The UK NSC recommendation on Autism screening in children (currently under review)


This recommendation is currently being reviewed as part of the UK NSC's regular review cycle of all policies.

The review process began in Jun 2019.

Recommendation Systematic population screening programme not recommended
Key downloads

Find general information about population health screening.

Why is screening not recommended by UK NSC?

Screening for autism is not recommended. This is 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
  • there is not an established approach to screening which is acceptable to parents

More about Autism

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 NHS UK


The British Psychological Society
Faculty of Public Health
Institute of Child Health
The National Autistic Society
Royal College of General Practitioners
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
Royal College of Physicians
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
Royal College of Psychiatrists

The stakeholder groups will be involved when the recommendation is next reviewed. If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us. More information for stakeholders can be found in appendix C of the UK NSC evidence review process.

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