Autistic Disorder

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Features – triad of impaired social interactions, impaired communication, and stereotyped behaviors; patients lack social relationships, have bizarre or absent speech, odd mannerisms or rituals, onset occurs before age 3, head banging or biting is common, MR is present in 75%, 5:1 male to female ratio. Language abnormalities include echolalia, pronoun reversals, qualitative abnormalities, and general language delays. They have a great need for consistency in their environment, and may decompensate with any changes.

Treatment – psychotherapy, highly structured classroom setting, rare – stimulant meds, mood stabilizers, antipsychotics for destructive behavior

Etiology – organic, variable – genetic, congenital, immunologic, neuroanatomic, neurophysiologic, biochemical, etc are suggested.