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Autism spectrum disorder

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Autism
Spectrum
Disorder
A DSM-5 Presentation
Characterizations of ASD
 Persistent deficits in social communication
and social interaction across multiple
contexts;
 Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior,
interests, or activities;
 Symptoms must be present in the early
developmental period (typically recognized
in the first two years of life); and,
 Symptoms cause clinically significant
impairment in social, occupational, or other
important areas of current functioning.
Causes
Scientists don't know the exact causes of
autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but
research suggests that both genes and
environment play important roles.
Genetic Factors
 In identical twins who share the exact
same genetic code, if one has ASD, the
other twin also has ASD in nearly 9 out of
10 cases. If one sibling has ASD, the other
siblings have 35 times the normal risk of
also developing the disorder. Researchers
are starting to identify particular genes
that may increase the risk for ASD.
Genetics Continued
 Scientists have had had minimal success in
finding exactly which genes are involved.
 Most people who develop ASD have no
reported family history of autism, suggesting
that random, rare, and possibly many gene
mutations are likely to affect a person's risk.
Any change to normal genetic information is
called a mutation. Mutations can be
inherited, but some arise for no reason.
Mutations can be helpful, harmful, or have no
effect.
Genetics Continued
 Having increased genetic risk does not
mean a child will definitely develop ASD.
Many researchers are focusing on how
various genes interact with each other
and environmental factors to better
understand how they increase the risk of
this disorder.
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Autism spectrum disorder

  • 2. Characterizations of ASD  Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts;  Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities;  Symptoms must be present in the early developmental period (typically recognized in the first two years of life); and,  Symptoms cause clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of current functioning.
  • 3. Causes Scientists don't know the exact causes of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but research suggests that both genes and environment play important roles.
  • 4. Genetic Factors  In identical twins who share the exact same genetic code, if one has ASD, the other twin also has ASD in nearly 9 out of 10 cases. If one sibling has ASD, the other siblings have 35 times the normal risk of also developing the disorder. Researchers are starting to identify particular genes that may increase the risk for ASD.
  • 5. Genetics Continued  Scientists have had had minimal success in finding exactly which genes are involved.  Most people who develop ASD have no reported family history of autism, suggesting that random, rare, and possibly many gene mutations are likely to affect a person's risk. Any change to normal genetic information is called a mutation. Mutations can be inherited, but some arise for no reason. Mutations can be helpful, harmful, or have no effect.
  • 6. Genetics Continued  Having increased genetic risk does not mean a child will definitely develop ASD. Many researchers are focusing on how various genes interact with each other and environmental factors to better understand how they increase the risk of this disorder.
  • 7. Environmental Factors  In medicine, "environment" refers to anything outside of the body that can affect health. This includes the air we breathe, the water we drink and bathe in, the food we eat, the medicines we take, and many other things that our bodies may come in contact with. Environment also includes our surroundings in the womb, when our mother's health directly affects our growth and earliest development.
  • 8. Environment Continued  Researchers are studying many environmental factors such as family medical conditions, parental age and other demographic factors, exposure to toxins, and complications during birth or pregnancy.
  • 9. Environment Continued  As with genes, it's likely that more than one environmental factor is involved in increasing risk for ASD. And, like genes, any one of these risk factors raises the risk by only a small amount. Most people who have been exposed to environmental risk factors do not develop ASD
  • 10. Environment Continued  Scientists are studying how certain environmental factors may affect certain genes—turning them on or off, or increasing or decreasing their normal activity. This process is called epigenetics and is providing researchers with many new ways to study how disorders like ASD develop and possibly change over time.
  • 11. Signs & Symptoms: Social Impairment Most children with ASD have trouble engaging in everyday social interactions. For example, some children with ASD may:  Make little eye contact  Tend to look and listen less to people in their environment or fail to respond to other people  Rarely seek to share their enjoyment of toys or activities by pointing or showing things to others  Respond unusually when others show anger, distress, or affection.
  • 12. Signs & Symptoms: Communication Issues some children with autism may:  Fail or be slow to respond to their name or other verbal attempts to gain their attention  Fail or be slow to develop gestures, such as pointing and showing things to others  Coo and babble in the first year of life, but then stop doing so  Develop language at a delayed pace  Learn to communicate using pictures or their own sign language
  • 13. Communication Issues Continued  Speak only in single words or repeat certain phrases over and over, seeming unable to combine words into meaningful sentences  Repeat words or phrases that they hear, a condition called echolalia  Use words that seem odd, out of place, or have a special meaning known only to those familiar with the child's way of communicating.
  • 14. Diagnosis  Diagnosis is often a two-stage process. The first stage involves general developmental screening during well-child checkups with a pediatrician or an early childhood health care provider. Children who show some developmental problems are referred for additional evaluation.  The second stage involves a thorough evaluation by a team of doctors and other health professionals with a wide range of specialties. At this stage, a child may be diagnosed as having ASD or another developmental disorder.
  • 15. Treatment: Early Intervention  Research has shown that intensive behavioral therapy during the toddler or preschool years can significantly improve cognitive and language skills in young children with ASD.
  • 16. Common Features of Early Intervention Programs  Starting as soon as a child has been diagnosed with ASD  Providing focused and challenging learning activities at the proper developmental level for the child for at least 25 hours per week and 12 months per year  Having small classes to allow each child to have one-on-one time with the therapist or teacher and small group learning activities  Having special training for parents and family
  • 17. Features Continued  Encouraging activities that include typically developing children, as long as such activities help meet a specific learning goal  Measuring and recording each child's progress and adjusting the intervention program as needed  Providing a high degree of structure, routine, and visual cues, such as posted activity schedules and clearly defined boundaries, to reduce distractions
  • 18. ABA Therapy  One type of a widely accepted treatment is applied behavior analysis (ABA). The goals of ABA are to shape and reinforce new behaviors, such as learning to speak and play, and reduce undesirable ones. ABA, which can involve intensive, one-on-one child-teacher interaction for up to 40 hours a week, has inspired the development of other, similar interventions that aim to help those with ASD reach their full potential.
  • 19. An ABA Based Intervention  Verbal Behavior—focuses on teaching language using a sequenced curriculum that guides children from simple verbal behaviors (echoing) to more functional communication skills through techniques such as errorless teaching and prompting
  • 20. An ABA Based Intervention  Pivotal Response Training—aims at identifying pivotal skills, such as initiation and self-management, that affect a broad range of behavioral responses. This intervention incorporates parent and family education aimed at providing skills that enable the child to function in inclusive settings.
  • 21. ABA Based Intervention  Pivotal Response Training—aims at identifying pivotal skills, such as initiation and self-management, that affect a broad range of behavioral responses. This intervention incorporates parent and family education aimed at providing skills that enable the child to function in inclusive settings.
  • 22. Presentation Credits  Beidel, Deborah. Abnormal Psychology. New Jersey: Pearson Education, 2014.  American Psychiatric Association, (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental health disorders: DSM-5 (5th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing.