attention to social stimuli, fewer smiles, and  not looking at the faces of others, not responding to their own name, delayed speech in the presence of  hearing  and gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting and eating .Conclusions:  The results of the present study show that pediatricians do not have the through knowledge of DSM-IV autism criteria and ASD. They have stated that they are not familiar with comprehensive evaluation techniques or are not comfortable with making the diagnosis of  autism spectrum disorders, have inadequate knowledge about the effect of the disease on the rest of the patient life as an adult. They have also stated that   having spending some time in child and adult psychiatry clinics will make them feel more comfortable while approaching those patients.

Author Biographies

Division of Pediatric Neurology
Şebnem Soysal, Gazi University Faculty of Medicine
Division of Pediatric Neurology
Ebru Arhan, Gazi University Faculty of Medicine
Division of Pediatric Neurology
Kıvılcım Gücüyener, Gazi University Faculty of Medicine
Division of Pediatric Neurology
Ayşe Serdaroğlu, Gazi University Faculty of Medicine
Division of Pediatric Neurology


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Original Research