Developmental Disability Psychiatry Training - Not enough

Page 1 of 1 [ 5 posts ] 


User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 66
Gender: Male
Posts: 32,864
Location: Long Island, New York

13 Mar 2023, 12:54 pm

Study Finds Psychiatry Training On Developmental Disabilities ‘Insufficient’

Psychiatrists are often some of the main providers of care for people with autism and intellectual disability, but new research finds that many of these specialists have little training to meet the needs of this population.

The directors of psychiatry residency programs across the country report that their trainees receive relatively few hours per year of training in autism and intellectual disability and are exposed to a limited number of patients with these conditions.

The findings published recently in the journal Autism come from a study based on surveys of 78 leaders at 83 accredited psychiatry training programs in 2019. They included 46 programs focused on child and adolescent psychiatry, 33 for general psychiatry residents and two pediatric programs.

Nearly half of child and adolescent psychiatry programs reported that trainees received four to six lecture hours per year on autism. About a third said residents saw 11 to 20 outpatients on the spectrum per year and a similar number of inpatients with the conditions, while trainees in most remaining programs saw fewer.

Residents in general psychiatry programs had even less exposure to training on autism or patients with such diagnoses, the study found.

Intellectual disability training for child and adolescent as well as general psychiatry programs most often involved one to three lecture hours per year. About 40% of psychiatry residents in both types of programs saw one to five outpatients per year, but the number of inpatients varied by specialty.

Limited knowledge of autism and intellectual disability has consequences, the authors of the latest study note, leading psychiatrists to rely overly on medication and physical restraint while underutilizing behavioral therapies.

Deficits in training may be associated with diminished future interest in serving these patients, perpetuating significant barriers to mental health care in ASD/ID,” concluded Natasha Marrus, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Washington University School of Medicine, and her colleagues.

No kidding

Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


User avatar

Joined: 19 Nov 2017
Age: 69
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,207

13 Mar 2023, 2:12 pm

Where I live, the psychiatrists who treat young clients with autism or developmental disabilities - and adults for that matter - is just to add medications like seroquel, etc. I've accompanied some of my clients and parents to visits with psychiatrists and found none were really interested in doing anything else.

The river is the melody
And sky is the refrain
- Gordon Lightfoot


Joined: 14 Oct 2021
Age: 63
Gender: Male
Posts: 839
Location: Buffalo, NY

13 Mar 2023, 3:34 pm

My psychiatrist prescribes trazadone and wellbutrin, which i was taking for anxiety and desppresion for years before my ASD diagnosis. i don't ask him for autism meds, and he doesn't offer them.

Emu Egg
Emu Egg

Joined: 15 Mar 2023
Age: 32
Gender: Female
Posts: 4
Location: Canada

15 Mar 2023, 12:52 pm

I have been in both Child & Youth development, and Psychology classes at multiple universities in my degrees, and the education on Autism is absolutely ridiculous. Ancient bigoted ideas, recycled through bad citations. It's awful.


User avatar

Joined: 23 Feb 2020
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,530
Location: Alpena MI

17 Mar 2023, 7:01 am

a lot of studies done are "duh" sort of things, many performed as part of fulfilling requirements for Doctoral degrees, small number studies can be extraordinarily meaningless but misleading to the public when results are published.

In this case, "Duh" effect or not, the more these sorts of articles/studies point out the huge changes in understanding autism and need for instituting more training for professionals of the future,, they are very welcome!


"Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.” Samuel Johnson