What is included in patient education about autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?

Updated: Sep 30, 2019
  • Author: James Robert Brasic, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Caroly Pataki, MD  more...
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Because local boards of education may be ignorant about the needs of children with autistic spectrum disorder and related conditions, pediatricians and parents should seek advice from knowledgeable sources such as the Autism Society of America, which maintains a Web site and offers a toll-free hotline at 1-800-3-AUTISM, providing information and referral services to the public. Legal assistance may be necessary to influence a board of education to fund appropriate education for a child with autistic disorder and related conditions.

People with developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorder, are vulnerable to sexual abuse, with the most severely disabled being at highest risk. Parents and caregivers need to be aware of this increased risk. Additionally, children with autism spectrum disorder must be trained to recognize impending sexual abuse and to develop plans of action to abort it. [109]

Almost half of a sample of more than 1000 children with autism spectrum disorders exhibited elopement, wandering away from home, school, and other safe environments. [110] Parents of children with autism spectrum disorders need to be warned that there is a fair chance that their child, without warning, may walk away from home or school to go to an environment where there is a risk for potential danger. Additionally, parents need to be advised to request that teachers and other caregivers vigilantly watch the child to prevent elopement.

For patient education information, see the Brain and Nervous System Center, as well as Asperger Syndrome.

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