Objective: The primary purpose of this study is to better understand current practices in the assessment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by neuropsychologists. Methods: A 21-item survey regarding ASD assessment beliefs and practices was sent via email through neuropsychology listservs. The survey was accessed by 445 licensed psychologists who identified as neuropsychologists. A total of 367 surveys were deemed usable for data analysis. Descriptive statistics were used to characterize the full sample. Exploratory analyses were conducted between groups of interest, including primary population served (pediatric, adult, or lifespan), primary practice setting (medical center vs. private practice) and years in practice (< 5 years, 5 to 14 years, or 15+ years). Results: Respondents were well-distributed across age range, years in practice, primary practice setting, and primary practice location. Almost all respondents (most of whom self-identified as pediatric-focused clinicians) believe that neuropsychologists should be able to competently rule in or out ASD and most received training in ASD assessment. Approximately 40% of respondents endorsed wanting more training in ASD assessment to increase their competence and confidence in making this differential diagnosis. Minimal differences in ASD beliefs and assessment practices were seen across years of practice or primary practice setting. Pediatric and lifespan clinicians had similar experience with ASD assessment practices, and both generally differed from adult clinicians. Conclusions: Our findings suggest many respondents desire further specialty ASD training for neuropsychologists. Additionally, the large majority of respondents indicated that future neuropsychologists should receive training in ASD assessment during graduate school, internship and/or post-doctoral fellowship.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health