Patients with Sickle Cell Disease and Autism Spectrum Disorder

Sa’Rah R.R. McNeely, Yoram Unguru, Elizabeth Yang, Jason M. Fixler, Alicia D. Cannon, Deepa Menon, Eboni I. Lance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Children with sickle cell disease (SCD) are at risk for neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD), but no association with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been reported in the literature. The objective of this case series is to better understand the association between SCD and ASD and to describe the clinical presentation of this rare diagnosis in SCD. Methods: A chart review was performed at an urban tertiary care hospital. Participants were included in the case series if they had documented diagnoses of both SCD and ASD. Information collected from the chart included medical history, both general and sickle cell disease related, developmental diagnoses, and treatment recommendations. Results: All three participants were male and had diagnoses of hemoglobin SS SCD. Participants were of different ages and had different presentations at the time of diagnosis. Only one participant had a history of brain injury from silent cerebral infarction. Conclusions: ASD should be considered in the differential diagnosis of patients with SCD and NDD and may present with atypical features in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-462
Number of pages6
JournalAdvances in Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Autism
  • Child development
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Sickle cell disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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