Yet Unparalleled To Down Syndrome
Malaysians including Indians are still blur about Autism and Down Syndrome. How to diagnose Autism? Let’s have a glance.
Diagnosis is based on behavior, not the cause or mechanism. Under the DSM-5, autism is characterized by persistent deficits in social communication and interaction across multiple contexts, as well as restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities. These deficits are present in early childhood, typically before age three, and lead to clinically significant functional impairment. Sample symptoms include lack of social or emotional reciprocity, stereotyped and repetitive use of language or idiosyncratic language, and persistent preoccupation with unusual objects. The disturbance must not be better accounted for by Rett syndrome, intellectual disability or global developmental delay. ICD-10 uses essentially the same definition.
Several diagnostic instruments are available. Two are commonly used in autism research: the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) is a semi structured parent interview, and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) uses observation and interaction with the child. The Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) is used widely in clinical environments to assess severity of autism based on observation of children.
A pediatrician commonly performs a preliminary investigation by taking developmental history and physically examining the child. If warranted, diagnosis and evaluations are conducted with help from ASD specialists, observing and assessing cognitive, communication, family, and other factors using standardized tools, and taking into account any associated medical conditions.
A pediatric neuropsychologist is often asked to assess behavior and cognitive skills, both to aid diagnosis and to help recommend educational interventions. A differential diagnosis for ASD at this stage might also consider intellectual disability, hearing impairment, and an impairment such as Landau–Kleffner syndrome. The presence of autism can make it harder to diagnose coexisting psychiatric disorders such as depression.
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