Autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a mental health condition that has symptoms that include problems with:
repetitive actions or body movements
This greatly impairs and affects the way one is able to communicate with others and maintain relationships.
Autistic people are usually very gifted and talented. For example, they may be very good at art, music, or math.
Autism usually appears while a child is quite young. Around the age of 3.
Some other symptoms include:
a lack of eye contact
an interest in certain topics over others
high sensitivity to their senses (touch, smell, hearing etc.)
Autism is more likely to occur in boys than girls.
Asperger’s & Autism
There are other conditions that fall under the category of Austism spectrum disorder such as Asperger’s.
These are children that don’t have a problem with a speech at all and actually have high IQs. Their symptoms are more based on the inability to interact and communicate socially. They have a small range of interests.
Check ups for Autism
It is important to visit your child’s physician to get appropriate screening done while your child is still young. In the 9 months – 30 months young range. If your child shows signs then a complete evaluation can be done and sometimes you will be referred to a specialist.
The most common medication used for Autism are antipsychotics.
Antipsychotics for Autism
Antipsychotic medications are prescribed for psychotic disorders including schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. They are also used for people with autism.
They work on chemicals in the brain that can affect psychosis, such as serotonin and dopamine.
These medications take approximately 4 to 6 weeks for symptoms like hallucinations and delusions to improve.
Typical or first-generation Antipsychotics include:
Chlorpromazine / Thorazine
Haloperidol / Haldol
Perphenazine / Trilafon
Fluphenazine / Prolixin
Atypical or second-generation antipsychotics are newer and thought to cause fewer side effects. These include:
Aripiprazole / Abilify
Risperidone / Risperdal
Clozapine / Clozaril
Olanzapine / Zyprexa
Paliperidone / Invega Sustenna
Quetiapine / Seroquel
Brexpiprazole / Rexulti
Cariprazine / Vyralar
May Come with Side Effects
Some Side effect profiles for antipsychotic medications include:
Low Blood Pressure
Low White Blood Cell Count
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American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
Baio, J., Wiggins, L., Christensen, D. L., Maenner, M. J., Daniels, J., Warren, Z., … & Dowling, N. F. (2018). Prevalence of autism spectrum disorder among children aged 8 years—autism and developmental disabilities monitoring network, 11 sites, United States, 2014. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Surveillance Summaries, 67(6), 1-23.
National Institute of Mental Health. (2021). Autism Spectrum Disorder. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/autism-spectrum-disorders-asd/index.shtml
Sandin, S., Lichtenstein, P., Kuja-Halkola, R., Larsson, H., Hultman, C. M., & Reichenberg, A. (2014). The familial risk of autism. JAMA, 311(17), 1770-1777.