From interdisciplinary to integrated care of the child with autism: the essential role for a code of ethics

J Autism Dev Disord. 2012 Dec;42(12):2729-38. doi: 10.1007/s10803-012-1530-z.


To address the developmental deficits of children with autism, several disciplines have come to the forefront within intervention programs. These are speech-pathologists, psychologists/counselors, occupational-therapists/physical-therapists, special-education consultants, behavior analysts, and physicians/medical personnel. As the field of autism therapy moves toward a more comprehensive, holistic and interdisciplinary model, the complexity of an interdisciplinary service delivery model could pose significant challenges. The difficulty of carrying out this approach could lead to sub-par programs being established. With integration among the disciplines a necessity, the ethical principles and language common to all the contributing disciplines is argued as the appropriate integrating force. An outline of these principles and a draft code of ethics are offered to introduce high standards and expectations for all participating in such a program.

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / therapy*
  • Child
  • Codes of Ethics*
  • Education, Special / ethics*
  • Humans
  • Patient Care Team / ethics*