Autistic spectrum disordersKeywords:
We treat and examine autistic spectrum disorders in HUS.
Autistic spectrum disorders occur in approximately 1–2% of the population. Autism and Asperger's syndrome, among others, belong to the autistic spectrum disorders. Central in autistic spectrum disorders are the permanent shortcomings in social interaction and communication, as well as limited and repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, and activities.
In boys, autistic spectrum disorders are 3–4 times more common than in girls. A suspicion of autism usually occurs when a child is between 1.5 and 2.5 years old. The difficulties in making contact with others, especially the lack of eye contact, and the delay in speech development, are the most common reasons for referring children for further examinations. Less severe problems (e.g. associated with Asperger's syndrome) arise at a later age, as the challenges of social interaction with children of the same age are accentuated and special interests can be seen more easily.
If a child is suspected of having an autistic spectrum disorder, explorations will be initiated through the child health clinic (neuvola) or school health care. The child's development and performance are assessed through interviews, observations, and evaluations. Early support and guidance will be initiated for the family. If necessary, a referral will be made by primary health care for examinations in HUS.
In all autistic spectrum disorders, we plan rehabilitation on the basis of the individual needs of the child. The aim is to start rehabilitation early on. In comprehensive rehabilitation, we take into account the different aspects of development, and rehabilitation takes place daily in all of the child environments, such as at home, day care, or school. We support the child's communication, social interaction skills, and independence in the activities of daily living in the child's everyday environment.