Autism Spectrum Disorder (In Children and Adults)
Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD
Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Developmental Disabilities for the American Psychiatric Association, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and Medical Director of the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
- Autism facts
- What is autism?
- How does autism impact the family?
- What are the different types of autism?
- What are the symptoms and signs of autism in children and adults?
- Impairment of social interaction
- What causes autism?
- Is autism genetic?
- Do vaccines play a role in autism?
- How is autism diagnosed in children and adults?
- How is autism treated in children and adults?
- What common sociobehavioral interventions are used to treat autism?
- What are the common medications used to treat the symptoms of autism?
- Can diet and supplements play a role in the treatment of autism?
- What is the prognosis for children and adults with autism?
- For more information about autism in children and adults
- Take the Autism Quiz
- Autism Spectrum Disorder FAQs
- Patient Comments: Autism and Communication - Symptoms
- Find a local Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician in your town
- Characteristics of autism include impaired development in social interaction, communication, and behavior.
- The degree of autism varies from mild to severe.
- Severely afflicted persons with autism can appear to have a profound intellectual disabilty. Research tends to continue to refute the idea that immunizations cause autism.
- The cause of autism is unknown.
- The optimal treatment of autism involves an educational or vocational program that is suited to the developmental level of the child or adult, respectively.
- It is important for the unique medical and mental-health needs of people with autism to be addressed in order to optimize both their life expectancy and quality of life.
- Persons with autism and those who care for them often engage in advocacy activities like the walk for autism during April, Autism Awareness Month.
What is autism?
Autism is a developmental disorder that is characterized by impaired development in communication, social interaction, and behavior. Statistics about autism include that it afflicts one out of every 88 children, a 78% increase in the past 10 years. It affects the lives of many children and their families. It tends to affect about five boys to every one girl. Certain areas have been found to have clusters of autism, in that those regions have significantly more people with autism than average. Some such clusters were found in California from 1993 to 2001.
In the past, autism has been confused with childhood schizophrenia or childhood psychosis, and may have been misunderstood as schizotypal personality disorder in some adults. As additional research information about autism becomes available, the scope and definition of the condition continues to become more refined. Some of the past confusion about the disorder has been resolved.
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