Medical management of autism.
Melmed Center, 5020 E. Shea Blvd., Suite 100, Scottsdale, AZ 85254, USA.Journal of the South Carolina Medical Association (1975) 11/2006; 102(8):274-6.
The primary care physician should be knowledgeable about the medical issues that children with ASD encounter and also be aware of available treatment options. Included among these are: identification of seizures, treatment of sleep problems, aggressive management of chronic constipation and GERD as well as timely referral for preventive dental care. Due to the scarcity of sub-specialists (Pediatric Neurologist, Developmental Pediatrician, Child Psychiatrist/ Psychologist) managing children with ASD, the primary care physician should likewise be familiar with medication options for challenging behaviors. More importantly, there needs to be a close collaboration and communication between the family, the sub-specialist and the child's primary care physician.
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ABSTRACT: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th Edition) prohibits the co-diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, recent studies indicate that co-occurrence of clinically significant ADHD and autistic symptoms is common, and that some genes may influence both disorders. Children with the combination of ADHD and motor coordination problems are particularly likely to have an ASD. These co-occurrences of symptoms are important since children with ASD in addition to ADHD symptoms may respond poorly to standard ADHD treatments or have increased side effects. Such children may benefit from additional classes of pharmacologic agents (i.e., alpha-agonists, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and neuroleptics). They may also benefit from social skills therapy, individual and family psychotherapy, behavioral therapy and other nonpharmacologic interventions.
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