The aim of this section is to describe prenatal screening procedures and tests designed to assess the functioning of children and adults.
It covers not just the technical aspects of these procedures, but the impact which the process of testing per se has on parents and on individuals who are themselves thought to have intellectual and other disabilities.
Antenatal screening is the process of identifying those at high risk of a disorder. Prenatal diagnosis establishes whether or not the disorder is definitely present.
Although commonly associated with general intellectual disabilities - approximately 75% of people with autism have a non-verbal Intelligence Quotient (IQ) below 70 - autism can also occur in individuals of normal, or even superior intelligence.
The number of children diagnosed with autism is rising. What is being done to find out the causes of autism? Is the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine responsible for the increased prevalence?
This article provides an overview of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.
The development of screening tests, including first trimester ultrasound and maternal serum screening tests, has already reshaped the landscape of prenatal diagnosis. Prenatal testing, once limited to women considered high risk, is increasingly a routine part of antenatal care.
Down's syndrome affects people of all ages, races, religious backgrounds and economic situations. It is estimated that there are around 60,000 people with Down's syndrome living in the UK, but since Down's syndrome has never been a notifiable condition, accurate figures are difficult to obtain.
If I were to send psychologists to schools I would make sure that they understand about the child's culture if the child is from an ethnic group, make sure the child and the family know what is happening and try not to call the child in the middle of their lessons.
In addition to being associated with characteristic physical and behavioural features, Fragile-X syndrome causes intellectual disabilities ranging from mild to severe. It is the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability and is second only to Down's syndrome as the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability.
Autistic spectrum disorders comprise a group of conditions within the category of childhood-onset pervasive developmental disorders (ICD-10, DSM-IV).
This article explains what is known about the genetics of Down's syndrome.
Prenatal testing services should give women and their partners the information and support they need to make autonomous, informed decisions.
If we value women's ability to make informed choices about prenatal tests as highly as we value reliable laboratory tests, evidence-based quality standards need to be developed for the information and support women are given at all stages of the process of prenatal testing.
A personal viewpoint from Paul Adeline
PWS is characterised by hyptonia and feeding problems in infancy, hypogonadism, characteristic facial features, short stature, developmental delay, obesity and an obsession with food and eating.
In patients who do not communicate verbally, there are many cues that can lead a psychiatrist to recognition of psychosis.
This article provides an overview of Autistic Spectrum Disorder in Down's Syndrome.