Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by early-onset socialization and communication difficulties associated with restricted interests and behavioral rigidities. Recent epidemiologic studies show that 1 in 68 children has autism. This complex condition is among the least-understood developmental disorders of childhood but there is a growing body of research on ASD, making it critically important that clinicians are well informed about these conditions. Recent changes in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition, regarding ASD criteria can affect how the diagnosis is made. Various comorbidities can have a huge impact on assessment and management. There are various behavioral and pharmacologic strategies focusing on cluster symptoms of hyperactivity/inattention, irritability, aggression, self-injurious behaviors, and ritualistic behaviors. In the past few years, the US Food and Drug Administration has approved psychotropic medications for treating irritability associated with autism. Speech and language assessment and interventions, parent education, and appropriate educational programs are integral parts of management.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health