Twelve patients (8 male and 4 female; ages 3 to 32 years; 9 less than 16 years) with autistic spectrum disorder were evaluated in a Movement Disorders Clinic for tics, at the University of California, Irvine, CA. Six had Tourette syndrome, and eight were also diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. Three TS patients had severe congenital sensory deficits; 2 with Leber’s amaurosis and 1 with deafness. All had stereotypic motor behavior, including rocking, head banging, and hand waving. Sensory deprivation was thought to contribute to the stereotypic movement disorder. [1]

COMMENT. Asperger’s syndrome should be considered in children of high verbal intelligence who do poorly in school, both academically and socially, and who exhibit speech and language disorders, tics, motor clumsiness, and stereotyped movements such as repetitive hand flapping. Asperger’s syndrome may overlap or occur concurrently with Tourette syndrome (Nass R, Gutman R, 1997), pervasive developmental disorder, and ADHD [2]. Multiple biological causes for autism and autistic-like disorders have been described. The EEG may be abnormal in 50% of cases and neuroimaging may show structural abnormalities in the brain in 25%.

Autism associated with mitochondrial mutations is reported in a family with heterogeneous neurologic disorders. [3]

Failure of Secretin treatment for autism is reported in 56 patients (49 boys, 7 girls; mean age 6 years) treated at Lake Forest Hospital, Illinois. [4]