Kasus Autis 4:
Reggie was 4 years old when he was evaluated by a child psychiatrist because of alarming changes in his behavior over the last 2 months. He is the first child born to professional parents. According to them, he was a normally sociable baby whose early development was entirely within normal limits—he was walking and saying single words by his first birthday and spoke in sentences before age 2. He was enrolled in nursery school at age 3 and was toilet trained at that time. The parents said they had videotapes showing that his development up to that point was entirely normal.
Two months ago, shortly following the birth of his sibling, Reggie appeared to become nonspecifically anxious and agitated. Over the course of several weeks, his behavior regressed markedly in multiple areas: he was no longer toilet trained, no longer engaged in age-appropriate self-care activities, and became entirely mute. He similarly regressed markedly in his social skills, and his parents observed that he now spent hours rocking back and forth.
The psychiatric evaluation indicated that, although age 4, he was now functioning at the 1-year level in terms of his cognitive and communicative abilities. From direct observation and descriptions of his behavior by his parents, he exhibited many behavioral features suggestive of autism (e.g., lack of social responsively, difficulties with transitions, stereotyped movements, and so forth). Review of the videotapes of his early development confirmed the history of normal development provided by the parents.
The psychiatrist arranged for extensive medical evaluations, including an electroencephalogram, a magnetic resonance imaging scan, and various laboratory studies. However, they failed to discover any specific medical condition that might account for his disturbance.
Dikarenakan adanya hambatan berbahasa dan hubungan sosial serta adanya perilaku stereotipik maka kita akan berpikir Gangguan Autis. Namun demikian, perkembangan awalnya yang normal menunjukkan bahwa gangguan ini termasuk ke dalam Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. Kedua gangguan ini mirip gejalanya kecuali dalam hal onset dan prognosis. Ganguan Autis muncul sebelum usia 3 tahun dengan abnormalitas dalam interaksi sosial, bahasa komunikasi/simbolik dan permainan imaginatif, sedangkan pada Childhood Disintegrative Disorder perkembangannya normal sampai beberapa tahun. Prognosis Gangguan Autis lebih jelek dibandingkan Childhood Disintegrative Disorder.