chapter  4
20 Pages


Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are characterized by a spectrum of abnormal behaviors that include marked impairment in reciprocal social interaction, communication difficulties; and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of interests and activities (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). ASDs can also be associated with hyperactivity, impulsivity, anxiety, cognitive disorganization, affective instability, aggression, and distractibility, symptoms that overlap with other disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and other anxiety disorders, affective disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and sometimes even having similarities to psychotic disorders. Treatment of ASD requires psychological and social approaches including special education, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, and behavioral therapies, the symptoms in individuals with ASD might improve with additional psychotropic medication treatment.