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Assessment of psychosis in ASD/ID: a case study

Arvid Nikolai Kildahl (Regional Section Mental Health, Intellectual Disabilities/Autism, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway)
Trine Lise Bakken (Regional Section Mental Health, Intellectual Disabilities/Autism, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway)
Olaf Kristian Holm (Habilitation Centre, Molde, Møre og Romsdal Hospital Trust, Molde, Norway)
Sissel Berge Helverschou (NevSom – Norwegian Centre of Expertise for Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Hypersomnias, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway)

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities

ISSN: 2044-1282

Article publication date: 3 January 2017

Abstract

Purpose

Assessment of psychiatric disorders in people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disabilities (ID) is challenging. The purpose of this paper is to explore the diagnostic decision making and strategies employed in the assessment of a young man with ASD and ID who eventually got the additional diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Design/methodology/approach

To describe and explore a process not easily converted into quantitative measures, it was chosen to perform a case study of a single case.

Findings

The combined knowledge of ASD, ID and psychiatric disorder was important in the current assessment. General assessment tools were of some value, but their results had to be interpreted with care. The same was true of a more ASD/ID-specific tool. Using multiple informers may strengthen data from such tools in this population, but does not make it interchangeable with self-report. The case presented demonstrates the possibility of negative symptoms and functional decline overshadowing positive psychotic symptoms in people with ASD/ID, as well as the expression of ASD changing with a functional decline.

Originality/value

The present study adds to the few previous reports on identification of psychosis in this population, and in addition, may assist clinicians in making more accurate psychiatric assessments of people with ASD/ID.

Keywords

Citation

Kildahl, A.N., Bakken, T.L., Holm, O.K. and Helverschou, S.B. (2017), "Assessment of psychosis in ASD/ID: a case study", Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 17-23. https://doi.org/10.1108/AMHID-11-2016-0036

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited