Autism Spectrum Disorder: Psychological Factors

The qualitative impairments in social communication and restricted and repetitive behaviors that define autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are frequently associated with other psychological conditions that may have a profound effect on the day-to-day functioning of individuals with ASD. Individuals with ASD show significant variability in symptom expression, levels of cognitive functioning, and comorbid psychiatric conditions. Many individuals with ASD have psychiatric symptoms beyond those that form diagnostic criteria for the disorder, with up to 70% of people with ASD having one comorbid disorder and 40% probably having two or more disorders. Some of the most common comorbid conditions include intellectual disability, anxiety, depression, hyperactivity, attention problems, and challenging behaviors. These comorbid disorders manifest across individuals in a divergent manner and affect a person’s behavior, ability ...

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