Clinical Toolkit for Autism
Clinical Toolkit For Autism
Evidence-based medical diagnostics in autism: developing a clinical practice algorithm
Many medical conditions are significantly over-represented in autism and are a frequent contributing factor to morbidity and lower quality of life. These include diseases of nervous, circulatory, respiratory, immune and digestive systems. The severity of these conditions most often correlates with the severity of autism.
Premature mortality is significantly increased in autism. The average life expectancy of a person with severe autism is only 39.5 years. The average life expectancy in individuals with high-functioning autism/Asperger syndrome is around 58 years. Early mortality is higher across variety of medical conditions, with epilepsy being the single most common cause of premature death in severe autism.
Individuals with autism may not show clear and typical signs and symptoms but may instead express their discomfort and distress through unusual or challenging behaviours – it is important to note that diseases may present atypically in autism as our knowledge on diseases presentation is based on general population. Therefore lack of usual disease presentation and symptoms only lowers the possibility of the disorder in a patient with autism, but does not exclude it.
‘DIAGNOSTIC TOOLKIT for Medical Comorbidities in Autism’
This document is a work in progress – below is the First Draft version.
We invite comments and offers of collaboration from medical professionals, researchers and parents – please write to mail (@) thinkingautism.org.uk