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Clinical Crossroads Update
January 23/30, 2002

An 8-Year-Old Boy With Autism, 1 Year Later

Author Affiliations

From the Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 330 Brookline Ave, LY318, Boston, MA 02215.

JAMA. 2002;287(4):504. doi:10.1001/jama.287.4.504

At Medicine Grand Rounds at Children's Hospital in December 2000, Isabelle Rapin, MD, discussed an 8-year-old boy with autism.1 Austin showed normal early development, but by age 18 months the few words he knew disappeared from his speech. A comprehensive evaluation at age 2½ years revealed language at the 8- to 15-month level, and a preference for solitary play, limited social interacting, and perseveration. The diagnosis of autism was made. Austin received interventional services and entered public school, assisted by an aide. Fluvoxamine maleate seemed to help with social skills, and trazodone helped with sleeping. Mr D, Austin's father, described both the stresses on the family and the joys of raising his son.