What Every Audiologist Needs to Know About Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

Currently estimates by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention indicate that 1 in 68 children are identified as having an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Based on these demographics, audiologists are certainly involved in the evaluation and treatment of children with ASD and their families. In some cases, the audiologist will be the first professional to evaluate a child with ASD due to initial concerns regarding communication. In other cases, the audiologist will be involved in providing information regarding about hearing and how this impacts the child’s communication abilities. Dual diagnosis of hearing loss and ASD must also be considered. This session is designed to address the major aspects of working with children with ASD, with a focus on providing practical suggestions with this population. A brief overview of current diagnostic criteria will be provided. Myths and facts regarding hearing and listening behaviors will be discussed and evidenced based research will be provided to support clinical approaches. Specific approaches that will enhance the amount information that is obtained during the assessment will be presented. Treatment recommendations will be discussed. Research on parental perceptions regarding hearing loss and ASD will be presented to help guide counseling with this population.

Learning objectives:

  1. List current diagnostic criteria for ASD and describe how these criteria may impact audiologic assessment of children
  2. Describe modifications that will maximize the ability to obtain accurate audiologic data in children with ASD
  3. Discuss audiologic treatment criteria and options for children with ASD