Characteristics of Referral, Diagnosis and Management for Autism Spectrum Disorders in Northern Greece
Papageorgiou V., Vogindroukas I., Vostanis P., (2002), Characteristics of Referral, Diagnosis and Management for Autism Spectrum Disorders in Northern Greece, στο περιοδικό Good Autism Practice, bild publications 3,2.
This paper presents the characteristics of referral, diagnosis and intervention of 207 children with autism spectrum disorders referred to an outpatient child and adolescent mental health service in Northern Greece. The current situation concerning autism in this country and the assessment and intervention process in the clinic are briefly described. Analysis of the data showed a broad range of referrers, with one third being self-referrals (34.3%). Most of the subjects (58.9%) had been previously assessed by a number of professionals and received up to six different diagnoses, while 5.8% of the sample had not been given any diagnosis. At the first assessment, an autistic spectrum disorder or autistic features were diagnosed in 37.2% of the subjects. A combination of speech and language and occupational therapy were the most common therapeutic interventions carried out in private practice (38.1%), while 37.2% of the subjects were not attending school or any educational program. The characteristics of this clinical sample are discussed in the context of literature from western countries, and in relation to the need for a network of specialized services for diagnosis, assessment and interventions for children and young people with autism.