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Autism Spectrum Disorders
Research shows that there is an increased chance of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in children with Duchenne. Children with ASD have severe problems in language development, social interactions, and restricted interests or repetitive behaviors. There may be a number of children who have mild symptoms or problems in these areas, but who are not severe enough to really qualify for a diagnosis of ASD. Problems with communication skills and socialization appear to be the most common features of ASD in children with Duchenne, but problems in these areas can also be due to other factors (e.g. ADHD, depression/anxiety, etc.), so it is necessary to have a careful evaluation.
Incidence of autism in Duchenne, although rare, does occur, and can cause behaviors, which include:
Duchenne patients with autism are less likely, however, to have:
In addition, some autistic behaviors in children with Duchenne may improve with age, including:
Children who are suspected of having an ASD or who have features associated with ASD should be assessed by a mental health or behavior professional such as a psychologist, psychiatrist, neurologist, or developmental pediatrician.
There are several specific interventions designed for children with an ASD. The most commonly recognized of these interventions include Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Floortime, and TEACCH. Other interventions are usually problem-focused, and designed to address specific problem areas.
Additional information on interventions for specific aspects of ASD’s can be found in other sections of the site (in particular the Language; Oppositional and Aggressive Behavior; Sensory Processing Disorder; Obsessive-Compulsive Behaviors; Executive Functioning; and Social Interactions sections).
Speak to your doctor about any concerns you may have, and use our Community Site to seek out and share information relevant to your son’s condition.
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