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22q syndrome sufferers often misdiagnosed with autism

Children in Massachusetts suffering from a genetic disorder commonly called 22q may originally be diagnosed as autistic because their symptoms often mimic the disorder. Parents of children with 22q syndrome, who originally may encounter a misdiagnosis of autism, may not initially get proper care for their children even though they have attempted to provide them with the best possible medical outcomes. The 22q deletion disorder occurs when a section of chromosome 22 is missing.

Syndrome symptoms include heart defects, palate differences, immune system deficits, kidney problems and growth delay. However, the symptoms often misattributed to autism are cognitive ones like developmental and speech delays and behavioral, emotional and psychiatric problems. Parents of children who have been misdiagnosed indicated that their children seemed different than those diagnosed with autism but had not received a better diagnosis.

The results of one study, however, show that children with 22q syndrome do not meet strict diagnostic criteria or autism spectrum disorder if they are properly tested. Misdiagnosis of autism in 22q children are based on social impairments, but these have more to do with developmental delay and intellectual disability than with autism.

Misdiagnosis of autism can have serious consequences. Failure to properly recognize what disorder a child has can lead to delays in treatment which could affect overall quality of life. Medical malpractice attorneys in Massachusetts may have the resources to properly determine whether a child has been properly diagnosed. If misdiagnosis is likely, experienced attorneys may be able to help clients secure compensation for additional medical treatment and possibly ensure that families receive proper acknowledgement.

Source: Medical News Today, "Genetic disorder 22q could be misdiagnosed as autism", September 20, 2013

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