The Nursing Process: ASD

The Nursing Process: ASD

  • Assessment
    • Social deficits such as bonding with parents, dislike of cuddling, poor eye contact, and lack of interaction with peers
    • Communication delays, rigid routines, and ritualized behaviors and interests
  • Diagnosis
    • Autism spectrum disorder is usually diagnosed around toddlerhood, when children begin to interact with one another although if developmental delays are severe or the assessor is experienced it may be diagnosed in infancy
  • Outcomes
  • Planning / Implementation
    • Includes behavioral management and cognitive therapies, early intervention, educational and school-based therapies, and joint therapy.
    • Medications including atypical antipsychotics such as risperidone (Risperdal) for aggression or self-harm and Seratonin selective reuptake inhibitors (S S R I) or beta-blockers for obsessive or anxious symptoms may be helpful.
  • Evaluation

Psychopharmacological Intervention: A S D

  • Medications approved by the F D A
    • Risperidone
      • Common side effects: Drowsiness, Increased appetite, Nasal congestion, Fatigue, Constipation, Drooling, Dizziness, Weight Gain (Most common)
    • Aripiprazole
      • Common side effects: Sedation, Fatigue, Weight gain, Vomiting, Somnolence, Tremor (Most common)
  • Targeted for the following symptoms
    • Aggression
    • Deliberate self-injury
    • Temper tantrums
    • Quickly changing moods
  • Dose based on child’s weight and response


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