No Wonder this Condition Was Invented by University Employees

So you're a psychiatrist with your own practice and times are not easy: The rest of the mortgage must be paid and your kids want to attend ivy league colleges. And damn, those people at Harvard are greedy.

Next patient: A father with his son. Says the boy hardly talks, doesn't get along with the other kids in school, sits in his room all day... Great! That could be a case of Autism:

Autism is a complex and lifelong condition for which there is no cure. A comprehensive evaluation requires a multidisciplinary team including a psychologist, neurologist, psychiatrist, speech therapist and other professionals.(...)

ASD can usually be diagnosed at the age of two. Some people may never obtain a proper diagnosis of their condition and still manage to live full and capable lives, but most will benefit from one because it brings relief, allows access to services and therapies, and aids family support.

There is no cure, but the earlier a diagnosis is made the better the chances of appropriate management via therapy, educational programmes and support groups.

Atypical autism
Autism affects the way a person relates to people around them.
Traits include:
— Difficulty with social interaction (eg, appearing aloof)
— Difficulty with verbal and nonverbal communication (eg, words, gestures, expressions or tone of voice)
— Difficulty with social imagination (eg, a limited range of imaginative activities, possibly copied and pursued rigidly and repetitively)
— Sometimes, an accompanying learning disability

Lots of treatment! But you talk to the boy and, naw, he doesn't really fit the bill.

Luckily, you still have

Asperger’s syndrome
Children with autistic behaviours but well-developed language skills are often diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome
Traits include:
Like those with atypical autism, someone with Asperger’s syndrome also has difficulty in communicating, social relationships, and social imagination. It differs from atypical autism in the following ways:
— Social relationships: many people with Asperger’s syndrome enjoy human contact, although they find it hard to understand facial expressions

— Difficulty with communication: those with Asperger’s syndrome may speak fluently, but they may not understand reactions of those around them. They may also sound overprecise
— Lack of imagination: while they often excel at learning facts and figures, they can find it hard to think in abstract ways
— Special interests: they may also have an obsessive interest in a hobby and they often find change upsetting

But you talk some more to the boy and, frankly, there seems to be nothing wrong with him. An introvert, sure, doesn't talk a lot, a bit of an egocentric maybe. Don't panic! You can still grab for your ragbag:
Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS)
Children with some symptoms of autism but not enough to be diagnosed with atypical autism or Asperger’s syndrome are often diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). This term is only used when all other possible diagnoses have been eliminated and varies in meaning depending on the individual. Research is continuing into the possibility of positive criteria for PDD-NOS.
Phew! Your children's education is save.

Pointer: Gene Expression

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