Managing children with autism spectrum disorder can be challenging, as there is a broad range of presentations and each child has a unique set of strengths and difficulties. GPs play an important role in supporting these children and their families, from identifying early red flag signs to providing ongoing care into adulthood. Building rapport and trust with patients and families using a gentle and sometimes creative approach will help to optimise care for these children.
Consulting with children is enjoyable but can be challenging. One particularly challenging group is children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The prevalence of ASD has increased significantly in the past 20 years, from one in 150 children in 2000 to one in 44 in 2018, according to data collected by the US-based Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network.1 Therefore, children with ASD are now more likely to present to general practice.