Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Quality Improvement Project

Toddlers playing at schoolThis project extended the Developmental and Autism Screening in primary care practice in Vermont by identifying practices in need of training and developing a training module to introduce the scientific and national guidelines that support age-appropriate developmental and autism screening. 


  • Support the adoption of best-practices around developmental and autism screening in the primary care setting by surveying current practices, developing a training model, and providing quality improvement training to between 35-40 primary care practices.
  • Develop an ASD algorithm for VT Medical Homes to prepare Medical Homes and families for how to manage the process from positive screen to diagnosis.

Accomplishments of the ASD QI Project:

  • The proportion of children with one or more developmental screens at recommended screening visits increased from 21% to 51% during the QI intervention period.
  • Significant improvements in the proportion of families receiving one or more types of psychosocial screening occurred for domestic violence, substance abuse, and tobacco exposure.
  • Developmental screening rates at the 24 month visit increased an average of 38% among the 22 practices focusing on this improvement goal.
  • Autism screening rates at the 18 month visit increased an average of 42% among the 24 practices identifying this as a quality improvement goal.

Project Contact

Sara Barry, MPH