Autism and Neurodiversity in Primary Care

Free Self-Paced Online Program

CIRCA has partnered with the UBC CPD (Continuing Professional Development) in the Faculty of Medicine to create a program for primary care providers on autism and neurodiversity filled with useful activities and videos.

This program includes two interactive modules designed to assist primary care providers to learn about the unique needs of their autistic patients and gain practical and useful strategies to adapt their practice to better serve this population.

This program is FREE and is available to anyone, anywhere! You do not have to be a primary care provider to take advantage of this learning opportunity.

Some components of the program are specific to British Columbia, Canada; however, the majority of the content is relevant to primary care practice in any location.

Each module also includes supplemental resources that have been vetted by UBC CPD and CIRCA for quality assurance.

You can start and stop the modules at any time and the platform will remember where you left off. You will also have continued access to each module to use as an ongoing resource.

What are the Module Topics?

There are two modules in the program. It is recommended that the learner take Module 1 prior to taking Module 2.

  • This module consists of 4 lessons and focuses on learning how to recognize autism from infancy to adulthood and when and how to refer for further assessment if needed.
  • The topics of the 4 lessons are:
    1. Fundamentals of Autism
    2. Surveillance and Screening
    3. Diagnostic Pathways
    4. Neurodiversity
  • Learning Objectives: After completing module 1, the learner will be able to:
    • Understand the fundamentals of autism including the diagnostic definition and core features
    • Recognize indicators of autism across the lifespan
    • Learn about standard developmental and screening measures that can complement your observations
    • Learn why early referral for assessment for diagnosis is important and that referrals can occur across the lifespan
    • Identify all components of the diagnostic pathway in British Columbia, Canada for children, youth, and adults; and
    • Define neurodiversity and understand the importance of strength-based language in reducing discrimination and providing quality care.
  • This module takes approximately 2-hours to complete and the learner can earn up to 2.0 Mainpro+ Assessment credits

  • This module consists of 7 lessons and focuses on the ongoing primary care management of autistic and neurodivergent patients from infancy to adulthood.
  • The topics of the 7 lessons are:
  1. Evidence Based Interventions
  2. Complementary and Alternative Treatments
  3. The BC Service System
  4. Co-occurring Conditions
  5. Medical Management for Autistic Individuals
  6. Unusual or Distressed Behaviours: What You Need to Know
  7. Creating an Inclusive Medical Environment
  • Learning Objectives: After completing module 2, the learner will be able to:
    • Understand current best practice interventions to support autistic individuals across the age ranges (preschool, school age, adolescents, and adults)
    • Learn about Complementary and Alternative Treatments (CAT) in order to effectively advise and guide patients to better understand what may or may not work for each individual
    • Learn about the range of public and community-based services available to autistic individuals in BC
    • Learn the common co-occurring conditions typically associated with autism and their impact
    • Learn about unusual and distressed behaviour and the non-pharmacological and pharmacological options to care
    • Learn about preventative and proactive care strategies; what to monitor; and etiological testing and treatment options for associated medical conditions; and
    • Learn how to create an inclusive medical environment.
  • This module takes approximately 3.5 hours to complete and the learner can earn up to 3.5 Mainpro+ Assessment credits


1. Who can take this program?

There are no restrictions as to who can register for the program. It is available for FREE to anyone interested in better understanding autism in primary care.

2. What is the time commitment?

The total time commitment for the program is 5.5 hours, but the time commitment for each module will vary (see individual module listings, above). You can start and stop the modules at any time and the platform will remember where you left off. You will also have continued access to each module to use as an ongoing resource

3. Do the modules need to be taken consecutively and all together?

The modules can be taken separately and not consecutively if desired, but it is highly recommended to take Module 1 before 2.

4. Is there a deadline to register?

No, the program will be available on an ongoing basis so you can register at any time.

5. Trouble Registering? Where can I get help with the Canvas CPE registration process?

Please direct all technical questions to

6. What platform is used?

The program is hosted on Moodle and Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Safari browsers are recommended for the best viewing and interactive experience.

7. Is there a recognition of achievement?

Yes. A PDF certificate of completion will automatically be sent to your email address one-hour after you complete all course lessons and the post-course evaluation survey.