child screening programme


This recommendation has been archived and is no longer regularly reviewed by the UK NSC.

Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) is a term for a group of disorders, which includes autism and Asperger syndrome. ASD affects how a person communicates with others. It also affects how a person relates to the world around them. The word ‘spectrum’ is used because the conditions affect different people in different ways. Those with autism may also have a learning disability.

Read more about autism on the NHS website.

This condition has been archived because the UK NSC has not found enough published information to support a recommendation for screening after reviewing the evidence on several occasions.

Screening for autism is not recommended because:

  • there is not currently a test that is good enough for screening the general population
  • it is not known if screening would improve long term outcomes for children with autism

After reviewing the evidence for population screening for autism on several occasions, the UK NSC recommended not to do another routine evidence review and to archive this topic.

The UK NSC considers autism an important health issue and, in keeping with consultation responses, recognises the value of increasing awareness of the condition through training and the educational sector. However, this falls outside the remit of the committee.

The UK NSC will reopen this topic if new evidence becomes available that is likely to have a significant effect on the recommendation. Stakeholders can also submit an annual call proposal for the UK NSC to reopen this topic if new evidence becomes available.