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Review: strong evidence recommends genetic and metabolic testing in subgroups of children with autism

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QUESTION: What evidence supports practice parameters for the surveillance, screening, and diagnosis of children with autism?

Data sources

A panel of experts in autism was convened. Studies in all languages were identified by searching Medline and PsycINFO using the terms autistic, autism, and pervasive; books recommended by members of the panel were also reviewed.

Study selection

Studies were selected if they were published since 1990, were review papers or meta-analyses developed for DSM-IV, or were included in the overview of the National Institutes of Health State of the Science Conference on Autism in 1995.

Data extraction

Studies were assessed for the strength of their evidence: Class I: prospective studies with a description of the study population, inclusion and exclusion criteria specified, adequate sample size; interpretations of evaluations done blinded to outcome; and a satisfactory description of …

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