Background: In spite of advances in assessment and management of patients with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) in west, developing countries including India are lagging far behind in child psychiatry, let alone ASDs. The aims of our study were to find the socio-demographic and clinical profile of children with ASDs in a child psychiatry unit.
Methods and Materials: This was a Cross sectional observational descriptive study conducted in Outpatient child psychiatry clinic. Semi-structured questionnaire was used to record the socio-demographic status. The diagnosis of ASDs was made on the basis of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision (DSM IV-TR) after a thorough clinical assessment which was also confirmed by consultant in charge child psychiatry. Intelligence quotient was assessed by clinical psychologist. Descriptive statistical analysis was done and presented as frequencies and percentages.
Results: A total of 55 patients were diagnosed with ASDs. Most of the patients were less than 9 years with 52.73% in 4-7 years age group and 21.82% in 7-9 year age group. Males (78.18%) out-numbered females. 52.73% belonged to Nuclear Family and 63.63% were from rural background. 70.91% were staying at home. Autism was the most frequent diagnosis in 61.82% of the patients followed by Pervasive Developmental Disorder not otherwise specified (PDD NOS) in 30.91%. Co-morbid mental retardation (MR) was present in 47(85.45%) of our subjects.
Conclusion: 10.4% of children and adolescents with psychiatric disorders were having ASDs with autistic disorder and PDD NOS representing more than 90% of these cases. Despite the growing global attention for inclusive education to these children, only 3% of our cases were receiving inclusive education and about 70% of cases were staying at home.
Bilal Ahmad Bhat*, Arshad MOHD Hussain, Wasim Qadir and Shabir Ahmad Dar