Health Visitors’ Perceptions of their Role in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Last Updated: 22 Mar 2021
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The discussion in the article mainly revolves and centers in two occurring forces particularly ASD and Health Visitors. The relationships being analyzed in these two topic areas are the progressively changing role of the health visitors towards the patient care of ASD cases. The center of study primarily is in England, United Kingdom, wherein the incident is clearly occurring and manifesting.

Health visitors are the local health works that are in charge for the surveillance of these ASD patients and not mainly on public health. However, the argument arrives in the situation since this role is being interchanged gradually. The roles of health visitors over these ASD patients are important and boundaries should be set in order to avoid inappropriate practice.

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a group disorder that manifest signs and symptoms related to the impairments of social communication and social imagination, with interest, behavior and activity constraints. Recently, there has been an increase in the prevalence rate of ASD specifically 1% of the child population or 116 per 10,000 children. The detection and surveillance of such conditions are part of the health visitor’s role.

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They are trained in order to detect such occurrence and help aid for those families that confronts the disorder dilemma. Health visitors act as part of the diagnostic team, and have a role of parent supporter. However, these roles are being disregarded because the common notion that health visitor’s job only revolves in referral system.

Family-oriented type of role manifests in the health visitors and this serves as their guidelines in performing their tasks. However, a change in role towards public-oriented role is being issued. The developmental surveillance should function hence, these health visitors are requesting for trainings and developmental programs for their profession expansion.

Current Treatments in Autism: Examining Scientific Evidence and Clinical Implications

The condition of autism is under the umbrella of ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder, and not entirely the disorder itself. Autism is characterized by the impairment in social interaction, imaginative play and language development. The etiological factor of this disorder, however, is still unclear.

Many experts suggest that it is a neurological impairment enveloping the imbalance production in neurotransmitters, particularly serotonin. Other symptoms that are associated in this disorder are the presence of poor eye contact, ritualistic behavior, self-stimulating or abusive behaviors such as hand flapping, rocking or finger licking and lastly, absence of imaginative play.

The diagnostic procedures of Autism condition lies in the behavioral manifestation of the patient. Such diagnosis can be depressive for families to receive since, Autism disorder do not have any direct cure as of now. However, there are treatment courses that are available for this type of disorder.

Behavioral treatment is one of the treatment procedures that base their concepts on learning theory and behavioral analysis. The treatment procedure specifically targets the behavior of the individual since; this is where the manifestations arise. The intervention proposed aims to modify these behavioral patterns.

Another treatment course is through educational and communication interventions. This intervention involves Project TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication-Handicapped Children), PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) and Greenp's Developmental Approach. Each treatment programs focus on developmental and cognitive functioning of the child. There are also other forms of treatment, pharmacologic, social interaction modification, and health promotion interventions.

Parent Education for Autism: Issues in Providing Services at a Distance

Autism is a condition characterized by severe cognitive impairments leading to social interaction deficit, impairment in language and absence of imaginative play. These three symptoms are the primary indicators of Autism, and this disorder is under the umbrella of ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder. The condition of Autism is known to have idiopathic conditions or unknown etiologies hence, direct treatments are not available. Fortunately, there are therapies that reduce the manifestations of behavioral signs and symptoms. Moreover, there are pharmacological therapies that aids in the management of the disorder.

Due to the cognitive, social and behavioral deficits of these children, they are at risk of developing various threats. The article further elaborates the condition of Autism, mainly focusing on the three involved dimensions. Since autistic patients have impaired social interactions, their expression of their needs and concerns has to be sensed critically by the parents or the responsible supervisors. This kind of scenario implicates stress and other associated emotions to the family placing them under various family risk factors.

In order to resolve such case, interventions have been developed in order to aid to the indirect problems under the disorder. The basis of these interventions is the behavioral principles associated in the disorder itself. Positive behavioral support, applied behavioral analysis and critical behavioral assessment are the concepts involved in the intervention procedures.

Parents are the main access point for Autism behavioral interventions, hence; they are required to be aware of the possible treatment and intervention procedures that can be done with their patients. Parent education about the condition of Autism is stressed in order for the parents to be familiar with the behavioral conditions of their children, and be able to implement the appropriate intervention for such case.


  1. Halpin, J., & Barbara, N. (2007, January 1). Health visitors' perceptions of their role in autism spectrum disorder. Community Practitioner.
  2. Harrison, J. E. (2002, April 1). Current treatments in autism: examining scientific evidence and clinical implications. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing.
  3. Symon, J. B. (2001, June 22). Parent Education for Autism: Issues in Providing Services at a Distance. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions.

Cite this Page

Health Visitors’ Perceptions of their Role in Autism Spectrum Disorder. (2017, May 26). Retrieved from

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