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Project: Providing training to community pediatricians in the management of children with autism spectrum disorder

Centre for Leadership in Child Development

Project: Providing training to community pediatricians in the management of children with autism spectrum disorder


  • Evdokia Anagnostou, MD
  • Sharon Smile, MD
  • Shelly Weiss, MD
  • Cathy Petta, RN
  • Peggy Marcon, MD
  • Daniel Gorman, MD
  • Glenn Berall, MD
  • Pam Green, NP
  • Julie Chiba Branson, Research Coordinator
  • Salina Eldon, Research Coordinator

What was this study about?

This project aimed to improve the capacity of community pediatricians to prescribe psychotropic medications and manage issues related to sleep, feeding and gastrointestinal distress in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

What did we do?

The group offered full day training for 35 community pediatricians on March 6, 2015 (Phase 1). Information on medical and pharmacological issues in ASD and training were provided to community pediatricians.

  • The objective of the training was to increase community paediatrician’s confidence in the medical care of children with ASD.
  • We are now providing ongoing mentoring over the phone to the physicians who attended the training, through discussion of specific cases as needed.
  • We will continue to evaluate the program through questionnaires that will be distributed to the pediatricians every 6 months.
  • The questionnaire will assess confidence in medically managing children with ASD, re-evaluation of barriers, and number of children served in their practices with ASD and medical issues.

What did we learn?

  • The evaluation of the workshop and training was extremely positive. We will continue to evaluate confidence and performance of pediatricians for the next year.
  • There is a lot of demand by paediatricians for information and training on how to better manage children with ASD in the community.

Next steps

Results at all 3 stages will be communicated to both the advisory committee of pediatricians as well as the participants through in person meetings, email communications and a final letter to all.

Presentation of the work at pediatric meetings in Ontario and potentially national meetings will take place after completion of the last milestone. We anticipate a publication upon completion as well.