Posted on December 18, 2009 by kk2257
Many symptoms of autism are also present in other conditions which can easily lead to a misdiagnosis. The heterogeneity of the autism spectrum, the variety of symptoms or characteristics that have been described and the controversy over which symptoms have to present for a diagnosis often make it difficult not only to diagnose autism but also to draw a clear line between autism and other disorders. Therefore, it is not surprising that many cases of autism appear in conjunction with other childhood disorders.
Autism can be differentiated from at least 7 other conditions with which it shares certain essential diagnostic characteristics:
- childhood schizophrenia: onset after the age of 5, family history of psychosis, hallucinations, deliriums, psychomotor deficits, poor physical health;
- developmental dysphasia: maintain the ability of non-verbal communication, show emotions, able to engage in symbolic play;
- mental retardation: maintain social interaction and communication skills;
- environmental deprivation: when placed in a stimulating environment, these children are able to recuperate deficient skills;
- Rett Syndrome: no isolation nor stereotypical or ritualized behavior;
- Asperger’s Syndrome: language development not affected;
- childhood disintegrative disorder: profound regression after, usually, 3-4 years of normal development, also includes the loss of abilities other than communication and social relationships.
Since there is no clear point of separation between autism and other disorders, distinctions have to be made based on characteristics that have proven to be the most valid ones when differntiating between autistic and non-autistic children of the same age.