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  • image Persons diagnosed with Down syndrome (DS) can be at increased risk for medical and psychiatric comorbidities.
  • image In persons with DS, a thorough evaluation is needed to differentiate between depression and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • image Treatment plans for persons with autism focus on increasing social interactions, improving verbal and nonverbal communication, and minimizing the occurrence or impact of ritualistic, repetitive behaviors and other related mood and behavioral problems (e.g., overactivity, irritability, and self-injury).
  • image Many purported pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatments for autism lack objective evidence-based support.
  • image A structured teaching approach focusing on increasing social communication and integration with peers is needed when providing services to persons with autism.
  • image Nonpharmacologic interventions for sleep disturbances in children with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder should be implemented prior to pharmacotherapy considerations.
  • image Psychopharmacologic treatment planning should include monitoring of objective, measurable medication-responsive target behaviors, and assessment of potential adverse effects is of critical importance when treating behavioral symptoms of autism, as the response of individuals to medication therapy is highly variable.
  • image The use of FDA-approved medication for off-label indications is an acceptable clinical practice if founded on evidence-based research and informed consent.
  • image The four stages of Rett syndrome are associated with developmental regression.

  1. Compare and contrast the signs and symptoms of Down syndrome, autism, and Rett syndrome.

  2. Discuss the proposed etiologies for Down syndrome, autism, and Rett syndrome.

  3. Discuss the medical implications of common comorbid conditions in a person with Down syndrome.

  4. Describe the presentation of Alzheimer’s disease in an individual with Down syndrome.

  5. Summarize therapeutic considerations in children diagnosed with Down syndrome and acute leukemia.

  6. Describe the target symptoms and behaviors of autism that may be responsive to pharmacologic intervention.

  7. Compare and contrast pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatment modalities utilized in persons diagnosed with autism.

  8. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of atypical antipsychotic agents used in those diagnosed with autism.

  9. Discuss the efficacy of psychopharmacologic agents for target behaviors in patients diagnosed with autism.

  10. Compare and contrast the adverse effect profiles of pharmacologic agents used in the treatment of behavioral symptoms of autism.

  11. Recommend appropriate monitoring parameters for antipsychotic agents utilized in the treatment of persons with autism.

  12. Describe patient and family counseling to promote the safe and effective use of medications to treat behavioral issues in autism.

  13. Discuss the clinical presentation of Rett syndrome in females at the various stages of the disorder.

  14. Debate the advantages and disadvantages of pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions in the treatment of Rett syndrome.

  15. Develop pharmacotherapy treatment plans to address potential clinically significant drug interactions associated with use of atypical antipsychotic agents in the intellectually disabled population.

Intellectual disabilities (IDs) can be identified in childhood or adolescence. Current criteria for diagnosis are based on deficiencies in intellectual and adaptive functioning with an onset prior to 18 years of age.1 This diagnosis is made regardless of the presence or absence of concomitant medical or psychiatric disorders. In the case of mild ID, deficiencies may not be apparent in early life. Problems can ...

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