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CASD 7317X/CBSE 7685T Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders: Co-Morbid Features
Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders, Professor Susan Longtin
Comorbidity refers to he presence of a second (comorbid) condition in association with a previous one. It is well-established that ASD co-occurs with various other developmental, psychiatric, and medical conditions. These include hyperactivity, obsessive-compulsive phenomena, self-injury, tics, and affective symptoms. Of note, anxiety and mood problems have been frequently reported in older and more able individuals with ASD (Volkmar, 2013). In this section, we use the term “co-morbid” in a broad sense including savant skills, which can co-occur with ASD. In this section we address the following topics:
"Iris" is a two-minute Sony/Action Cam film by Wilkins and McGuire. It tells the story of Iris Grace, an extraordinarily talented non-verbal child with autism. The film addresses her early diagnosis at age three, some unusual behaviors, family concerns, and the breakthrough in finding her special interest in art. The film features several of Iris Grace’s paintings, which are sold for thousands of dollars, and the special relationship she shares with her cat,Thula.
The “Top Tenz” list of persons with Savant skills includes Matt Savage, a child musical genius who plays “Infected with Hemiola,” a jazz piece which he composed.
He reportedly learned to read by 18 months and was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) at 3 years. (4:51) The segment that features Matt is # 6 on the list.
This CNN segment, titled “Quest for Genius,” features Kim Peek, the savant on whom the character Raymond Babbitt from the movie “Rainman” is based. Kim is shown interviewed in the library in Salt Lake City where he lived. The segment emphasizes his extraordinary reading skills and memory.
Darold A. Treffert
Savant syndrome is a rare, but extraordinary, condition in which persons with serious mental disabilities, including autistic disorder, have some ‘island of genius’ which stands in marked, incongruous contrast to overall handicap. As many as one in 10 persons with autistic disorder have such remarkable abilities in varying degrees, although savant syndrome occurs in other developmental disabilities or in other types of central nervous system injury or disease as well. Whatever the particular savant skill, it is always linked to massive memory. This paper presents a brief review of the phenomenology of savant skills, the history of the concept and implications for education and future research.
People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exhibit many behaviors their family, teachers, and other supporters find challenging. At the same time, those individuals often find the world at large a challenge, and the behavior of the people in it perplexing.
Iris Grace; role of Thula her therapy cat; discussion of sensory issues; interview with mother; 4:30
Katherine M. Magnuson, B.S. and John N. Constantino, M.D.
Depressive syndromes represent a disabling comorbidity for many children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), however the ascertainment of depression can be complicated by phenotypic overlap between the two conditions, by ways in which autistic symptomatology can mask cardinal features of depression, and by atypical manifestations of depression in children with ASD. These issues have contributed to wide variation in the estimation of prevalence rates of depression in individuals with ASD, and invoke the need for new approaches to the specific detection of depression and other neuropsychiatric comorbidities that aggregate in children affected by ASD.