Article

Primary care for children with autism.

University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, USA.
American family physician (Impact Factor: 1.82). 02/2010; 81(4):453-60.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The earliest sign of autism in children is the delayed attainment of social skill milestones, including joint attention, social orienting, and pretend play. Language impairment is a common, but less specific, sign of autism. Repetitive behaviors and restricted interests may not be noted until after social skill and communication impairments are exhibited. Physicians should perform developmental surveillance at all well-child visits, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends administering an autism-specific screening tool at the 18- and 24-month visits. A referral for comprehensive diagnostic evaluation is appropriate if concerns arise from surveillance, screening, or parental observations. The goals of long-term management are to maximize functional independence and community engagement, minimize maladaptive behaviors, and provide family and caregiver support. Physicians play an important role in coordinating care through an interdisciplinary team; referring families for specialized services; and treating children's associated conditions, including sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal problems, anxiety, and hyperactivity. Autism is a lifelong condition, but early recognition, diagnosis, and treatment can improve the prognosis, whereas associated medical conditions, psychiatric conditions, and intellectual disability can worsen the prognosis.

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    • "The clinical management of ASD aims to maximize the affected individual's functional independence and quality of life, and to mitigate carers' distress and burden [Carbone, Farley, & Do, 2010; Myers et al., 2007] by minimizing core symptoms, lowering the impact of associated mental health symptoms, and reducing maladaptive behaviors [Cadman et al., 2012]. A comprehensive treatment approach includes educational and behavioral programs and pharmacological treatment as an adjunct in the management of ASD [Myers et al., 2007]. "
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    • "The goals of ASD management are to maximize the affected person's functional independence and quality of life, and to alleviate family distress/carer burden by e-mail: wongick@hku.hk minimizing core ASD symptoms, decreasing maladaptive behaviours (Myers et al. 2007; Carbone et al. 2010) and reducing the impact of associated mental health symptoms/ disorders such as anxiety and depression (Cadman et al. 2012). There are a number of educational and behavioural programmes that are routinely used to improve communication , social skills, academic achievement and decreasing maladaptive behaviours in patients with ASD, and pharmacological treatment may be considered an adjunct to these interventions for ASD management (Myers et al. 2007). "
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