Friday, January 25, 2013

Autism and Overlapping Disorders by David N. Brown Mesa Arizona

Previously published at

Autism and overlapping mental disorders
By David N. Brown
This is a PUBLIC DOMAIN document (dated 8/13/09). It may be copied, forwarded,
cited, circulated or posted elsewhere. The author requests only that it not be altered
from its current form.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder:
• AS individuals characteristically rely heavily on routines and rituals.
• Easily fixate on a specific activity or subject.
• Possible distinction in perceived significance of act
◦ In OCD, commonly perceived as matter of safety.
◦ In autism, may be seen more rationally as matter of comfort
◦ Priority for intervention should be to make sure behavior does not lead to
self-injury, damage to property or inappropriate behavior in public. Don't put
excessive pressure on an autistic person to stop a behavior that causes none
of these problems.

Attention Deficit Disorder:
◦ May manifest either as “comorbid” disorder or as secondary effect of autism
◦ In typical “public” settings (classrooms, stores, etc, etc.) “attention deficit”
symptoms are likely to manifest simply as a result of sensory stress
◦ Ritalin may be beneficial
◦ Characterized by hallucinations, delusions and disordered thought and behavior.
◦ Autistics may have comorbid schizophrenia (believed to be rare) or experience
some symptoms (esp. hallucinations) without being diagnosably schizophrenic
◦ Significant distinctions based on response to hallucination.
▪ Rejects hallucination= not delusional
▪ Responds logically to perceived reality= not disordered
▪ An individual who is delusional but still “rational” represents the greatest
potential threat to self and others
“Delusional Aspie”: Zaratustra
• Is very sensitive to light, but oblivious to pain.
• Obsessive-compulsive tendencies
• Recounts what he considers real encounters with angels and demons.
• Bases his actions, including participation in sophisticated criminal enterprises, on these
perceived encounters.
• Responds to hallucination/delusion in calm and highly organized ways
◦ Ex. Shoots at demons, keeps accurate count of how much ammo is left!
• Motivations seem bizarre or wholly incomprehensible to others.
• Is obviously intelligent, and usually articulate.
• Is often violent, but these actions are consistently “cold-blooded” in nature.

David N. Brown
Mesa Arizona
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