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Introduction

  • Eric P. Hazen
  • Christopher J. McDougle
Chapter
Part of the Current Clinical Psychiatry book series (CCPSY)

Abstract

An understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and its potential impact on a patient’s medical care is essential for health care providers in the 21st century. The prevalence of ASD has risen significantly over recent decades and continues to rise. The most recent estimate by the Centers for Disease control is that 1 out of every 68 children in the United States has ASD [3]. The prevalence of ASD alone would indicate that individuals with ASD would make up a significant proportion of patients in any medical setting. However, individuals with ASD also have higher rates of medical co-morbidity than the general population [9]. It is not surprising, therefore, that studies have shown the individuals with ASD have a high degree of health care utilization and associated high health care expenditures. Nonetheless, there are clear signs that our health care system is failing these patients. There is a growing body of evidence showing that patients with ASD have greater difficulties in accessing care, lower patient and care giver satisfaction with care, and suboptimal health outcomes compared to the general population. The goal of this textbook is to address this issue by educating health care providers about the unique needs and challenges facing patients with ASD and to guide them in delivering the best possible care to this population.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  2. 2.Lurie Center for AutismLexingtonUSA

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