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APA: Autism Treatment Should be Individualized

APA: Autism Treatment Should be Individualized

(ePharmaNews) – A recent CDC report said that one of every 88 American children has Autism Spectrum Disorder, instead of one of every 110 as the previous report had shown. This increment has multiple reasons, according to Prof.Laura Schreibman, the director of UCSD Autism Intervention Research Program in an interview done with American Psychological Association.

"While research is focusing very heavily on the genetic basis for autism, we have not yet identified either the specific genetic sites or the mechanisms of effect." She says.

Regarding the recent study published in Pediatrics which linked Autism to Mothers' obesity, she says: "Any time I read a study like this I am intrigued. However, I have seen so many of these types of studies that I have a hard time getting hopeful that it will be a breakthrough. Also, since maternity obesity has long been known to have serious consequences to the fetus, I am not surprised that autism might be one of those consequences."

And Adding: "I and others believe that ASD is not a single disorder and thus it is unlikely there is a single cause. "

For the reason this diagnosis has increased lately, as shown in CDC's report, she says: "First, we have broadened the diagnostic label to include a “spectrum” of disorders. Second, we have better diagnostic instruments. Third, we have increased awareness by professionals (such as pediatricians), parents and the general public. Fourth, we are able to identify children at a younger age. Fifth, it is the case that in many places, one receives more and better services for a child with an autism diagnosis than might be available for other special needs. This leads to some pressure for the diagnosis. Sixth, there might be some environmental toxins in our more recent world that somehow interact with a genetically susceptible infant – although nothing yet has been proven."

Though no 100% effective treatment is found for autism, behavioral treatments are effective; those treatments should be individualized according to every child's case, and no universal treatment is available.
"However, variability in treatment response should not be surprising in that the nature of the autism spectrum is such that there is a high degree of variability in the population." She concludes.

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Prepared by: Laila Nour

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