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Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Treatment

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Autism Spectrum Disorder

Author(s): Stella Green

Autism spectrum disorder is a phrase used to describe a constellation of early-appearing social communication difficulties and repetitive sensory-motor activities associated with a strong genetic component as well as other factors. Many persons with autism spectrum disorder have a better outlook now than they did 50 years ago; more people with the diagnosis can speak, read, and live in the community rather than in institutions, and some will be largely free of symptoms by maturity. However, the majority of people will not work full-time or live alone. Genetics and neurology have discovered intriguing risk patterns, but they have yet to provide many practical benefits. Considerable work is still needed to understand how and when behavioural and medical treatments can be effective, and for which children, including those with substantial comorbidities. It's also critical to put what we've learned into practice and build programmes for adults with autism spectrum disorders. Clinicians can help families navigate referrals and access to community support systems by offering timely and tailored assistance, giving correct information despite sometimes unfiltered media input, and predicting transitions such as family changes and school admission and exit.

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