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Autism-plus spectrum disorders: Interfaces with psychosis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 March 2020

R. Velasco Rodrigues
Affiliation:
Hospital Dona Estefânia, Child Psychiatry, Lisbon, Portugal
C. Marques
Affiliation:
Hospital Dona Estefânia, Child Psychiatry, Lisbon, Portugal
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Abstract

Introduction

Despite categorical differentiation, autistic and psychotic disorders are historically related diagnostic entities and there is still much controversy regarding their limits and developmental course. Particularly in children, the presence of idiosyncratic fears, difficulties in the social sphere and thought disorder are important factors in the differential diagnosis. There are some research-derived clinical constructs that operationalize symptomatology aiming to highlight the interfaces and the overlap between such disorders. Their clinical implications can be extremely relevant in the face of the limits of current nosology.

Objetives

To phenomenologically describe differentiating parameters and high-risk clinical profiles for the development of psychosis in children with autism spectrum disorder.

Methods

Selective review of the literature in PubMed (MEDLINE). Illustration with a clinical case vignette.

Results

The clinical case reflects well the difficulties posed in the differential diagnosis due to the multiple interfaces between autism and psychosis. Constructs such as “multiple complex developmental disorder” or “multidimensionally impaired syndrome” allow a clearer and more practice-friendly characterization of such individuals.

Conclusion

The constelation of symptoms identified in these criteria may become useful through the definition of subgroups of autism spectrum disorder individuals with complex psychopathology. Studies in this regard are still scarce, but the validation and reproduction of the positive results observed in the near future can help optimize the clinical approaches in these children.

Disclosure of interest

The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.

Type
EV289
Copyright
Copyright © European Psychiatric Association 2016

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