Sunday, 20 February 2011

NICE to see you, NICE

The headline and content to this post are probably more relevant to a UK audience so I apologise in advance.

In this era of evidence-based medicine (EBM), autism and its research has perhaps fallen down a few cracks. Autism being such a heterogeneous condition, sometimes accompanied by various co-morbidities has meant there is a real quandary in how to formulate good evidence-based guidance on intervention and management. Whilst there have been some valiant attempts to formulate such guidance on autism in the UK including that provided by Research Autism we are not quite there yet.

That is until, by direction from the Department of Health, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) have been asked to formulate some guidance on autism. NICE provide guidance on everything to do with health in the UK from medication prescribing patterns to the use of techniques and instruments for all manner of conditions. In autism, there are currently 3 strands of guidance being sought, all at various stages of development.

These are: (i) autism spectrum disorders in children and young adults, (ii) autistic spectrum conditions in adults, and (iii) autism - management of autism in children and young people. Producing universal guidance is going to be a challenge to all involved in these exercises but promises to provide some National standards. Good luck guys - we await the final outcomes.