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Future Directions 

Future Directions
Chapter:
Future Directions
Author(s):

Martin J. Lubetsky

, Benjamin L. Handen

, and John J. McGonigle

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199753857.003.0123
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date: 07 June 2020

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is viewed as a developmental neurobiological disorder. The increased reported incidence of ASD over the past two decades has stimulated growth in research on etiology, diagnosis, treatment, as well as service provision. The expanded community awareness of ASD has magnified the growing numbers and needs of adults with ASD living in the community. As we look to the future, the study of ASD is progressing rapidly in several ways: upcoming proposed changes in DSM-5 may result in separate diagnostic classifications being subsumed under one category of ASD (www.dsm5.org); a new understanding of the early and likely prenatal, developmental neurobiological events that lead to subsequent brain developmental abnormalities; longitudinal research studies of “at risk” infant siblings defining the earliest signs or symptoms of ASD, both toward improving early diagnosis and for implications reflecting a disorder of complex or integrative information processing; changes in the psychopharmacological treatment has led to two medications being approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), and likely others, specifically to target symptoms; growth of Complementary and Alternative Treatments in ASD needs to result in well controlled scientific studies to test these interventions; and advancements are also expected in educational approaches, behavioral treatments, communication interventions, sensory therapies, social skills competency training, and adapted cognitive psychotherapies.

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