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AUTISM

Autism is a condition manifests in early childhood and is characterized by qualitative abnormalities in social interactions, markedly aberrant communication skills, and restricted repetitive behaviors, and activities. Prognosis of autism is highly correlated with their IQ. High functioning patients may live independently while low functioning may never.

Symptoms

  • Developmental delay
  • Mental retardation
  • Impairment in making friends
  • No or abnormal social play
  • Impaired language and non verbal commuication
  • Absent social smile
  • Lack of eye to eye contact
  • Lack of attachment to parents
  • Absence of fear in danger
  • Repetitive and stereotyped behavior

Causes

Although the etiology is not known yet, it is hypothesized that genetic abnormalities, birth complications, exposure to toxic agents and infections play role in causation.

Diagnosis

: Autism is diagnosed when the child has deficits in social communication and social interaction and restricted repetitive behaviors, interest and activities.

Treatment

  • Behavior therapy: therapy aimed at encouraging interpersonal interactions, self care skills, learning new things, speech therapy etc.
  • Psychotherapy: parental counseling and supportive psychotherapy
  • Drug therapy:   Risperidone, haloperidol SSRI(fluoxetine,citalopram), amphetamines, imipramine etc