Incidence of Otolaryngological Manifestations in Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Special Focus on Auditory Disorders

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Audiol Res


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by stereotyped and repetitive behavior patterns. In addition to neurological and behavioral problems, individuals with ASD commonly experience otolaryngological comorbidities. Individuals with ASD often have auditory disorders including hearing loss and auditory processing disorders such as central auditory processing disorder (CAPD), as well as both chronic and recurrent otitis media. These challenges negatively impact a person's ability to effectively communicate and may further impact their neurological functioning, particularly when not appropriately treated. Individuals diagnosed with ASD also have difficulty sleeping which contributes to increased irritability and may further aggravate the core behavioral symptoms of autism. The individuals with ASD also have a higher rate of sinusitis which contributes to the worsening of the autism behavior phenotype. The high prevalence of otolaryngological comorbidities in individuals with ASD warrants a better collaboration between their various healthcare providers and otolaryngologists with expertise in auditory, sleep, and sinus disorders in pursuit of improving the quality of life of affected individuals and their families/caregivers.