Autism spectrum disorder: Status of primary care in China

Biosci Trends. 2022 May 17;16(2):172-175. doi: 10.5582/bst.2022.01093. Epub 2022 Mar 12.


Primary care serves as the cornerstone to ensure positive health outcomes for diseases. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has attracted more attention as a lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder with a prevalence that is increasing yearly. Although the demand for primary care for ASD is rapidly expanding, there are many challenges that need to be faced. Here, the current status of primary care for ASD in China is described. i) Identification of and care for ASD includes pre-diagnosis, diagnosis and evaluation, and treatment; the complexity of the disease and the lack of public understanding increase delays in diagnosis and treatment. ii) Most instruments, which are indispensable for diagnosing and evaluating ASD, are of foreign origin. iii) Treatments for ASD are based on mainstream Western interventions with complementary approaches. iv) The scale of rehabilitation and educational institutions has gradually grown and their expertise has gradually increased but rehabilitation costs are relatively high.

Keywords: autism spectrum disorder; diagnosis; primary care; treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder* / diagnosis
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder* / epidemiology
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder* / therapy
  • China / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Primary Health Care