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Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders: Clinical Overview 

Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders: Clinical Overview
Chapter:
Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders: Clinical Overview
Author(s):

Lisa Joseph

, Sarah Spence

, and Audrey Thurm

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199744312.003.0002
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date: 26 February 2020

Autism spectrum disorders (otherwise known as pervasive developmental disorders) are neurodevelopmental conditions characterized by impairments in reciprocal social interaction and communication, and the presence of restricted and repetitive behaviors. In order to provide a framework for appreciating the advances that basic science and model systems have made to the field, this chapter will outline the behaviorally defining features of the disorder and describe the phenotype of autism. We will present the current diagnostic conceptualization and criteria for autism spectrum disorders, discuss the diagnostic assessment process, explore frequently co-occurring problems in individuals with autism, and introduce various types of treatments that are frequently employed in this population.

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