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Doctor insights on: Autism

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Dr. Johanna Fricke
643 doctors shared insights

Autism (Overview)

A neurodevelopmental disorder affecting three areas: abnormal socialization, communication, and restricted interests with repetitive patterns of behavior. It is usually detected in the first two years of life. Cause is unknown but strong evidence points to an interplay between genetic and environmental factors.


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Should we be concerned over changing definitions of autism?

Should we be concerned over changing definitions of autism?

Maybe: Changes in diagnostic categorization have large implications for disability determinations, school eligibility for services, treatment, health care insurance, health costs, and public policy, so it certainly is not trivial. There has been controversy about this and other changes in dsm-v, but there will be more specific criteria which is needed and aovidance of overdiagnosis. ...Read more

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Dr. Johanna Fricke
643 doctors shared insights

Autism (Overview)

A neurodevelopmental disorder affecting three areas: abnormal socialization, communication, and restricted interests with repetitive patterns of behavior. It is usually detected in the first two years of life. Cause is unknown but strong evidence points to an interplay between genetic and environmental factors.


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How does autism affect the brain?

How does autism affect the brain?

No one knows: Autism is defined as a group of symptoms. They probably have many causes. Although there are several good theories and some studies that show brain changes in autistic people at this point no one knows the answer to your question. ...Read more

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Is synesthesia a symptom of autism?

Is synesthesia a symptom of autism?

No: Synesthesia--the cross-over of one sense to another (touch to visual, e.g.) has been reported to be possibly more prevalent in high-functioning individuals with autism. However, there is no evidence to suggest that it is an underlying cause of autism itself. It may help to "explain" some savant abilities, although that remains to be seen. ...Read more

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What are the symptoms of autism?

What are the symptoms of autism?

ASD: Due to wide range of symptoms, in 2013 , it is called autism spectrum disorder. Early diagnosis is important. It can help make gains in language and social skills. ASD affects mainly 3 different areas.
Social interaction, communication (verbal and nonverbal), behaviors and interests. Please see a good child developmental pediatric specialist. ...Read more

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What are the beginning signs of autism? What are things to look for in young children?

Discuss with your dr: Autism may begin to show signs as early as 6 months; it's characterized by:
-impaired social interaction (less cuddly, less eye contact, harder to soothe)
-delayed communication (delayed speech, unusual gestures)
-restricted interests/repetitive behavior (echolalia, ritualistic behavior, unusual movements)
it's worth mentioning your concern to your child's dr, as early intervention may help. ...Read more

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Could an autism diagnosis be wrong? Many other professionals are questioning the dx. Also, he did not qualify for the preschool disability program.

Not uncommon: Sometimes we have to observe a child in different ways. Our neuropsychologist sees patients first & gets the best out of them on standardized tests. Then they see me (db pede) when they're tired, but they've had a snack. With parental permission, i push the buttons that bring out autistic behaviors, if there. Atypicality that we see that way may not fulfill school eligibility guidelines. ...Read more

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I just heard kinect can help diagnose autism. Are there tests like that for asperger's syndrome?

I just heard kinect can help diagnose autism. Are there tests like that for asperger's syndrome?

No: Are you asking about the xbox kinect? If so, there is no good evidence for help diagnosing anything as of yet! ...Read more

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How can the ados (autism diagnostic observation schedule) help my daughter who was diagnosed w asd?

Only to clarify: The ados is designed to differentiate autistic disorders from other developmental disorders. If there is really a question of diagnosis, it can help. Once diagnosed, the score really doesn't do much for therapeutic planning. That should be done by an experienced therapist and and experienced educator. ...Read more

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Is there a way I can get a test for autism for my stepson?

Is there a way I can get a test for autism for my stepson?

His legal guardians: Have to initiate the process by first consulting the child's pediatrician. If the biological parents have joint legal custody, both must agree on non-urgent medical care of any kind, unless specific provisions in the divorce decree give one parent the sole right to make medical decisions. You can use the m-chat for screening online at firstsigns.Org, to present your concerns to his bio parents. ...Read more

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How would a child have medical tests for autism?

How would a child have medical tests for autism?

Medical causes?: Medical evaluation is done in a child with autism to try to find the cause: thorough physical exam, measure head, ears, eyes and more, look for major or minor unusual features, skin pigmentation. Complete neurological exam. Assess all areas of development. Genetic microarray & dna probe for fragile x on all; other labs if needed. Mri of brain, eeg if warranted by history or neurological findings. ...Read more

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How do you know if you have autism?

How do you know if you have autism?

At your age?: The fact you are asking the question in the first place at the age of 49 in the second place makes it highly unlikely in that you need worry about identifying this disorder if you're looking to diagnosis yourself. And though we do not know everything about this problem we have learned pretty well how to identify it early on. You are more than welcome to present your symptoms for opinion. ...Read more

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What causes autism?

Mostly genetic.: More and more genetic links to autism and autism spectrum disorders (asd's) are being found; there's even genetic testing available for siblings of patients with asd's to see if they have it, too. Good studies have shown there's no link to vaccines. ...Read more

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Is PDD an autism spectrum disorder, if so, what does this mean?

Is PDD an autism spectrum disorder, if so, what does this mean?

Terms are changing: For several decades, pdd (pervasive developmental disorder) was the broad term that included autism asperger's disorder, and several other rare but similar disorders. Gradually, the term autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has gained favor, and the new manual appear to be doing away with pdd in favor of ASD as the broad term. Also, autism and asperger's disorder by go away as distinct diagnoses. ...Read more

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Is there any way to treat autism?

Is there any way to treat autism?

YES!: See a true expert for multi-dimensional care. Autism manifests in various forms, probably has various causes, & is extremely complex to treat. Behavioral & social interventions are important, & increasingly psychoactive meds play an important role. These meds need be carefully selected & titrated for the individual, possibly addressing such features as anxiety, anger, mood, hyperactivity, etc. ...Read more

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What type of doctor treats autism?

What type of doctor treats autism?

An expert in Autism: Behavioral pediatricians & child psychiatrists are the most likely specialists to provide ongoing care; also some child neurologists. More importantly, the md must have much experience & a great commitment to serving autistic patients. Autism is very complex. The md needs an intimate professional longterm relationship w/ the fam & should guide the ed, behav & social interventions as well as meds. ...Read more

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Two questions: what are the likes and differences between aspergers and autism? And, how is each treated?

Aspergers autism : Think of autism as extreme aspergers. Autism typically severe language delays and cognitive impairment. Here is a video about aspergers.
http://youtu.be/xg1ngp1ngds. ...Read more

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Is haloperidol an alternative to risperidol for treating autism?

Is haloperidol an alternative to risperidol for treating autism?

Sometimes : Both medications are considered antipsychotics. Risperdal is the drug that is fda approved for use in autism. There are many other drugs, Haldol (haloperidol) being one of them, that may be used to control mood swings and/ or aggressive and self injurious behavior. While the others can be helpful they are used off label which means the fda has not given its approval yet. This practice is not uncommon. ...Read more

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What is the best treatment for autism?

Combination: The best therapy is individualized, and usually includes speech therapy, occupational therapy, and behavioral therapy, often with an instructor in "applied behavioral analysis." while there's no quick-fix, good therapy is very effective in mild-to-moderate autism. ...Read more

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What are the best natural treatments for autism?

What are the best natural treatments for autism?

See below:: Intervention involves behavioral treatments, medicines or both. Many persons with autism have additional medical conditions such as sleep disturbance, seizures and gastrointestinal (GI) distress. Addressing these conditions can improve attention, learning and related behaviors. Natural treatments have not been found to significantly/substantially improve autism. ...Read more

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Is there a way to cure autism, and make my brother normal like other people?

Is there a way to cure autism, and make my brother normal like other people?

Unfortunately : There is no one way alone that would cure autism. It requires a team of professionals (psychologist, behavior analyst, speech therapist, occupational therapist, psychiatrist, special education teacher) to have the best result. Most of the individuals are not fully cured, but they can make observable progress in areas of communication, challenging behaviors, and social skills. ...Read more

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Dr. Johanna Fricke
532 doctors shared insights

Autism Spectrum Disorder (Definition)

ASD are a spectrum of disorders of varying degrees that are characterized by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. Autism statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify around 1 in 68 American children as ...Read more


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