Patients with autism spectrum disorders and developmental disabilities including intellectual disability frequently present to the ED when behavioral or mood changes lead them to be agitated or difficult to manage in the community. When the patient with these issues is an adult, the agitation can be much more difficult to manage and more frightening for staff and caretakers than when these behaviors occur in a small child. Patients with developmental issues are living longer and more frequently residing in community settings, and treatment resources can be scarce or poorly supported. The first case discusses a man with severe intellectual disability who presents with agitation and destructive behavior. The second discusses a patient with autism spectrum disorder with mood and behavior changes in the context of social stressors.
Chapter. 2500 words.
Subjects: Psychiatry ; Emergency Medicine
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