Early identification of autistic features in any child is important because there is potential for improvement by means of interventional, educational, or rehabilitative programs. Appropriate diagnosis of autism requires a dual-level approach—routine developmental surveillance and screening, and diagnosis and evaluation of autism. The historical emergence of a model of services for children with autism in Hong Kong arose because of increasing awareness, increasing prevalence, and pressure from parents and support groups. The university-based Autism Research Program at the University of Hong Kong serves as an example of an integrated center for research, teaching, and training in autism. The period from 1960 to 2004 is reviewed.