Dr. Muttiah is a Speech-Language Pathologist with 15 years of clinical and research experience. She is a senior lecturer at the Department of Disability Studies, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. Her primary research interests are children with significant communication difficulties who would require augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) methods to communicate. The focus of her research has been looking at individuals with complex communication needs living in low-and middle-income (LAMI) countries and effective service delivery in such contexts.
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a group of developmental disabilities that impact children and adults globally. The majority of children diagnosed with ASD live in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). There is, however, inadequate understanding of the prevalence, screening, diagnosis and treatment for these children in LMICs. As most of the current evidence comes from high-income countries, this narrative review will focus specifically on children with ASD living in Sri Lanka, a lower-middle-income country. It will discuss the prevalence of ASD, current screening and diagnostic assessments, and services available for these children, with a focus on speech therapy and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).