Diagnostic frameworks in current Canadian educational systems.

Canadian provincial/territorial ministries of education are tasked with development of policies pertaining to how students with exceptional learning needs are identified and supported within their mandated educational settings. Although not necessary, these efforts often involve the provision of a formal clinical diagnosis and subsequent identification of supports and intervention by psychologists. Current diagnostic frameworks and conceptualizations underwent revision in 2013 with the publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition; however, the translation of these modifications to policymakers is often delayed and results in a disconnect between clinical practice and educational policies that govern student support. This paper will explore this issue via a focus on Autism Spectrum Disorder and how it is currently conceptualized in each Canadian province’s/territory’s policy documents. The purpose of this paper is to promote uptake of current clinical conceptualizations to educational decision makers in a position to enhance care afforded to students in their system. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)