Editor's note: The current issue of the Adolescent Health Update newsletter (see page 12) addresses office-based care of adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and guidance for their families. For this edition ofConsultant's Corner, the editors asked the author, Christina M. Iyama-Kurtycz, M.D., FAAP, to address approaches for pediatricians who need to discuss ASD with a newly diagnosed teen and his or her parents. Dr. Iyama-Kurtycz also addresses the use of complementary and alternative therapies.

Children with Asperger syndrome struggle with making and keeping friends. They often prefer solitary activities, such as playing video and computer games.

Case: You are seeing 12-year-old Dustin for the first time. He has a previous diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and was moderately responsive to stimulants. He has above-average academic skills, yet has always struggled with making and keeping friends. Dustin's parents see him as a “loner” but “very bright” and exceptionally good with...

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