Objectives: The goal of the current study is to identify and describe a group of children and youth with existing learning and/or psychiatric diagnoses who were referred for an ASD assessment. These children and youth were seen by psychiatrists and allied mental health professionals (e.g., social workers) at an outpatient mental health program for a range of presenting problems before being referred for an ASD assessment.
Methods: The files of six individuals referred for an ASD assessment were reviewed to gain a better understanding of the characteristics of this group. Files were reviewed for existing learning and/or psychiatric diagnoses, scores on standardized assessment measures of ASD symptoms, age of onset of ASD symptoms, and history of involvement of mental health services. The standardized assessment measures of ASD symptoms included the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R; Lord, Rutter, & Le Couteur, 1994), the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule; Lord et al., 2000; and the Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ; Rutter, Bailey, & Lord, 2003).
Results: The majority of individuals referred for an ASD assessment met criteria for an ASD diagnosis. The characteristics of individuals who met criteria for an ASD, as well as those who were referred for an assessment and did not meet criteria, will be described.
Conclusions: Describing this group of children and youth using standardized, gold standard diagnostic measures (e.g., Nachshen et al., 2008), will lead to a better understanding of individuals with ASD with comorbid learning and/or psychiatric diagnoses. This, in turn, will lead to earlier and more accurate diagnosis and treatment for this diagnostically complex group of individuals.
See more of: Psychiatric/Behavioral Comorbidities
See more of: Symptoms, Diagnosis & Phenotype