ArticlePDF Available

Abstract and Figures

Related article:
Content may be subject to copyright.
Citation: Jargin SV. Child Abuse, Autism and Excessive Alcohol Consumption. J Addiction Prevention. 2017;5(2): 4.
Child Abuse, Autism and Exces-
sive Alcohol Consumption
ey spent there also two subsequent summers, having almost
no contact with other children. e boy sat on a sofa or bench for
a long time, which did not contribute to his physical development
and communicative skills. Sergei (S.) recollects an episode that his
father later conrmed. e father came unexpectedly; little Sergei
(S.) is running toward him: “Daddy, daddy comes!” - stumbles and
falls down. en the father is shaking him and asking: “What did you
drink?” - and then argues with the nanny. Back in Moscow, the boy
asks for cough syrup. e mother gives him some mixture from the
pharmacy but the boy is wining and asking for the “true” syrup. e
nanny gave him sweat fortied wine as cough syrup, probably to calm
him down and not to be disturbed at night. ere was also some kind
of sexual engagement under the guise of hygienic smearing of genital
area with vegetable oil etc., which later resulted in “exhibitionist”
behavior by the little child, leading to punishments and bullying.
At the age of about 6-7 years, Sergei (S.) was noticed to have
autistic traits such as communication decits, failure to develop peer
relationships and motor clumsiness. Some symptoms compatible
with the ADHD (Attention Decit Hyperactivity Disorder) were
observed as well: inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity, the latter
being more pronounced in a familiar environment. Appearance of the
Open Access
Journal of
Addiction &
Sergei V. Jargin*
Department of Pathology, People’s Friendship University of Russia,
Russian Federation, University of Russia, Russia
*Address for Correspondence
Sergei V. Jargin, Department of Pathology, People’s Friendship University
of Russia, Russian Federation, University of Russia, Clementovski per 6-82,
115184 Moscow, Russia, Tel: +7 495 9516788; E-mail:
Submission: 10 April, 2017
Accepted: 02 September, 2017
Published: 08 September, 2017
Copyright: © 2017 Jargin SV. This is an open access article distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits
unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided
the original work is properly cited.
Case Report
Keywords: Autism; Autism spectrum disorder; Alcoholism; Child
abuse; Bullying
This report describes a co-occurrence of child abuse, autistic
symptoms, impulsivity, hyperactivity and excessive alcohol
consumption in the victim’s adolescence and early adulthood.
The conclusion is that environmental factors such as physical and
psychological abuse may contribute to development of autistic
symptoms. Some children with autistic traits may be physically abused
ADHD children or initially healthy ones. In the atmosphere of domestic
violence and bullying, ADHD manifestations such as impulsivity and
hyperactivity may be regularly punished. Abnormal behaviors partly
compatible with the ASD may be adaptive. Alcohol is consumed by
some adolescents with autistic traits to overcome communications
barriers. Besides, loitering with groups of adolescent alcohol abusers is
a way of escape from domestic violence.
ere is considerable evidence demonstrating associations
between childhood trauma, including physical, sexual and emotional
abuse, with negative mental health, physical health and social
outcomes, decient communicative skills, antisocial behavior,
substance abuse and, in particular, misuse of alcohol in a victim’s
later life; further details and references are in [1-3]. Detection of the
abuse and exposure of perpetrators oen depends on the victim.
It is easy to expose a socially unprotected abuser, for example an
alcoholic or a mentally abnormal individual. Otherwise, dierent
tools can be applied to prevent a disclosure: denial of facts and
accusations of slander, threats, intimidation or subornation of the
victim, appeals to preservation of honor and reputation of the family,
nation, etc. It should be mentioned that over 99% of publications on
child maltreatment have been based on research conducted in more
developed countries [4], while in less developed societies the child
and elder abuse can persist without much publicity.
e prevalence of the substance use disorder among individuals
with autism was reported to be relatively low [5]; however, there may
be an underestimation [6]. Persons with high-functioning autism
without intellectual disability may drink alcohol to cope with anxiety,
to maintain friendships and gain access to new relationships [6,7].
Furthermore, the youth with ASD were found to be at a higher risk
of victimization and bullying [8-12]. Given the association of autistic
traits in adults with the abuse in their childhood, studies identifying
causal mechanisms can improve preventive eorts [13]. Here is
presented a case illustrating a combination of the above-named
symptoms and factors, followed by a discussion of potential cause-
eect relationships.
Case Report
When Sergei (S.) was three years old, his parents were divorcing,
while he was sent with a nanny to a suburb village (Figure 1).
J Addiction Prevention
September 2017 Vol.:5, Issue:2
© All rights are reserved by Jargin.
Avens Publishing Group
Invi ting Innovations
Figure 1: Sergei and his nanny, year 1957.
Citation: Jargin SV. Child Abuse, Autism and Excessive Alcohol Consumption. J Addiction Prevention. 2017;5(2): 4.
J Addiction Prevention 5(2): 4 (2017) Page - 2
ISSN: 2330-2178
autistic symptoms coincided with the time when the socially unskilled
child was exposed to bullying; the symptoms further aggravated in
parallel with the physical abuse at home. During the school time, Sergei
(S.) exhibited xated interests deemed unusual by some pedagogues:
profound study of history, of several foreign languages etc. Besides,
it should be mentioned that Sergei (S.) has a relative macrocephaly
(head circumference at an adult age approximately 60.5 cm), similarly
to his mother and father, who both were professors. An increased
prevalence of macrocephaly has been described in children with ASD
[14,15]. Some researchers reported a higher level of functioning in
children with ASD and macrocephaly in comparison to those with
average head circumference [16]. Moderately expressed marfanoid
features (long limbs, arachnodactyly, hypermobility of some joints,
hiatal hernia in a later life) were noticed in Sergei (S.) and some
maternal relatives. An association of macrocephaly, Marfan-like
ligamentous laxity and Asperger’s syndrome has been reported [17].
It should be mentioned without implying cause-eect
relationships that the onset of behavioral abnormalities coincided
with the UHF therapy for allergic rhinitis and tonsillitis. e
therapy with ultra high frequency (UHF) electromagnetic elds has
been ocially recommended in the former SU and broadly used in
otorhinolaryngolical conditions since the early 1960s [18,19]. Last
time, the extremely high frequency (EHF) waves have also been used
for respiratory and allergic conditions in children, while absence
of contraindications has been pointed out [20]. At the same time,
reports on non-thermal and non-cancer eects of electromagnetic
radiation from anthropogenic sources, in particular, functional
derangements of the nervous system, have been appearing [21,22],
although substantiation remained doubtful [23]. However, doses of
thermal intensity used in the UHF therapy are higher than those from
the environment. Considering anatomical proximity of the tonsils,
nasal cavity and neural structures especially in children, there have
been concerns about such use of microwaves, the more so as excessive
exposures and imprecise focusing may occur in the therapeutic
practice. Subsequently, at the age of 6-7 years, Sergei (S.) underwent
tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy with inadequate local anesthesia
and questionable indications. Later it has become evident that he had
allergic rhinitis. Interestingly, larger head sizes were reported to be
associated with allergic disorders in patients with autism [24]. As for
the family history, Sergei’s maternal grandfather misused alcohol,
paternal grandfather died of renal failure presumably in consequence
of a professional poisoning by mercury, and maternal grandmother, a
radiologist, died of cancer in her thirties. Sergei’s mother, an orphan,
had been adopted (and occasionally maltreated) by her aunt.
When Sergei (S.) was 7 years old, his mother married a 13 years
younger person. e following risk factors of child maltreatment
were present [25]: poor social support, presence of a younger child,
family history of abuse: the abuser had been beaten by his father.
e abuse was administered by slapping in the face and head as well
as beating with a belt, oen under the pretext of punishment, but
sometimes without any pretext. Episodes of violence went along with
intimidation by gestures and grimaces as well as verbal abuse. ere
are statements in the literature that abusive encounters are heavily
laden with emotion [26]. In this case, it could have been so in the
beginning, but later the scenes of abuse became somewhat theatrical
and less emotional on the part of the perpetrator. Apparently,
violence has become the abuser’s habit and obsession. e abuse
sometimes occurred in front of spectators: the mother, relatives or
friends. On rare occasions, the mother participated in battering,
which is in agreement with the data that mothers tend to abuse
their children at higher rates when their partners are not fathers of
the victims [27]. A motive could have been squaring of accounts
with the disloyal partner in the person of his son probably on the
background of dissociation as the maternal aection was present and
spontaneously returned during the earlier childhood. Apart from
irregular nourishment now and again, an example of neglect was a
deprivation of training clothes during the earlier school time. e boy
was regularly sent to gymnastics lessons inappropriately dressed, so
that his genitals could be seen during exercises, in spite of written
reprimands from the teacher. is was one of the immediate causes
of the bullying as well as delayed physical development: the teacher
le the boy sitting on a bench during gymnastics lessons. An ethnic
factor played a role: the abuser was of Jewish descent, while Sergei
(S.) used to stress his Russian ethnicity. Having a Jewish stepfather,
who even worked for some period at his school, Sergei (S.) was
oen treated by the social environment as a member of the ethnic
minority. It was expressed by bullying, sometimes visibly inspired
by adults including some teachers and other children’s relatives. It
is known that bullying happens at schools, where children do not
feel safe to report bullies [28]. e author does not intend to say that
Jewish children were generally bullied at Soviet schools. Many of
them were not, because they had been prepared by their families and
did not deny their dierence. On the contrary, Sergei (S.) behaved
ambitiously, involuntarily provoking his environment. Sergei (S.)
himself participated in bullying other children, his role thus being
classied as bully-victim, reportedly more at risk of substance use
than pure bullies or victims [29]. As usual in such cases, Sergei (S.)
was ashamed to tell to anybody about the abuse at home. Once he
answered armatively a question of a teacher whether he had been
physically punished; it had no consequences. Another teacher,
surprised by xenophobic remarks made by Sergei (S.) at school,
came with a home visit, which was followed by a discontinuance of
the abuse for several months accompanied by an improvement of his
progress in school studies; further details are in [2].
Apart from occasional participation in parties at home and
drinking up to a bottle of beer with a schoolmate, Sergei (S.) did not
consume alcohol till the age of 13. at summer he drank a 0.75 l
bottle of fortied wine with an older boy. During the subsequent year,
his alcohol consumption increased up to 250 ml of vodka with beer or
a 0.75 l bottle of fortied wine at one sitting. An opportunity to stay
away from domestic violence was provided by a drinking company
of schoolmates including older boys inspiring alcohol purchase
and consumption. During the following years, he was several times
detained by the police (militia) and spent at least two nights at a
sobering-up station. At the age of 13.5 years, Sergei (S.) ran away
from the everyday’s violence rst to his grandmother and then lived
about 2 years in a small apartment together with the new family of his
father. ereaer he was manipulated to return to the mother’s at.
Aer the admission to a university, a separate room was rented for
Sergei (S.). Next year, because of drunkenness and absenteeism, he
was dismissed from the university and served 2 years with the army;
Citation: Jargin SV. Child Abuse, Autism and Excessive Alcohol Consumption. J Addiction Prevention. 2017;5(2): 4.
J Addiction Prevention 5(2): 4 (2017) Page - 3
ISSN: 2330-2178
his education was interrupted for 4 years. e immediate cause of
the dismissal was as follows. Having worked 2 months with a student
construction brigade (stroyotriad), aer a provocation from the
social environment and excessive alcohol intake, Sergei (S.) went
with a companion to a Black Sea resort, he was robbed and remained
without money for a return ticket. Despite repeated telegrams and
telephone calls, he received money with a delay, which resulted in
about 2 weeks’ tardiness at the university. At the age of about 22.5
years, Sergei (S.) underwent an implantation of a disulphiram
preparation Esperal®, which was followed by a period of abstinence
about 8 months long. Aer that he resumed alcohol consumption:
2-3 binges monthly with dosages as described above or higher. Sergei
(S.) discontinued the alcohol misuse at the age of about 35 years,
when it has become incompatible with his professional duties. Later
he did not resume the excessive alcohol consumption in spite of
provocations from the social environment. With time, subconscious
motives of the alcohol intake have become clear: alcohol helped him
to overcome communication barriers. It was, however, associated
with risks: not possessing sucient social skills, his rhetoric and
actions under the impact of alcohol were sometimes precarious [30],
which resulted e.g. in misdemeanors (minor hooliganism and public
nuisance, petty larceny, drunk driving) and detentions by the police.
is illustrates a mechanism contributing to the alcohol consumption
not only in autistic persons: becoming “insider” through drinking
with peers. is mechanism was exploited: in workers’, students’
and intelligentsia companies, the ringleaders were observed, who
manipulated others towards alcohol intake, while non-drinkers were
sometimes stigmatized [31].
In the former Soviet Union, the child abuse and neglect has been
rarely discussed. Public organizations and authorities sometimes
did not react to known cases of domestic violence: for example,
Sergei’s grandmother wrote letters to the authorities about this case
of abuse, which had no consequences. A part of the society seems to
be opposed to a public discussion of violence in families. Dimensions
of the problem are dicult to assess as there are no reliable statistics
[32]. ere is no generally agreed attitude to the problem and no
consequent policy, which is complicated by a shortage of adequately
educated personnel and limited use of the foreign professional
literature [33,34]. Scenes of violence and death are oen shown
on the Russian TV today, distracting the public attention from
less spectacular oenses including child and elder abuse. Violence
towards children is sometimes discussed by the mass media as a
norm. For example, the famous lmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov said on
28 May 2014 from the TV screen without a trace of disapproval that
his father Sergey Mikhalkov, the well known writer, slapped him in
the face, which can cause additional cases of concussion in children.
Celebrities are oen copied. Note that a man’s hand is weighty. By the
given impulse, the damage might be higher in cases of macrocephaly,
which is associated with the ASD [15].
e ASD cases are oen marked by symptoms consistent with
ADHD [35-37]. In the case presented here, ADHD symptoms
were observed especially during the early childhood: inattention,
impulsivity and hyperactivity, the latter being more prominent in
a familiar environment. Emergence and further exacerbation of
the autistic symptoms coincided with the time when the socially
unskilled child was exposed to bullying and domestic violence.
In the author’s opinion, physical abuse is an undervalued cause of
autism. Some children with autistic symptoms are probably abused
ADHD children or initially healthy ones, possibly having unusual
traits predisposing to the bullying. In the atmosphere of bullying and
domestic violence, ADHD manifestations such as impulsivity and
hyperactivity may be regularly punished. Abnormal behaviors seem to
be a kind of adaptation in some cases, a consciously or subconsciously
implemented strategy to avoid the trauma. Such behaviors might be
compatible with ASD e.g. failure to respond to social interactions,
poorly integrated communication, abnormalities of eye contact,
decits of developing and maintaining relationships (DSM-5).
Deranged relationship with parents such as the reduced sharing of
emotions or interests (DSM-5) can in some cases be explained by
the child abuse. An association of both the ASD and ADHD with
deranged relationships with parents, maternal stress and child abuse
has been reported [13,38,39]. Other features compatible with the
ASD may be secondary to a decit in relationships with peers and
family members or result from sublimation as a defense mechanism
against anxiety or psychological trauma e.g. xated interests such as
the study of special subjects beyond the school program [35].
According to the hypothesis discussed here, some ASD cases may
be caused by intrinsic factors while others are induced or reinforced
by environmental factors such as the physical abuse and bullying.
ADHD, ASD and social anxiety disorder have partly overlapping
symptoms [36,37,40,41]. A dierentiation may depend on external
factors: in an environment permitting impulsivity and hyperactivity,
the child would preserve ADHD features or develop in a typical
way. In conditions of bullying and/or domestic violence, regularly
punishing impulsivity and hyperactivity, the child might be “trained”
towards abnormal behaviors aimed at avoidance of the trauma. It can
be also hypothesized that children with macrocephaly are consciously
or subconsciously more preoccupied with protection of their heads.
On the other hand, macrocephaly, “giedness” [42], marfanoid or
other unusual features might predispose to the bullying. e cause-
eect relationship may be bidirectional: autistic symptoms can
enhance the risk of domestic violence and bullying while the violence
would induce or reinforce abnormal behaviors. In this connection,
the heritability of the ASD has a non-genetic explanation in some
cases. e child abuse is associated with inadequate parenting [43];
children of deviant parents, exposed to the maltreatment, acquire as a
result deviant features themselves. In conclusion, the child abuse and
bullying may be causative factors of atypical behaviors compatible
with the ASD.
1. Springer KW, Sheridan J, Kuo D, Carnes M (2003) The long-term health
outcomes of childhood abuse. An overview and a call to action. J Gen Intern
Med 18: 864-870.
2. Jargin SV (2011) Letter from Russia: Child abuse and alcohol misuse in a
victim. Alcohol Alcohol 46: 734-736.
3. Jargin SV (2013) Attention decit hyperactivity (ADHD) and autism spectrum
disorder (ASD): on the role of alcohol and societal factors. Int J High Risk
Behav Addict 1: 194-195.
4. Mikton C, Butchart A (2009) Child maltreatment prevention: a systematic
review of reviews. Bull World Health Organ 87: 353-361.
Citation: Jargin SV. Child Abuse, Autism and Excessive Alcohol Consumption. J Addiction Prevention. 2017;5(2): 4.
J Addiction Prevention 5(2): 4 (2017) Page - 4
ISSN: 2330-2178
5. Ramos M, Boada L, Moreno C, Llorente C, Romo J, et al. (2013) Attitude
and risk of substance use in adolescents diagnosed with Asperger syndrome.
Drug Alcohol Depend 133: 535-540.
6. Lalanne L, Weiner L, Trojak B, Berna F, Bertschy G (2015) Substance-use
disorder in high-functioning autism: clinical and neurocognitive insights from
two case reports. BMC Psychiatry 15: 149.
7. Rengit AC, McKowen JW, O’Brien J, Howe YJ, McDougle CJ (2016) Brief
report: autism spectrum disorder and substance use disorder: a review and
case study. J Autism Dev Disord 46: 2514-2519.
8. Zablotsky B, Bradshaw CP, Anderson CM, Law P (2014) Risk factors for
bullying among children with autism spectrum disorders. Autism 18: 419-427.
9. Hebron J, Oldeld J, Humphrey N (2017) Cumulative risk effects in the
bullying of children and young people with autism spectrum conditions.
Autism 21: 291-300.
10. Maïano C, Normand CL, Salvas MC, Moullec G, Aimé A (2016) Prevalence
of school bullying among youth with autism spectrum disorders: A systematic
review and meta-analysis. Autism Res 9: 601-615.
11. Sterzing PR, Shattuck PT, Narendorf SC, Wagner M, Cooper BP (2012)
Bullying involvement and autism spectrum disorders: prevalence and
correlates of bullying involvement among adolescents with an autism
spectrum disorder. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 166: 1058-1064.
12. Zeedyk SM, Rodriguez G, Tipton LA, Baker BL, Blacher J (2014) Bullying
of youth with autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, or typical
development: victim and parent perspectives. Res Autism Spectr Disord 8:
13. Roberts AL, Koenen KC, Lyall K, Robinson EB, Weisskopf MG (2015)
Association of autistic traits in adulthood with childhood abuse, interpersonal
victimization, and posttraumatic stress. Child Abuse Negl 45: 135-142.
14. Aylward EH, Minshew NJ, Field K, Sparks BF, Singh N (2002) Effects of age
on brain volume and head circumference in autism. Neurology 59: 175-183.
15. Sacco R, Gabriele S, Persico AM (2015) Head circumference and brain
size in autism spectrum disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Psychiatry Res 234: 239-251.
16. Zachor DA, Ben-Itzchak E (2016) Specic medical conditions are associated
with unique behavioral proles in autism spectrum disorders. Front Neurosci
10: 410.
17. Tantam D, Evered C, Hersov L (1990) Asperger’s syndrome and ligamentous
laxity. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 29: 892-896.
18. Nikolaevskaia VP (1966) The use of microwave therapy in patients with
chronic tonsillitis. Vestn Otorinolaringol 28: 31-34.
19. Nikolaevskaia VP (1966) Microwave therapy of ear, nose and throat diseases.
Methodical letter. Health Ministry of RSFSR, Moscow, Russia.
20. Povazhnaia EL, Mambetalieva AS (2010) Extremely high frequency therapy
for the prevention of acute respiratory diseases in children with chronic ENT
and allergic diseases. Vopr Kurortol Fizioter Lech Fiz Kult 17-21.
21. Shandala MG (1999) Experience in a hygienic assessment of problems
related to physical environmental factors. Gig Sanit 3-9.
22. Shandala MG (2015) Physical environmental factors in the ecology of the
brain. Gig Sanit 94: 10-14.
23. McRee DI (1979) Review of Soviet/Eastern European research on health
aspects of microwave radiation. Bull N Y Acad Med 55: 1133-1151.
24. Sacco R, Militerni R, Frolli A, Bravaccio C, Gritti A, et al. (2007) Clinical,
morphological, and biochemical correlates of head circumference in autism.
Biol Psychiatry 62: 1038-1047.
25. Hindley N, Ramchandani PG, Jones DP (2006) Risk factors for recurrence of
maltreatment: a systematic review. Arch Dis Child 91: 744-752.
26. Herbruck CC (1979) Breaking the cycle of child abuse. Winston Press,
Minneapolis, USA, pp. 205.
27. Alexandre GC, Nadanovsky P, Moraes CL, Reichenheim M (2010) The
presence of a stepfather and child physical abuse, as reported by a sample of
Brazilian mothers in Rio de Janeiro. Child Abuse Negl 34: 959-966.
28. LePage P, Courey S (2014) Teaching children with high-level autism.
Routledge, London, UK.
29. Radliff KM, Wheaton JE, Robinson K, Morris J (2012) Illuminating the
relationship between bullying and substance use among middle and high
school youth. Addict Behav 37: 569-572.
30. Jargin SV (2011) Letter from Russia: alcoholism and dissent-report of a
whistleblower. Alcohol Alcohol 46: 498-499.
31. Jargin SV (2010) On the causes of alcoholism in the former Soviet Union.
Alcohol Alcohol 45: 104-105.
32. Nikulina EA (2006) Organizational and pedagogical prevention system of
child abuse in families. Candidate Dissertation. Saratov State University,
33. Besschetnova OV (2003) Social work with children-victims of abuse in
families (analysis of domestic and foreign experience), Balashov, Russia.
34. Murphy J, Jargin S (2017) International trends in health science librarianship
part 20: Russia. Health Info Libr J 34: 92-94.
35. Metzger JA (2014) Adaptive defense mechanisms: function and
transcendence. J Clin Psychol 70: 478-488.
36. Hartley SL, Sikora DM (2009) Which DSM-IV-TR criteria best differentiate
high-functioning autism spectrum disorder from ADHD and anxiety disorders
in older children? Autism 13: 485-509.
37. Mayes SD (2012) (CASD) Checklist for autism spectrum disorder. Stoelting,
Chicago, USA.
38. Weber-Börgmann I, Burdach S, Barchfeld P, Wurmser H (2014) Associations
with ADHD and parental distress with in play in early childhood. Z Kinder
Jugendpsychiatr Psychother 42: 147-155.
39. Duan G, Chen J, Zhang W, Yu B, Jin Y, et al. (2015) Physical maltreatment
of children with autism in Henan province in China: a cross-sectional study.
Child Abuse Negl 48: 140-147.
40. Murray MJ (2010) Attention-decit/hyperactivity disorder in the context of
autism spectrum disorders. Curr Psychiatry Rep 12: 382-388.
41. Kleberg JL, Högström J, Nord M, Bölte S, Serlachius E, et al. (2016) Autistic
traits and symptoms of social anxiety are differentially related to attention to
others’ eyes in social anxiety disorder. J Autism Dev Disord.
42. Miller A (2008) The drama of the gifted child. Basic books, New York, USA.
43. Gonzalez A, MacMillan HL (2008) Preventing child maltreatment: an
evidence-based update. J Postgrad Med 54: 280-286.
... Indeed, in contrast to individuals with ASD traits alone, individuals with comorbid ADHD traits have been found to have an increased risk of alcohol abuse [14,18,25,26]. It has been suggested that the underlying reasons for the increased alcohol consumption among youngsters with co-occurring ASD and ADHD symptoms could be in part genetic but may also be a direct, impulsive, response to dealing with stressors in the immediate environment [27,28]. Autistic traits have been associated with an enhanced risk of exposure to environmental stress, e.g. to bullying or child abuse [27,28]. ...
... It has been suggested that the underlying reasons for the increased alcohol consumption among youngsters with co-occurring ASD and ADHD symptoms could be in part genetic but may also be a direct, impulsive, response to dealing with stressors in the immediate environment [27,28]. Autistic traits have been associated with an enhanced risk of exposure to environmental stress, e.g. to bullying or child abuse [27,28]. The co-occurring (impulsive) traits associated with ADHD may cause the young individual to initiate alcohol use. ...
Full-text available
It has been suggested that autistic traits are associated with less frequent alcohol use in adolescence. Our study seeks to examine the relationship between autistic traits and alcohol use in a large adolescent population. Leveraging data from the IMAGEN cohort, including 2045 14-year-old adolescents that were followed-up to age 18, we selected items on social preference/skills and rigidity from different questionnaires. We used linear regression models to (1) test the effect of the sum scores on the prevalence of alcohol use (AUDIT-C) over time, (2) explore the relationship between autistic traits and alcohol use patterns, and (3) explore the specific effect of each autistic trait on alcohol use. Higher scores on the selected items were associated with trajectories of less alcohol use from the ages between 14 and 18 (b = − 0.030; CI 95% = − 0.042, − 0.017; p < 0.001). Among adolescents who used alcohol, those who reported more autistic traits were also drinking less per occasion than their peers and were less likely to engage in binge drinking. We found significant associations between alcohol use and social preference (p < 0.001), nervousness for new situations (p = 0.001), and detail orientation (p < 0.001). Autistic traits (social impairment, detail orientation, and anxiety) may buffer against alcohol use in adolescence.
... A review of literature and further studies are needed. We have limited positive experience with communication abnormalities, autistic traits and/or alcohol-related problems [6]. The latter may be alleviated in non-drinking cultural settings. ...
... The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence not for everybody but for certain individuals for special reasons. Among the reasons of "xenophily" may be a disability but also affiliation with a certain minority [6]. This is important for an objective presentation. ...
Full-text available
... The divorce followed after 3 years. The mother was also a postgraduate student; the boy spent time with a middle-aged nanny, with whom he spent 3 summers in a room rented in a suburb [11]. There were almost no contacts with other summer residents; the boy sat a lot of the time on a sofa or on a bench, looking at passing trains, which resulted in the physical retardation and insufficient social skills. ...
... It was demonstrated that the child maltreatment is a risk factor for the adolescent binge drinking. However, the current evidence is considered to be insufficient to prove this relationship for male adults; some studies do not indicate a significant association between the sexual or physical abuse of a child and alcoholism in adult men; further details and references are in [11]. ...
The book is available at:
... (2) A case of child abuse followed by alcohol overconsumption by the victim was reported previously [13]. The ethnic factor obviously played a role as the abuser was of Jewish descent while the victim was ethnic Russian. ...
... (3) The victim of child abuse was prone to alcohol consumption and binge drinking during his adolescence and early adulthood. Cause-effect mechanisms have been discussed previously [13]. At the age of 22 years he started relationship with a 7 years older woman coming from another Soviet republic. ...
Full-text available
... Furthermore, alcohol consumption is associated with IPV [8,9]. Here are presented four case histories on alcohol abuse, reproductive coercion and IPV, a continuation of the series of reports started previously [10][11][12][13]. All cases are from the late Soviet era. ...
... A case of child abuse followed by alcoholism in the victim was reported previously together with discussion of cause-effect relationships [13]. The case history had a prequel. ...
Full-text available
The full text can be downloaded here and is available at: RELATED ARTICLES: RUSSIAN:
... It has been estimated that up to 20% of burn injuries are the result of child abuse or neglect, with highest incidence among children 0-4 years of age [11]. A superficial scald burn of the genital area with hot soup occurred to a 3-yearsold boy in conditions of child neglect [12]. Immediate medical help was not sought. ...
... In routine practice excessive exposures and imprecise focusing may occur. A singular case of transitory strabismus and dysphagia in a child, started at the time of the UHFtherapy for allergic rhinitis and tonsillitis at the age of 4-6 years, is known [15]. Since the early 1960s, the UHF treatment has been recommended for use in the pediatric otorhinolaryngology by the guidelines issued by the Health Ministry. ...
Full-text available
The full text can be downloaded here and is available at: The last update: RELATED ARTICLES: RUSSIAN:
Full-text available
OBJECTIVE: To synthesize recent evidence from systematic and comprehensive reviews on the effectiveness of universal and selective child maltreatment prevention interventions, evaluate the methodological quality of the reviews and outcome evaluation studies they are based on, and map the geographical distribution of the evidence. METHODS: A systematic review of reviews was conducted. The quality of the systematic reviews was evaluated with a tool for the assessment of multiple systematic reviews (AMSTAR), and the quality of the outcome evaluations was assessed using indicators of internal validity and of the construct validity of outcome measures. FINDINGS: The review focused on seven main types of interventions: home visiting, parent education, child sex abuse prevention, abusive head trauma prevention, multi-component interventions, media-based interventions, and support and mutual aid groups. Four of the seven - home-visiting, parent education, abusive head trauma prevention and multi-component interventions - show promise in preventing actual child maltreatment. Three of them - home visiting, parent education and child sexual abuse prevention - appear effective in reducing risk factors for child maltreatment, although these conclusions are tentative due to the methodological shortcomings of the reviews and outcome evaluation studies they draw on. An analysis of the geographical distribution of the evidence shows that outcome evaluations of child maltreatment prevention interventions are exceedingly rare in low- and middle-income countries and make up only 0.6% of the total evidence base. CONCLUSION: Evidence for the effectiveness of four of the seven main types of interventions for preventing child maltreatment is promising, although it is weakened by methodological problems and paucity of outcome evaluations from low- and middle-income countries.
Full-text available
Updates: RUSSIAN:
Full-text available
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and social anxiety disorder (SAD) have partly overlapping symptoms. Gaze avoidance has been linked to both SAD and ASD, but little is known about differences in social attention between the two conditions. We studied eye movements in a group of treatment-seeking adolescents with SAD (N = 25), assessing SAD and ASD dimensionally. The results indicated a double dissociation between two measures of social attention and the two symptom dimensions. Controlling for social anxiety, elevated autistic traits were associated with delayed orienting to eyes presented among distractors. In contrast, elevated social anxiety levels were associated with faster orienting away from the eyes, when controlling for autistic traits. This distinction deepens our understanding of ASD and SAD.
Full-text available
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a heterogeneous group of disorders which occurs with numerous medical conditions. In previous research, subtyping in ASD has been based mostly on cognitive ability and ASD symptom severity. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether specific medical conditions in ASD are associated with unique behavioral profiles. The medical conditions included in the study were macrocephaly, microcephaly, developmental regression, food selectivity, and sleep problems. The behavioral profile was composed of cognitive ability, adaptive skills, and autism severity, and was examined in each of the aforementioned medical conditions. The study population included 1224 participants, 1043 males and 181 females (M:F ratio = 5.8:1) with a mean age of 49.9 m (SD = 29.4) diagnosed with ASD using standardized tests. Groups with and without the specific medical conditions were compared on the behavioral measures. Developmental regression was present in 19% of the population and showed a more severe clinical presentation, with lower cognitive abilities, more severe ASD symptoms, and more impaired adaptive functioning. Microcephaly was observed in 6.3% of the population and was characterized by a lower cognitive ability and more impaired adaptive functioning in comparison to the normative head circumference (HC) group. Severe food selectivity was found in 9.8% and severe sleep problems in 5.1% of the ASD population. The food selectivity and sleep problem subgroups, both showed more severe autism symptoms only as described by the parents, but not per the professional assessment, and more impaired adaptive skills. Macrocephaly was observed in 7.9% of the ASD population and did not differ from the normative HC group in any of the examined behavioral measures. Based on these findings, two unique medical-behavioral subtypes in ASD that affect inherited traits of cognition and/or autism severity were suggested. The microcephaly phenotype occurred with more impaired cognition and the developmental regression phenotype with widespread, more severe impairments in cognition and autism severity. In contrast, severe food selectivity and sleep problems represent only comorbidities to ASD that affect functioning. Defining specific subgroups in ASD with a unique biological signature and specific behavioral phenotypes may help future genetic and neuroscience research.
The Checklist for Autism Spectrum Disorder (CASD) is a quick and valid instrument for screening for and diagnosing children with autism across the entire autism spectrum, regardless of age, IQ, or autism severity. The CASD is for children 1–16 years of age and is completed and scored by clinicians or parents in 15 min. The 30 CASD symptoms are scored as present or absent based on lifetime occurrence. The CASD is normed and standardized on 2,469 children with autism, other clinical disorders, and typical development (Mayes SD. Checklist for autism spectrum disorder. Chicago: Stoelting; 2012). Children with high-functioning autism and low-functioning autism earn CASD total scores at or above the autism cutoff of 15. In contrast, children with typical development, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety disorder, depression, oppositional-defiant disorder, language disorder, learning disability, mental retardation, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, and hearing impairment have CASD scores below 15. In the United States national standardization study conducted by the Stoelting Company, the CASD completed by clinicians differentiated children with and without autism with 99.5 % accuracy.
Students with autism are more likely to be bullied than their typically developing peers. However, several studies have shown that their likelihood of being bullied increases in the context of exposure to certain risk factors (e.g. behaviour difficulties and poor peer relationships). This study explores vulnerability to bullying from a cumulative risk perspective, where the number of risks rather than their nature is considered. A total of 722 teachers and 119 parents of young people with autism spectrum conditions participated in the study. Established risk factors were summed to form a cumulative risk score in teacher and parent models. There was evidence of a cumulative risk effect in both models, suggesting that as the number of risks increased, so did exposure to bullying. A quadratic effect was found in the teacher model, indicating that there was a disproportionate increase in the likelihood of being bullied in relation to the number of risk factors to which a young person was exposed. In light of these findings, it is proposed that more attention needs to be given to the number of risks to which children and young people with autism spectrum conditions are exposed when planning interventions and providing a suitable educational environment.
There is limited literature available on the comorbidity between autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and substance use disorder (SUD). This paper reviews existing literature and exemplifies the challenges of treating this population with a case report of an adult male with ASD and DSM-5 alcohol use disorder. This review and case study seeks to illustrate risk factors which predispose individuals with ASD to developing SUD and discuss the obstacles to and modifications of evidence-based treatments for SUD. A review of the therapeutic interventions implemented in the treatment of this young male are described to highlight potential recommendations for the general management of SUD in those with ASD.
Teaching Children with High-Level Autism combines the perspectives of families and children with disabilities and frames these personal experiences in the context of evidence-based practice, providing pre- and in-service teachers and professionals with vital information on how they can help children with high-level autism reach their full potential. Many children with high-level autism are capable of regulating their behaviors given the right interventions, and this cutting edge text explores multiple methods for helping such children succeed academically, socially, and behaviorally. The book: • draws from interviews with twenty families who have middle- and high-school-aged children with high functioning autism or Aspergers syndrome; • presents a synthesis of the most cutting-edge research in the field; • provides practical advice for educating children with high-level autism; • is authored by two special education professors who are also both the parents of children with disabilities.
Macrocephaly and brain overgrowth have been associated with autism spectrum disorder. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to provide an overall estimate of effect size and statistical significance for both head circumference and total brain volume in autism. Our literature search strategy identified 261 and 391 records, respectively; 27 studies defining percentages of macrocephalic patients and 44 structural brain imaging studies providing total brain volumes for patients and controls were included in our meta-analyses. Head circumference was significantly larger in autistic compared to control individuals, with 822/5225 (15.7%) autistic individuals displaying macrocephaly. Structural brain imaging studies measuring brain volume estimated effect size. The effect size is higher in low functioning autistics compared to high functioning and ASD individuals. Brain overgrowth was recorded in 142/1558 (9.1%) autistic patients. Finally, we found a significant interaction between age and total brain volume, resulting in larger head circumference and brain size during early childhood. Our results provide conclusive effect sizes and prevalence rates for macrocephaly and brain overgrowth in autism, confirm the variation of abnormal brain growth with age, and support the inclusion of this endophenotype in multi-biomarker diagnostic panels for clinical use.
The true extent of school bullying among youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) remains an underexplored area. The purpose of this meta-analysis is to: (a) assess the proportion of school-aged youth with ASD involved in school bullying as perpetrators, victims or both; (b) examine whether the observed prevalence estimates vary when different sources of heterogeneity related to the participants' characteristics and to the assessment methods are considered; and (c) compare the risk of school bullying between youth with ASD and their typically developing (TD) peers. A systematic literature search was performed and 17 studies met the inclusion criteria. The resulting pooled prevalence estimate for general school bullying perpetration, victimization and both was 10%, 44%, and 16%, respectively. Pooled prevalence was also estimated for physical, verbal, and relational school victimization and was 33%, 50%, and 31%, respectively. Moreover, subgroup analyses showed significant variations in the pooled prevalence by geographic location, school setting, information source, type of measures, assessment time frame, and bullying frequency criterion. Finally, school-aged youth with ASD were found to be at greater risk of school victimization in general, as well as verbal bullying, than their TD peers. Autism Res 2015. © 2015 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.