The ESSENCE in child psychiatry: early symptomatic syndromes eliciting neurodevelopmental clinical examinations
Gillberg, C. (2010) The ESSENCE in child psychiatry: early symptomatic syndromes eliciting neurodevelopmental clinical examinations. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 31 , 1543–1551, available online.
Co-existence of disorders – including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, tic disorder, developmental coordination disorder, and autism spectrum disorder – and sharing of symptoms across disorders (sometimes referred to as comorbidity) is the rule rather than the exception in child psychiatry and developmental medicine. The acronym ESSENCE refers to Early Symptomatic Syndromes Eliciting Neurodevelopmental Clinical Examinations. Major problems in at least one ESSENCE domain before age 5 years often signals major problems in the same or overlapping domains years later. There is no time to wait; something needs to be done, and that something is unlikely to be just in the area of speech and language, just in the area of autism or just in special education.