Autism spectrum disorders: An historical synthesis and a multidimensional assessment toward a tailored therapeutic program

Jean Xavier, Claude Bursztejn, Maitri Stiskin, Roberto Canitano, David Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Autism is a large group of disorders. From the first description in 1943 until know, attempts to propose nosological boundaries, through successive redefinitions of diagnostic criteria, have not succeeded in constraining the extensiveness nor in explaining the heterogeneity of autism. The failure of the categorical approach is revealed by several indices, including excessive comorbidity, the frequent use of Not Otherwise Specified categories and diagnostic uncertainty in borderline cases. Several proposals have been formulated to categorize subgroups of children with complex severe developmental disorders but less severe trajectories than typical autism. The diversity and overlap in their clinical expression emphasize the importance of using a multidimensional assessment inscribed in a developmental perspective. In this way, clinicians could encompass the issues of the categorical approach, address the child holistically and then achieve a functional diagnosis enabling the elaboration of a tailored therapeutic proposal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-33
Number of pages13
JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Volume18
DOIs
StatePublished - 30 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Categorical
  • Developmental
  • Integrative perspective
  • Multidimensional assessment
  • Tailored therapeutic proposal

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