|Infant Brain—Period of Rapid Development|
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- Difficulty interacting with others
- Trouble making friends
- Poor understanding of other people's feelings
- Insensitivity to social cues and facial expressions
- Inappropriate social and emotional responses
- Preoccupation with one's own world
- Not sharing enjoyment, interests, or achievements with others
- Following repetitive routines or rituals
- Difficulty with any changes in routine or schedule
- Single mindedness
- Limited interests, usually one or two subjects
- Repeating words or phrases over and over
- Intense interest in a few topics
- Good rote memory without understanding the information
- Limited verbal skills or using words in odd ways
- Difficulty imagining things or thinking abstractly
- Taking things very literally
- Focusing on small details and having trouble seeing the bigger picture
- Ability to read without understanding the words
- Problems with nonverbal communication
- Poor eye contact
- Few facial expressions, except for anger or unhappiness
- Impaired body posturing or use of gestures
- Clumsy movements
- Hand flapping
- Poor coordination
- Inflexibility or trouble accepting change
- Difficulty accepting loss or criticism
- Obsessive desire to finish any tasks that are started
- Mood-altering drugs
- Drugs to control seizures
- Serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as citalopram, sertraline, and fluoxetine
- Neuroleptics—such as risperidone
- Give warnings that an activity is about to end and provide ways to save the task for later. For instance, a favorite television show may be recorded for later viewing.
- Try to include some flexibility into the day.
- Set limits on the amount of time the child can spend on a single, obsessive activity.
- Keep directions simple.
- Use precise words.
- Limit choices to two or three things.
- Avoid using figures of speech.
- Make lists.
- Do not assume a child with this disorder understands what has been said simply because he can repeat it back to you.
- At an early age, start explaining what is appropriate behavior for public and private places.
- Do not make idle threats or promises.
- Give praise for accomplishments, especially social skills.
Asperger Syndrome Education Network http://www.aspennj.org
Online Asperger Syndrome Information and Support (OASIS) http://www.aspergersyndrome.org
Autism Society Canada http://www.autismsocietycanada.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Asperger syndrome. Nemours Kids Health website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/brain/asperger.html. Updated January 2012. Accessed February 21, 2013.
Asperger syndrome fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/asperger/detail%5Fasperger.htm. Updated February 4, 2013. Accessed February 21, 2013.
Asperger's syndrome. Autism Society website. Available at: http://www.autism-society.org/about-autism/aspergers-syndrome. Accessed February 21, 2013.
Autism spectrum disorders. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated February 14, 2013. Accessed February 21, 2013.
Cashin A, Sci DA. Two terms-one meaning: the conundrum of contemporary nomenclature in autism. J Child Adolesc Psychiatr Nurs. 2006;19:137-144.
Filipek PA, et al. Practice parameter: screening and diagnosis of autism: report of the Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology and the Child Neurology Society. Neurology. 2000;55(4):468-479.
Marcus RN, Owen R, et al. Safety and tolerability of aripiprazole for irritability in pediatric patients with autistic disorder: a 52-week, open-label, multicenter study. J Clin Psychiatry. 2011;72(9):1270-1276.
Mattila ML, Hurtig T, et al. Comorbid psychiatric disorders associated with Asperger syndrome/high-functioning autism: a community- and clinic-based study. J Autism Dev Disord. 2010;40(9):1080-1093.
Nass R, Ross G. Developmental Disabilities. In: Bradley WG, ed. Neurology in Clinical Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Butterworth Heinemann Elsevier; 2008.
Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics.16th ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2000.
Simonoff E. Genetic counseling in autism and pervasive developmental disorders. J Autism Dev Disord. 1998; 28: 447–456.
Venkat A, et al. Care of the patient with an autism spectrum disorder by the general physician. J Postgrad Med. 2012;88(1042):472-481.
- Reviewer: Kari Kassir, MD
- Review Date: 03/2014 -
- Update Date: 05/05/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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