key diagnostic features of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?
- Deficits in social communication and social interaction
- Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities (such as repetitive movements, stereotyped speech, highly restricted interests, or very inflexible adherence to routines)
- Motor development is generally not affected though patients may be “clumsy”
- Symptoms are present from early in the developmental period
- Discrete categories such as “autistic disorder” and “Asperger syndrome” have now been replaced by one overarching diagnosis: ASD.
- In addition to these key diagnostic features, name three common neurologic comorbidities of ASD.
- • Sleep disturbance—particularly insomnia with difficulty initiating and/or maintaining sleep
- • Epilepsy—which occurs at a much higher rate in ASD patients than in the general population
- • ADHD—a disorder that may now be diagnosed in patients with an ASD
American Psychiatric Association: The diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, 5th ed. Arlington, VA, American Psychiatric Publishing, 2013.