Week 3: Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, ODD, and ICD

“I can’t believe I am sitting here talking to this lady. Mom thinks I am nuts just because I will not do what she asks. She does not care about me. She only cares about my little brother and that man that keeps coming around. I don’t care anything about her. That is why I throw things and won’t do what she asks. I don’t care about anyone. Those kids at school who used to be my friends don’t know anything. I am so much smarter than they are.

Jacob, age 11″

There are many mental disorders that occur early in the life course. The DSM-5 describes neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder and ADHD and disruptive, impulse-control, and conduct disorders, such as oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder. These disorders are examined together with a particular emphasis on comparing and contrasting presenting features. Diagnosis of these various conditions can rarely be made in a single office setting and often require a comprehensive approach involving multiple stakeholders, including the child, as well as his or her parents, teachers, and other significant figures in the child’s life and mental health professionals, such as psychologists who can conduct comprehensive neuropsychological testing.

The PMHNP must coordinate and integrate several sources of information to arrive at an accurate diagnosis of these disorders. Early and accurate diagnosis is essential to developing an effective treatment plan, which will have the potential to minimize the impact of these disorders on the child’s developmental trajectory. When one considers appropriate diagnosis from this perspective, the importance of diagnostic accuracy becomes quite apparent.

This week, you begin exploring disorders that occur early in the life course by working with your group to develop a Parent Guide. You also examine a case to determine a differential diagnosis and treatment plan that incorporates both psychotherapy and psychopharmacology.

Photo Credit: Cultura/Seb Oliver / Cultura / Getty Images

Learning Resources

Note:  To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the  Course Materials  section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Sadock, B. J., Sadock, V. A., & Ruiz, P. (2014). Kaplan & Sadock’s synopsis of psychiatry: Behavioral sciences/clinical psychiatry (11th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.

· Chapter 3, “Contributions of the Sociocultural Sciences” (pp. 131–150)

· Chapter 31, “Child Psychiatry” (pp. 1152–1181, 1244–1253)

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

· “Neurodevelopmental Disorders”

· “Intellectual Disabilities”

· “Communication Disorders”

· “Disruptive, Impulse-Control, and Conduct Disorders”

Note: You will access this book from the Walden Library databases.

Volkmar, F., Siegel, M., Woodbury-Smith, M., King, B., McCracken, J., & State, M. (2014). Practice parameter for the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry53(2), 237–257. Retrieved from http://www.jaacap.com/article/S0890-8567(13)00819-8/pdf

Stahl, S. M. (2014). Prescriber’s Guide: Stahl’s Essential Psychopharmacology (5th ed.). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Note: All Stahl resources can be accessed through the Walden Library using the link. This link will take you to a login page for the Walden Library. Once you log in to the library, the Stahl website will appear.

To access information on the following medications, click on The Prescriber’s Guide, 5th Ed. tab on the Stahl Online website and select the appropriate medication.

Review the following medications:

Irritability in autismAttention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
aripiprazole risperidonearmodafinil amphetamine (d) amphetamine (d,l) atomoxetine bupropion chlorpromazine (hyperactivity) clonidine guanfacine haloperidol (hyperactivity) lisdexamfetamine methylphenidate (d) methylphenidate (d,l) modafinil reboxetine

Note:  Many of these medications are FDA approved for adults only. Some are FDA approved for disorders in children and adolescents. Many are used “off label” for the disorders examined in this week. As you read the Stahl drug monographs, focus your attention on FDA approvals for children/adolescents (including “ages” for which the medication is approved, if applicable) and further note which drugs are “off label.”

Required Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2017b). A young girl with difficulties in school [Multimedia file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Optional Resources

Thapar, A., Pine, D. S., Leckman, J. F., Scott, S., Snowling, M. J., & Taylor, E. A. (2015). Rutter’s child and adolescent psychiatry (6th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Blackwell.

· Chapter 51, “Autism Spectrum Disorder” (pp. 665–682)

Discussion: Parent Guide.

Collaboration is essential to accurate diagnosis of the conditions under consideration in this week. For this week’s Discussion, you practice collaboration by working in a group on developing a “Parent Guide,” which will serve as a teaching tool for parents with children who have been diagnosed with a specific mental health disorder.

It is recommended that you make your project as attractive as possible and consider using the finished product as teaching tools for families that you will work with in your own practices.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

· Analyze signs and symptoms of neurodevelopmental disorders

· Analyze the pathophysiology of neurodevelopmental disorders

· Analyze diagnosis and treatment methods for neurodevelopmental disorders

· Evaluate Parent Guides

To Prepare for this Discussion:

· Review the resources concerning your assigned disorder.

· Review the Blackboard Help website concerning wikis.

· Use your group’s Discussion Board to design and develop the Parent Guide before posting to the group wiki. For further guidance, refer to the Accessing Group Discussions instructions below.

Using evidence-based research, design and develop a Parent Guide for your choice of a disorder including: it should be on ADHD or autism

· Signs and symptoms

· Pathophysiology

· How the disorder is diagnosed

· Treatment options

Construct a 3 fold brochure, 2 page pamphlet, or a short PowerPoint presentation on the topic of your choice. Focus more on the idea that this is meant for parents. Remember that lay materials are usually at the 6th-8th grade reading level. Instead of academic references, include some links that are appropriate for parents. Respond to one other colleague and give them feedback on their product. 


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