Childhood Autism: Clinical Characteristics, Nutritional Status, and Psychosocial Features

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  •   Sara Almsmary

  •   Waala Alwarfaly

  •   Selima Muftah

  •   Ashmisa Ebrahim Eltuhami

  •   Zahzahan Ateia Alsaeti

  •   Reima Mansour

  •   Ali Ateia Elmabsout

Abstract

Introduction: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a set of neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by a deficit in social behaviors and nonverbal interactions onset in the first 3 years of life. Therefore, the present study aimed to study the clinical features, nutritional status, risk factors, and behaviors of children with autism.


Methods: Across section study involved a total of 100 subjects 74 (76%) male and 26 (24%) female. The ages of the children were ranging from 3-17 years old. The self-administration questionnaire containing questions on behavior, health problems, nutritional status, and risk factors was also completed. Bodyweight and height were measured to calculate the BMI percentile. Laboratory tests such as blood glucose and HbA1C, vitamin D were included. Clinical and behavioral information is also involved. All samples were analyzed through either mean ±SEM or Chi-square to determine significant differences.


Results: The present study shows that the majority of the children have age 7 years old, and autism increased significantly at ages between 6-10 years (P<0.05). In comparison to females, a male has three times more affected by autism (P=0.000). There were many points identified in the study including autism onset started between 1-3 years, blood groups of parents O+ significant resultant in offspring with O+ blood groups, 20% of subjects have positive family history and consanguinity for each. The behavior of autistic children shows that children like playing with electronic IPAD, dislike hearing crying, and less sleeping hours than normal people but they have similar food attitudes and consumption compared to normal counterparts. Impairment in communication was the most common sign of autism and less like hours for play. Obesity was a common nutritional disorder and food behavior has been seen toward some foods. The common health problems reported were epilepsy, respiratory diseases, constipation, and UTIs.


Conclusion: The present study revealed that some behaviors, risk factors, health problems, and abnormal levels of calcium, hemoglobin, and vitamin D were determined. Furthermore, increase body weight some behaviors toward certain types of foods have been identified. This study suggested that routine monitoring of children with autism should include assessment of blood groups, dietary habits, as well as anthropometric measurements.


Keywords: Autism, behaviors, health problems, nutritional status, risk factors

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How to Cite
Almsmary, S., Alwarfaly, W., Muftah, S., Eltuhami, A. E., Alsaeti, Z. A., Mansour, R., & Elmabsout, A. A. . (2022). Childhood Autism: Clinical Characteristics, Nutritional Status, and Psychosocial Features. European Journal of Medical and Health Sciences, 4(3), 98–104. https://doi.org/10.24018/ejmed.2022.4.3.1156