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From The CriticsReviewer: Danielle Calix, MD (Ochsner for Children)
Description: This handbook describes the background, characteristics, and symptoms of autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and uses sample case presentations and algorithms to aid physicians in the care of children with these disorders.
Purpose: The authors write this book specifically to help address the concerns, direct referrals for further evaluation and therapy, and coordinate care of children in the spectrum of autistic disorders.
Audience: It is intended for primary care providers in busy practices, to maximize interactions with families in addressing concerns regarding children with possible ASD. Both authors are affiliated with the Children's Medical Center of Dallas. The primary author is a pediatrician with specific training in neurodevelopmental disorders in children, while the second author is the coordinator psychometrician in the hospital's neurology department.
Features: The handbook is divided into four parts. The first is a brief overview of autism. Section II covers specific symptoms of ASD and each chapter begins with a brief sample case. Section III discusses therapeutic interventions including pharmacology. The final section tackles autism and the public school system. Flow charts and algorithms provide concise direction. Particularly helpful is the access to a website which provides parent questionnaires, handouts, and sample letters for primary care providers.
Assessment: Overall, this is a helpful quick-reference source. It is by no means a complete resource on autistic spectrum disorders. While the book itself is a helpful source of information, the compilation of resources, handouts, and websites in the appendixes is invaluable.