Most Read Articles
Elaine Soliven, 17 Aug 2017
Probiotic supplementation during the first 6 months of life does not reduce the incidence of eczema or asthma later in childhood, according to the randomized controlled TIPS* study.

Autism spectrum disorder: Updated guidelines for GPs

14 Jul 2017
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects approximately one in 100 children worldwide and GPs are often the first and most important contact for parents of children with ASD. In particular, GPs play a key role in recognizing early signs of ASD, referring children for specialist assessment, supporting the child and their family, reviewing specialist prescribed medication, and coordinating specialist support. It is important, therefore, that they be knowledgeable about the early signs of ASD and understand the importance of early intervention.

ASD is currently defined by the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) of the American Psychiatric Association. Although it is a lifelong condition, ASD emerges in early infancy and can be reliably diagnosed as early as age 2. Possible red flags include signs of communication, social, and behavioural disturbances at 12–24 months of age. In particular, children who do not babble, coo, or gesture by pointing, waving, or grasping by age of 12 months, who do not say single words by 16 months, and who do not say any two-word phrases without prompting by age of 24 months should be referred for specialist assessment. Any child with a loss of language or social skills at any age should also be referred, since deterioration in behaviour might indicate an acute illness in a person with ASD such as an ear infection. Comorbid anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and depression are also common. However, it is important to remember that children with ASD can present in a number of different ways depending on their current symptoms, cognitive ability, and educational and life experiences.
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Most Read Articles
Elaine Soliven, 17 Aug 2017
Probiotic supplementation during the first 6 months of life does not reduce the incidence of eczema or asthma later in childhood, according to the randomized controlled TIPS* study.