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Ann Saudi Med. 2010 Jul-Aug;30(4):295-300. doi: 10.4103/0256-4947.65261.

Autism spectrum disorders.

Author information

1
Developmental Pediatric Unit, Department of Pediatrics, Al-Sabah Hospital, Ministry of Health, Kuwait. hyfaras@yahoo.com

Abstract

Pervasive developmental disorders are a group of neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by impairments in communication, reciprocal social interaction and restricted repetitive behaviors or interests. The term autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has been used to describe their variable presentation. Although the cause of these disorders is not yet known, studies strongly suggest a genetic basis with a complex mode of inheritance. More research is needed to explore environmental factors that could be contributing to the cause of these disorders. The occurrence of ASD has been increasing worldwide, with the most recent prevalence studies indicating that they are present in 6 per 1000 children. The objectives of this article are to provide physicians with relevant information needed to identify and refer children presenting with symptoms suggestive of ASDs to specialized centers early, and to make them feel comfortable in dealing with public concerns regarding controversial issues about the etiology and management of these disorders.

PMID:
20622347
PMCID:
PMC2931781
DOI:
10.4103/0256-4947.65261
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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