Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder is characterized by difficulty with social communication and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interest, or activities. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th ed., created an umbrella diagnosis that includes several previously separate conditions: autistic disorder, Asperger syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified. There is insufficient evidence to recommend screening for autism spectrum disorder in children 18 to 30 months of age in whom the disorder is not suspected; however, there is a growing body of evidence that early intensive behavioral intervention based on applied behavior analysis improves cognitive ability, language, and adaptive skills. Therefore, early identification of autism spectrum disorder is important, and experts recommend the use of a validated screening tool at 18- and 24-month well-child visits. Autism spectrum disorder patients can be seen by pediatric neurologist or child neurologist with special expertise in autism treatment. Dr Hamza Alsayouf consultant child neurologist in Dubai and Abu Dhabi , has huge patients with autism spectrum disorder. Along with supportive therapies he uses medication to help treat such cases with variable success. Medications can be used as adjunctive treatment for maladaptive behaviors and comorbid psychiatric conditions, but there is no single medical therapy that is effective for all symptoms of autism spectrum disorder. Prognosis is heavily affected by the severity of diagnosis and the presence of intellectual disability. Children with optimal outcomes receive earlier and more intensive behavioral interventions. Medications once used in adjunct with therapies can add great benefit specially in early stages of the disease. Autism was first described by psychiatrist Leo Kanner in 1943 as a disorder in children who had problems relating to others and a high sensitivity to changes in their environment. Although it appeared to be a rare disorder at that time, the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) steadily increased. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) monitored network of 11 locations has described an autism prevalence of one in 68 children, with a male-to-female ratio of 4.5-to-1. Autism patients in Dubai, Abu Dhabi or UAE follow the same incidence like USA. These data correlate with other studies across multiple nations and widely separated locations. The increase in ASD prevalence may be partially attributed to the evolving diagnostic criteria prior to the publication of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th ed. (DSM-5), an increase in social awareness, and mandatory availability of treatments. Additionally, school-aged children with higher functioning are being diagnosed with previously unrecognized ASD. In 2013, DSM-5 created the umbrella diagnosis of ASD, consolidating four previously separate disorders: autistic disorder, Asperger syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified. Pediatric neurologist or child neurologist in Dubai and Abu Dhabi can manage patients with ASD especially if they have expertise in this field.

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