Kabuki and Autistic-type Behaviors
The spectrum of characteristics associated with Kabuki syndrome is extremely varied. As with any newly described syndrome it is initially difficult to know if certain presenting characteristics are typical of the syndrome or simply typical for that individual. However, it has become increasingly evident that many individuals with Kabuki display autistic-type behaviors. Although few children have been officially diagnosed with autism, virtually all children have some degree of sensory processing disorder.
What is autism?
Autism is a spectrum disorder. This means the symptoms and characteristics can present themselves in a wide range of combinations and from mild to severe. In other words, two children with the same diagnosis can be very different from each other and have varying abilities/disabilities. Autism is a combination of several developmental challenges.
According to the Autism Society of America, the following areas are among those that may be affected:
Behaviors often associated with children with Kabuki
What does this mean for the child with Kabuki?
It is important to know that developmental delay in general can be accompanied by several types of symptoms and behaviors that one sees with autism (speech and language delay, self-stimulatory behaviors, social impairment, inappropriate behavior). It is true that autism is more easily recognized today and if a child fits into a set of criterion, a diagnosis of autism may come about. This is not to say that the autistic diagnosis is permanent or that it conflicts with the Kabuki diagnosis. With skill development and ongoing intervention, a child may mature and gain ground in an area so that they no longer 'fit' into the autism heading. The fact that our children have Kabuki syndrome is the reason they are demonstrating autistic-like tendencies in the first place. Autism is not necessarily a separate label. More than likely, ALL of our children at some point or other are demonstrating behaviors that could be considered autistic-like. Whether our children have been given an autism label or not, the types of therapy and intervention that we would seek to assist with their areas of need are the same. Many autism treatment approaches are very beneficial for all children facing issues in any of these functional areas.