Autism Spectrum Disorder Update

Course Topics

Evidence-based use of Medications to Address Target Symptoms in Youth With Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disabilities
Learners will be better able to identify common behavioral symptoms seen in children with autism spectrum disorder that may be a focus of psychotropic medication use, and they will be able to effectively implement pharmacological interventions in this patient population.

Intellectual Disabilities: Identifying Autism Spectrum Disorder in a Primary Care Setting
Screening tools and diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) will be discussed in detail and learners will be better able to identify children with ASD in the primary care setting to initiate timely referral to appropriate support services.

SPARK: Returning Autism Genetic Results at Scale in Research
As autism is a spectrum, researchers need many people with autism to participate in all types of research. Until now, only a small number of individuals and families have ever participated in research. The SPARK autism project will provide researchers with medical and genetic information from tens of thousands of individuals and families affected by autism. These data will power important new research that aims to advance the understanding of autism and provide meaningful information and resources to participants.

The prevalence of autism has increased significantly over the past two decades. While this increase may be largely attributed to broader diagnostic criteria and an increase in overall awareness of autism, it nonetheless means there has never been a greater need to gain a better understanding of this condition that affects so many.  Join Dr. Pamela Feliciano as she explains how SPARK will enable advances in genetic samples, as well as open the doors for additional research of all types. 

This course was coordinated with Dr. Michael Allessandri of the University of Miami Center for Autism and Related Disabilities.
Learn more about UM CARD.
HOME | UM-NSU CARD | University of Miami
 

Target Audience

Pediatricians, Neurologists, Family Practice Physicians, Psychiatrists, Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Pharmacy, Pharmacy Technicians, Occupational Therapists, Social Workers, Hospitalists and other interested healthcare professionals and members of the community.

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize the common behavioral symptoms seen in children with autism spectrum disorder that may be a focus of psychotropic medication use.
  • Identify medication treatment of these behavioral symptoms with an emphasis on evidence-based use of medications.
  • Name screening instruments used to identify children with an autism spectrum disorder in a primary care setting.
  • Describe referral and service options available when a child receives a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder.
  • Discuss the scope, impact and promise of the world’s largest autism study, SPARK, and how they can contribute to this one-of-a-kind initiative to better understand the genetics of autism. 
  • Explain the processes and evaluate the challenges in identifying and returning autism-related results to study participants. 
  • Review SPARK-related genetic findings, including a list of autism risk genes and copy number variants identified by SPARK which can be useful for physicians to understand in clinical practice. 
  • Assess promising therapeutic pathways that may in time be opened with genetic results from SPARK. 
Additional information
Bibliography: 
  • American Academy of Pediatrics. Caring for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Resource Toolkit for Clinicians, 2007.
  • American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. Arlington, VA, American Psychiatric Association, 2013.
  • Bishop S., Seltzer M. (2012). Self-Reported Autism Symptoms in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders. J Autism Dev Disorder, 42(11): 2354-2363.
  • CDC. (2018, February). Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/index.html
  • Council on Children with Disabilities, Section on Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics, Bright Futures Steering Committee and Medical Home Initiatives for Children With Special Needs Project Advisory Committee. (2006). Identifying Infants and Young Children With Developmental Disorders in the Medical Home: An Algorithm for Developmental Surveillance and Screening. Pediatrics, 118(1), 405-420.
  • Delahunty C. (2015). Developmental delays and autism: Screening and surveillance.  Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. 82, Suppl. 1, S29-32.
  • Johnson C.P., Myers S.M. (2007). Identification and evaluation of children with autism spectrum disorders. Pediatrics, 120(5), 1183-1215.
  • Robins D.L., Casagrande K., Barton M., et. al. (2014). Validation of the modified checklist for Autism in toddlers, revised with follow-up (M-CHAT-R/F). Pediatrics, 133(1), 37-45.
  • Ruzich E., Allison C., Smith P, et. al.  (2015). Measuring autistic traits in the general population: a systematic review of the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ) in a nonclinical population sample of 6,900 typical adult males and females. Molecular Autism, 6:2.
  • Towle P., Patrick P. (2016). Autism Spectrum Disorder Screening Instruments for Very Young Children: A Systematic Review. Autism research and Treatment, Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 4624829, 29 pages.
  • William J., Scott F., Stott C. (2005). The CAST (Childhood Asperger Syndrome Test): test accuracy. Autism, Feb;9(1):45-68.
  • Zwaigenbaum L., Bauman M.L., Fein D., et. al. (2015). Early Screening of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Recommendations for Practice and Research.  Pediatrics, Suppl. 1, S41-59.
  • Koblan, L. W., Erdos, M. R., Wilson, C., Cabral, W. A., Levy, J. M., Xiong, Z. M., ... & Liu, D. R. (2021). In vivo base editing rescues Hutchinson–Gilford progeria syndrome in mice. Nature, 589(7843), 608-614.
  • Tillotson, R., Selfridge, J., Koerner, M. V., Gadalla, K. K., Guy, J., De Sousa, D., ... & Bird, A. (2017). Radically truncated MeCP2 rescues Rett syndrome-like neurological defects. Nature, 550(7676), 398-401.
  • Meng, L., Ward, A. J., Chun, S., Bennett, C. F., Beaudet, A. L., & Rigo, F. (2015). Towards a therapy for Angelman syndrome by targeting a long non-coding RNA. Nature, 518(7539), 409-412.
Course Summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 1.75 General certificate of attendance
  • 1.75 Florida Board of Clinical Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Mental Health Counselors
  • 1.50 Nurse Practitioners
  • 1.50 Florida Board of Nursing
  • 1.50 Florida Board of Occupational Therapy
  • 1.75 Florida Board of Pharmacy
Course opens: 
02/01/2022
Course expires: 
01/31/2023

Daniel Castellanos, M.D.
Assistant Dean, Graduate Medical Education; Founding Chair and Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Health; Secondary Appointment as Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine
Miami, Florida

Luis Carcache, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine
Miami, Florida

Daniel Castellanos, M.D. and Luis Carcache, M.D., faculty for this educational activity, have no relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies* to disclose and have indicated that the presentations or discussions will not include off-label or unapproved product usage. 

Pamela Feliciano, Ph.D.
Scientific Director, SPARKforAutism.org
Senior Scientist, Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
New York, New York 

Michael Alessandri, Ph.D.
Executive Director of the University of Miami-Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (UM-NSU CARD)
Clinical Professor of Psychology and Pediatrics 
Assistant Chairman, Department of Psychology for Community Outreach and Engagement
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Pamela Feliciano, Ph.D., faculty for this educational activity, has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies* to disclose, and has indicated that the presentation or discussion will not include off-label or unapproved product usage.

Michael Alessandri, Ph.D., conference director and moderator for the SPARKS activity, has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies* to disclose, and has indicated that the discussion will not include off-label or unapproved product usage.

Ian Nisonson, M.D., and Nina Sanchez, M.D., conference directors for this educational activity, have no relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies* to disclose. 

Non-faculty contributors and others involved in the planning, development, and editing/review of the content have no relevant financial relationships to disclose with ineligible companies.*

*Ineligible companies - Companies whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients.

Disclosure Policy and Disclaimer

Baptist Health South Florida is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 
              
Baptist Health South Florida designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Available Credit

  • 1.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 1.75 General certificate of attendance
  • 1.75 Florida Board of Clinical Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Mental Health Counselors
  • 1.50 Nurse Practitioners
  • 1.50 Florida Board of Nursing
  • 1.50 Florida Board of Occupational Therapy
  • 1.75 Florida Board of Pharmacy
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