Autism Can Be Diagnosed in Children with Down Syndrome

By Splete, Heidi | Clinical Psychiatry News, November 2011 | Go to article overview

Autism Can Be Diagnosed in Children with Down Syndrome


Splete, Heidi, Clinical Psychiatry News


FROM THE JOURNAL OF INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY RESEARCH

Children with Down syndrome can be diagnosed with autism via the autism spectrum disorder criteria from the DSM, based on results of a cluster analysis of 293 children with Down syndrome.

Previous studies have suggested that autism spectrum disorders (ASD) cannot be effectively diagnosed in children with Down syndrome (DS) because of the cognitive impairment already associated with DS, said Dr. N.Y. Ji of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.

In this study, Dr. Ji and colleagues used the Aberrant Behavior Checklist to show that children with both DS and ASD match the DSM criteria for autism diagnoses (J. Intellect. Disabil. Res. 2011 Aug. 30 [doi:10.1111 41365-2788.2011.0465.x]).

The researchers assessed more than 1,000 children aged 0-21 years who visited the Down syndrome clinic of the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore during 1992-2008. They identified 293 children for cluster analysis and used the Aberrant Behavior Checklist-Community (ABC-C) and the Autism Behavior Checklist to identify autism features. For comparison, the researchers also identified children with DS and two other common DS comorbidities: disruptive behavior disorder (DBS) and stereotypic movement disorder (SMD). …

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