ICNC Abstracts, ICNC 2018

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PREVALENCE AND CLINICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER AT A TERTIARY HOSPITAL IN ZAMBIA
Kafula Lisa Nkole, Ornella Ciccone

Last modified: 2018-09-09

Abstract


Introduction

Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits in social interaction, communication and the presence of stereotyped, repetitive behaviours. Despite the increase in the global prevalence of autism spectrum disorder, very few studies have been done in Sub-Saharan Africa. .

Methods

This was a hospital based, cross sectional study conducted in two stages (i) screening with an autism RED FLAG SYMPTOM CHECKLIST and (ii) diagnosis using the DSM V CRITERIA for Autism Spectrum Disorder, conducted in the Paediatric outpatient department over an eight month period.

Results

560 participants were enrolled in this study. 15 children (2.6%) reported at least one red flag symptom. Of these, 8 fulfilled the DSM V diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum disorder, making the prevalence in this study 1.4 %. Common clinical characteristics seen in the children with ASD were male sex, age between 36-48 months and inability to utter a single word by the age of two years (non-verbal symptomatology). Paternal and maternal age above 30 years at the time of the child’s birth and high parental education levels were the common socio-demographic characteristics seen in the ASD group.

Conclusion

With a prevalence of 1.4% in this study, an increase in public awareness, knowledge of the early warning signs of autism and training of health personnel in the recognition, diagnosis and management of children living with ASD is warranted.

Keywords


Autism spectrum Disorder;prevalence; clinical characteristics; hospital based; Zambia

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