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Rare Conditions with Autistic-Like Features

Angelman Syndrome

  • Angelman syndrome is a chromosomal disorder on chromosome 15.  Angelman Syndrome is not considered to be a subtype of autism. However individuals do display similar behavioral and communication problems such as hand-flapping, attention issues, hyperactivity, sleeping problems, and may also have seizures.  Children with Angelman are gregarious, love to laugh, have stiff movements, and have an affinity for water and many are also severely mentally retarded.

Cornelia de Lange Syndrome

  • Cornelia de Lange syndrome is a rare genetic disorder.  These children have low birth weights, developmental delays, small head circumference, and malformation of organs, limbs, and gastrointestinal reflux. They also display autistic like behaviors such as stereotypic behaviors, perseverations, and some may also be mentally retarded.

Landau-Kleffner Syndrome

  • Landau-Kleffner syndrome is a very rare seizure disorder resulting in a loss of speech after 18 months of age.  It is more common in males than females.  It is a seizure disorder that is difficult to diagnose because the seizures occur deep inside the brain and occur during sleep.  There is no known cause for the disorder.  In some cases the disorder arises after a head injury, and in other cases there is no known cause. 

Prader-Willi Syndrome

  • Prader-Willi syndrome is a genetic disorder with some autistic like symptoms, such a perseveration with food and eating.  These individuals may be mildly retarded and have speech and movement issues.  Behavioral issues such as tantrums, skin picking, and sleeping problems are also seen with individuals with Prader-Willi syndrome.

Williams Syndrome

  • Individuals with Williams syndrome have sensory integration issues similar to those seen in children with autism.  They are extremely sensitive to sounds and textures in foods. They also have developmental, gross motor, language delays and perseveration. 

Other Useful Links about Autism

  • Autism Overview
    • Autism is a neurological and developmental disorder that is associated with social, communication, sensory, behavioral and cognitive impairments, as well as restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, activities, or interests. Navigate to the Autism page for more information.
  • Autism Diagnostic Procedures
    • This link details a list of frequently used procedures to diagnose autism, including Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS), the Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (CHAT), and other screening tests.
  • Signs of Autism
    • Please refer to the signs of autism page that outlines communication, socialization, and sensory characteristics that are common in children on the autism spectrum. This is not intended to help diagnose a child.
  • Autism Therapy
    • Learn more about various therapies for autism; including play therapy, family therapy, neurofeedback and many more options.
  • Autism Treatments
    • Read more about various autism treatments, that include such things as integrative medicine approaches, diets, dietary supplements, and body work.
  • Additional Diagnosis Associated with Autism
  • Basic Neurology
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