Autism is known as a “spectrum” disorder because there is wide variation in symptoms, skills and levels of impact people experience.

The saying, “If you’ve seen one child with autism, you’ve seen one child with autism”, aptly captures this fact - no two people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are affected in exactly the same way and ASD is unique to the individual. Whereas previously, Autistic Disorder was a diagnostic subcategory of Pervasive Developmental Disorders, in DSM-5 (published in 2013) a single diagnostic classification of Autistic Spectrum Disorder is now used to describe a single condition with different levels of symptom severity in two core domains: (i) deficits in social communication and interaction and (ii) restrictive, repetitive behaviours, interests and activities. Importantly, DSM-5 now allows for a dual diagnosis of ASD and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) where both conditions co-exist.1

The estimated UK prevalence of ASD is 1% and because of its early onset, lifelong persistence, and high levels of associated impairment, it is recognised as a major public health concern.

There are many claims of a 'cure' for autism, all of which are without foundation. However, there are interventions that can help some of the core features of autism, some of the symptoms, behaviours and problems commonly associated with autism, and support families and carers.2 Many individuals with ASD have psychiatric symptoms that do not form part of the diagnostic criteria for the disorder; it is recognised that about 70% of individuals with ASD impairment may have one comorbid mental disorder and 40% may have two or more comorbid mental disorders. Medical conditions commonly associated with ASD include epilepsy, sleep problems and constipation.1 Identification of comorbidities may provide targets for specific interventions to reduce overall impairment and improve quality of life.

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Flynn works across a number of complex yet manageable therapy areas and is committed to supporting the continued education of healthcare professionals, trainees and allied roles.

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Slenyto® Therapeutic Bulletin

A succinct summary of the evidence-base for Slenyto® (paediatric prolonged-release melatonin) for the treatment of insomnia in children and adolescents with Autistic Spectrum Disorder ...

ADHD and ASD

Information for parents of children who may have characteristics or symptoms suggestive of ADHD and/or ASD.

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Flynn has collaborated with clinicians and leaders working within the NHS and the third sector to create a range of patient-focused resources and materials designed to improve decision-making and support service improvement across a number of therapy areas.

References:

1. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition: DSM-5. American Psychiatric Association, 201

2. NICE Clinical guideline CG170 Autism spectrum disorder in under 19s: support and management. Published August 2013