The CER-II Specialized Rehabilitation Center is a SUS service that works interdisciplinarly in the assessment and rehabilitation of people with disabilities, including the population with autism. This research aimed to characterize the profile of children with suspected autistic spectrum disorder treated by a CER-II from southern Brazil, to survey sources, referral reasons, socio-demographic characteristics, psychometric instruments used in the assessments and the levels of diagnosis received. This retrospective, descriptive and exploratory-quantitative documentary study assessed 685 medical records of users aged 0 to 12 years old who were evaluated between 2014 and December 2017. The results showed that the average age of the sample is 5.47 years; 83.8% are male, 42% are in kindergarten and 59.7% are part of a nuclear family. The signs that most motivated referrals were language deficits (58.8%) and externalizing behaviors (56.9%); 30.1% of the sample had a confirmed ASD diagnosis and the most used instrument was the ABC (70.5%). It is observed the effectiveness of the application of the service proposed by this public policy, highlighting the need for qualified instruments for diagnostic evaluation and continuing training for professionals who work in it.
autism; children; SUS