Promoting Specialized Care for Autism Spectrum Disorder
Business, Transforming Communities
World Autism Month is recognized in April as organizations highlight the continuing need for awareness, acceptance, and support of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD is a complex developmental condition characterized by deficiency in social interaction, communication skills, and the occurrence of restricted, repetitive patterns in activities, interests, or behaviors. As the prevalence of ASD continues to grow, creating an increased demand for specialized treatment, Centene's innovative solutions can help improve the lives of affected individuals, as well as the lives of their families.
Centene is dedicated to those diagnosed with ASD, supporting caregivers, and mitigating barriers so all can receive the highest-quality care. A recent white paper from Centene Advanced Behavioral Health outlines evidence-based best practices and recommendations for advancing care for those with ASD. Recommendations focus on three main areas:
Identification: Early identification of ASD is critical. Consistent, standard identification processes that are mindful of health disparities can help support better identification. Screenings that occur during well child visits and parent education regarding developmental milestones are an important component to early identification. The CDC's "Learn the Signs. Act Early" program provides free resources to help families monitor developmental milestones and recognize signs of developmental concerns, including ASD.
Treatment: While there is no cure for ASD, there are a variety of interventions that have been shown to greatly improve individuals' quality of life. Treatment options are highly variable based on the individual and providers play a key role in developing care plans and monitoring progress and outcomes. Individuals with ASD often experience a higher prevalence of physical comorbidities making preventative care an important component of ongoing care.
Federal and state policy: Centene strongly supports and encourages the use of evidence-based practices in the treatment of ASD, understanding that early diagnosis and treatment can improve quality of live for those living with ASD and decrease long-term costs for families and our country. As we continue to address disparities in healthcare, providers, insurers, and government entities must also continue efforts to ensure early, timely, and equitable enrollment in services.
As children with ASD age into adulthood, additional training for employment and independent living can foster community engagement. Since 2017, Centene has co-managed the Project SEARCH program with Easterseals Midwest to provide job training for young adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities, further diversifying our talent pipeline.
By addressing disparities, implementing best practices, and standardizing outcomes, Centene ensures those with ASD receive high-quality care throughout their lives. Learn more about how Centene raises awareness of persistent challenges in our communities while increasing access to care.