In the past, autism was seen as a disorder of very young children. But children grow up, and far too little is known about autism in adults, said Fred Volkmar, M.D., at APA’s 2013 Institute on Psychiatric Services in Philadelphia in October.
“Autism is a disorder of variability, and it has a tremendous range within the person, across populations, and across time,” said Volkmar, a professor of psychiatry, pediatrics, and psychology at the Yale School of Medicine and director of the Yale Child Study Center.
Preparing adolescents for transition to an adult world requires more than using interventions originally tailored for children, Volkmar maintained. “Adaptive skills must be taught explicitly,” he said, recounting the case of one patient who could do complex mathematics in his head but could not order a hamburger and count the change.
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