Important Information for your Family Doctor

Nova Scotians with a Developmental Disability or Autism: Update on Youth
by Kristie McAllister, February 2013

For adults (16 years and older) with a developmental disorder and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), who are transitioning out of pediatric care and into the adult health care system, good news!

We are members of an advisory team who work with the Dalhousie Family Medicine Support Program for Primary Care to Adults with Developmental Disabilities. Our vision is that “all adults living with developmental disabilities or ASD in Nova Scotia have access to appropriate and comprehensive health care throughout their lives”.

Doctors Nova Scotia and the Department of Health & Wellness recognize in recent MSI fee schedule changes that family physicians need more time to provide quality health care to adults with developmental disabilities and/or ASD. New billing codes were approved to permit longer health care visits and complete exams. New fees can be applied to an office, hospital, home or residential care visit. Be sure to discuss this with your doctor on your next visit. Help us spread the word.

Patients and families can also improve service delivery by reviewing health issues they can discuss with their family physicians such as; activity levels, mobility, pain and distress, sleeping and eating patterns and mood and behaviour changes. Adult patients, their advocates and family physicians may also want to take advantage of valuable resources available at From the home page, click on Primary Care where you will see Guidelines for Primary Care Providers and Tools for Care providers. This section includes Health Watch tables for specific syndromes. One for Autism Spectrum Disorders is soon to be added.

Sometimes access to health care is a matter of having in hand accurate and useful information. If you have any questions you may contact:
Ian Sutherland (Family Advisory Team) at or
Brian Hennen (Dal. Fam. Med.) at .

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