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Psychiatric Comorbidity in Autism Spectrum Disorder 

Psychiatric Comorbidity in Autism Spectrum Disorder
Psychiatric Comorbidity in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Susan E. Folstein

and Luis M. Carcache

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date: 24 May 2022

This chapter reviews the diagnosis of comorbid psychiatric disorders in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Taking a thorough history is very important, but this can be challenging if the patient is minimally to nonverbal and/or if he or she has significant cognitive impairment. Careful observation of the patient and his or her behavior is critical for the mental status examination, again, especially in the nonverbal patient or cognitively impaired individual. The major psychiatric comorbidities common in individuals with ASD are reviewed. Symptoms that present in a similar way to neurotypical individuals, as well as those that present differently, for each diagnosis are highlighted. Abnormal behaviors that are common but not diagnosis specific are also described. Some discussion of pharmacological approaches to the comorbid psychiatric disorders that occur in persons with ASD is included.

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