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Autism. 2008 Jan;12(1):65-82. doi: 10.1177/1362361307085214.

Characteristics of children with autism spectrum disorders who received services through community mental health centers.

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University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA.


Despite the presence of significant psychiatric comorbidity among children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), little research exists on those who receive community-based mental health services. This project examined one year (2004) of data from the database maintained by 26 community mental health centers (CMHCs) in the Midwestern US state of Kansas. Children with autism were compared to children with other ASDs - Asperger's disorder, Rett's disorder, and PDD-NOS. Children with autism predictably received more special education services than children with other ASDs, while the latter were more likely to have experienced prior psychiatric hospitalization. Children with ASDs other than autism were also significantly more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, depressive disorders, and bipolar disorder. In 2004, Kansas CMHCs served less than 15 percent of the children estimated to have an ASD. Implications of these findings are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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