When a child is diagnosed with autism, certain traits are to be expected: sensory issues, language development delays and lack of social skills, for example. Unfortunately, there are also a number of other conditions that can accompany someone on the autism spectrum. While these conditions are rare, they are certainly worth mentioning to your child’s Orange County psychiatrist and pediatrician if you have any concerns.
Seizures. One in four children on the autism spectrum will develop seizures, often starting early in childhood or adolescence. They are caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain and can result in body convulsions, staring spells or a temporary loss of consciousness. In most cases, the seizures can be controlled by medication.
Fragile X Syndrome. This disorder is the most common inherited form of mental retardation, affecting about 2% to 5% of autistic children. It is important to get all children on the spectrum tested for Fragile X as they are best cared for by an autism specialist. If an autistic child has Fragile X and his or her parents want to have more children, there is a one-in-two chance those children will also have the syndrome.
Tuberous Sclerosis. This rare genetic disorder causes benign tumors to grow in the brain and other organs. About 4% of autistic people have tuberous sclerosis.