WorldWideScience

Sample records for high functioning autism

  1. Executive dysfunction in high functioning autism

    OpenAIRE

    Burnett, Hollie

    2017-01-01

    Background: There is presently a lack of consistency in research designed to measure executive functioning (EF) in autism that may be attributable to lack of homogeneity or comorbid conditions (i.e. learning disability or additional diagnosis) in test samples. Aim: A systematic review focused on a subset of EF (verbal fluency: VF) was conducted, using only studies of high-functioning individuals with autism (HFA) without an additional diagnosis or learning disability. An emp...

  2. Temporal context memory in high-functioning autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gras-Vincendon, Agnès; Mottron, Laurent; Salamé, Pierre; Bursztejn, Claude; Danion, Jean-Marie

    2007-11-01

    Episodic memory, i.e. memory for specific episodes situated in space and time, seems impaired in individuals with autism. According to weak central coherence theory, individuals with autism have general difficulty connecting contextual and item information which then impairs their capacity to memorize information in context. This study investigated temporal context memory for visual information in individuals with autism. Eighteen adolescents and adults with high-functioning autism (HFA) or Asperger syndrome (AS) and age- and IQ-matched typically developing participants were tested using a recency judgement task. The performance of the autistic group did not differ from that of the control group, nor did the performance between the AS and HFA groups. We conclude that autism in high-functioning individuals does not impair temporal context memory as assessed on this task. We suggest that individuals with autism are as efficient on this task as typically developing subjects because contextual memory performance here involves more automatic than organizational processing.

  3. Audiovisual Integration in High Functioning Adults with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keane, Brian P.; Rosenthal, Orna; Chun, Nicole H.; Shams, Ladan

    2010-01-01

    Autism involves various perceptual benefits and deficits, but it is unclear if the disorder also involves anomalous audiovisual integration. To address this issue, we compared the performance of high-functioning adults with autism and matched controls on experiments investigating the audiovisual integration of speech, spatiotemporal relations, and…

  4. Comparison of Scores on the Checklist for Autism Spectrum Disorder, Childhood Autism Rating Scale, and Gilliam Asperger's Disorder Scale for Children with Low Functioning Autism, High Functioning Autism, Asperger's Disorder, ADHD, and Typical Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayes, Susan Dickerson; Calhoun, Susan L.; Murray, Michael J.; Morrow, Jill D.; Yurich, Kirsten K. L.; Mahr, Fauzia; Cothren, Shiyoko; Purichia, Heather; Bouder, James N.; Petersen, Christopher

    2009-01-01

    Reliability and validity for three autism instruments were compared for 190 children with low functioning autism (LFA), 190 children with high functioning autism or Asperger's disorder (HFA), 76 children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and 64 typical children. The instruments were the Checklist for Autism Spectrum Disorder…

  5. Challenging Stereotypes: Sexual Functioning of Single Adults with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byers, E. Sandra; Nichols, Shana; Voyer, Susan D.

    2013-01-01

    This study examined the sexual functioning of single adults (61 men, 68 women) with high functioning autism and Asperger syndrome living in the community with and without prior relationship experience. Participants completed an on-line questionnaire assessing autism symptoms, psychological functioning, and various aspects of sexual functioning. In…

  6. Differentiating High-Functioning Autism and Social Phobia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyson, Katherine E.; Cruess, Dean G.

    2012-01-01

    Both high-functioning autism (HFA) and social phobia (SP) involve profound social interaction deficits. Although these disorders share some similar symptoms, they are conceptualized as distinct. Because both HFA and SP are defined behaviorally, the degree of overlap between the two disorders may result in misinterpretation of symptoms. However,…

  7. Children with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's Syndrome: Can We Differentiate Their Cognitive Profiles?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Planche, Pascale; Lemonnier, Eric

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate whether children with high-functioning autism (HFA) and Asperger's syndrome (AS) can be differentiated from each other and from typically developing children on their cognitive profiles. The present study included a total of 45 participants: children with autism (high-functioning autism or Asperger's…

  8. Use of Gilliam Asperger's disorder scale in differentiating high and low functioning autism and ADHD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayes, Susan Dickerson; Calhoun, Susan L; Murray, Michael J; Morrow, Jill D; Yurich, Kirsten K L; Cothren, Shiyoko; Purichia, Heather; Bouder, James N

    2011-02-01

    Little is known about the validity of Gilliam Asperger's Disorder Scale (GADS), although it is widely used. This study of 199 children with high functioning autism or Asperger's disorder, 195 with low functioning autism, and 83 with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) showed high classification accuracy (autism vs. ADHD) for clinicians' GADS Quotients (92%), and somewhat lower accuracy (77%) for parents' Quotients. Both children with high and low functioning autism had clinicians' Quotients (M=99 and 101, respectively) similar to the Asperger's Disorder mean of 100 for the GADS normative sample. Children with high functioning autism scored significantly higher on the cognitive patterns subscale than children with low functioning autism, and the latter had higher scores on the remaining subscales: social interaction, restricted patterns of behavior, and pragmatic skills. Using the clinicians' Quotient and Cognitive Patterns score, 70% of children were correctly identified as having high or low functioning autism or ADHD.

  9. Use of the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) for Children with High Functioning Autism or Asperger Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayes, Susan Dickerson; Calhoun, Susan L.; Murray, Michael J.; Morrow, Jill D.; Yurich, Kirsten K. L.; Cothren, Shiyoko; Purichia, Heather; Mahr, Fauzia; Bouder, James N.; Petersen, Christopher

    2012-01-01

    The authors of the "Childhood Autism Rating Scale" (CARS) state in the manual that the best cutoff score for distinguishing low functioning autism (LFA) from intellectual disability is 30 for children and 28 for adolescents and adults. This study determined that a cutoff score of 25.5 was most accurate in differentiating between high functioning…

  10. Challenging stereotypes: sexual functioning of single adults with high functioning autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byers, E Sandra; Nichols, Shana; Voyer, Susan D

    2013-11-01

    This study examined the sexual functioning of single adults (61 men, 68 women) with high functioning autism and Asperger syndrome living in the community with and without prior relationship experience. Participants completed an on-line questionnaire assessing autism symptoms, psychological functioning, and various aspects of sexual functioning. In general participants reported positive sexual functioning. Participants without prior relationship experience were significantly younger and more likely to be male and identify as heterosexual. They reported significantly higher sexual anxiety, lower sexual arousability, lower dyadic desire, and fewer positive sexual cognitions. The men reported better sexual function than did the women in a number of areas. These results counter negative societal perceptions about the sexuality of high functioning individuals on the autism spectrum.

  11. The use of the Autism-spectrum Quotient in differentiating high functioning adults with autism, adults with schizophrenia and a neurotypical adult control group.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wouters, Saskia G.M.; Spek, Annelies A.

    2011-01-01

    The present study compared 21 high functioning individuals with autism, 21 individuals with schizophrenia and 21 healthy individuals in self-reported features of autism, as measured by the Autism-spectrum Quotient (AQ). The individuals with autism reported impairment on all AQ subscales, compared to

  12. Post-error adaptation in adults with high functioning autism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bogte, Hans; Flamma, Bert; van der Meere, Jaap; van Engeland, Herman

    2007-01-01

    Deficits in executive function (EF), i.e. function of the prefrontal cortex, may be central in the etiology of autism. One of the various aspects of EF is error detection and adjusting behavior after an error. In cognitive tests, adults normally slow down their responding on the next trial after

  13. Memory illusion in high-functioning autism and Asperger's disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamio, Yoko; Toichi, Motomi

    2007-05-01

    In this study, 13 individuals with high-functioning autism (HFA), 15 individuals with Asperger's disorder (AD), and age-, and IQ-matched controls were presented a list of sentences auditorily. Participants then evaluated semantically related but new sentences and reported whether they were old or new. The total rates of false recognition for semantically related sentences were similar among the three groups. Nevertheless, memory illusion on some aspects was reduced in HFA participants. These results suggest that HFA have difficulties in semantic association. Although individuals with AD showed no quantitative abnormalities of memory illusion, some contributing factors were atypical. These findings are discussed in terms of schema theory, enhanced perceptual processing hypothesis, and weak central coherence hypothesis.

  14. High functioning autism disorder: marital relationships and sexual offending

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clayton Peixoto

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Objective To describe the implications of social inability as a factor that can contribute to sexual abuse in the marriage relationship of people with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (ASD. Case description A 30-year-old male sought medical attention complaining of being “very nervous” and have difficulties in family relationships. He was diagnosed with high-functioning ASD based on the DSM-5. Married for over 4 years with a woman diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder (HPD, he asked for her to accompany him in the sessions and help him describe difficulties they had during sexual intercourse. His wife reported feeling raped in all of her sexual relations with the patient, especially when he could not understand that she did not want sex. Comments The case study leads us to believe that the social and communicative disability is a complicating factor that can contributes to the occurrence of sexual abuse in marital relationships with individuals with ASD. Social skills training, psychotherapy, and traditional medical therapies should be considered to minimize the risk of occurrence of cases of sexual abuse by individuals with high-functioning ASD against the spouses themselves.

  15. Cognitive flexibility in adults with high functioning autism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bogte, Hans; Flamma, Bert; van der Meere, Jaap; van Engeland, Herman

    2008-01-01

    The goal of the current study was to evaluate presetting, response inhibition, set shifting, and a priori planning in autism: abilities that can be lumped together under the term cognitive flexibility. Cognitive flexibility is an aspect of executive functioning, which in turn is mediated by the

  16. Awareness of single and multiple emotions in high-functioning childeren with autism

    OpenAIRE

    Rieffe, C.J.; Meerum Terwogt, M.; Kotronopoulo, K.

    2007-01-01

    This study examined emotional awareness in children with autism. Twenty-two high functioning children with autism (mean age 10 years and 2 months) and 22 typically developing children, matched for age and gender, were presented with the four basic emotions (happiness, anger, sadness and fear) in single and multiple emotion tasks. Findings suggest that children with autism have difficulties identifying their own emotions and less developed emotion concepts (which causes an impaired capacity to...

  17. Promoting social behavior with oxytocin in high-functioning autism spectrum disorders

    OpenAIRE

    Andari, Elissar; Duhamel, Jean-René; Zalla, Tiziana; Herbrecht, Evelyn; Leboyer, Marion; Sirigu, Angela

    2010-01-01

    Social adaptation requires specific cognitive and emotional competences. Individuals with high-functioning autism or with Asperger syndrome cannot understand or engage in social situations despite preserved intellectual abilities. Recently, it has been suggested that oxytocin, a hormone known to promote mother-infant bonds, may be implicated in the social deficit of autism. We investigated the behavioral effects of oxytocin in 13 subjects with autism. In a simulated ball game where participan...

  18. Attention and Written Expression in School-Aged, High-Functioning Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zajic, Matthew C.; McIntyre, Nancy; Swain-Lerro, Lindsay; Novotny, Stephanie; Oswald, Tasha; Mundy, Peter

    2016-01-01

    High-functioning children with autism spectrum disorders often find writing challenging. These writing difficulties may be specific to autism spectrum disorder or to a more general clinical effect of attention disturbance, as these children are often comorbid for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptomatology (and children with…

  19. The Use of Grammatical Morphemes by Mandarin-Speaking Children with High Functioning Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Peng; Crain, Stephen; Gao, Liqun; Tang, Ye; Jia, Meixiang

    2015-01-01

    The present study investigated the production of grammatical morphemes by Mandarin-speaking children with high functioning autism. Previous research found that a subgroup of English-speaking children with autism exhibit deficits in the use of grammatical morphemes that mark tense. In order to see whether this impairment in grammatical morphology…

  20. Lexical Processing in Individuals with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speirs, Samantha; Yelland, Greg; Rinehart, Nicole; Tonge, Bruce

    2011-01-01

    The presence or absence of clinically delayed language development prior to 3 years of age is a key, but contentious, clinical feature distinguishing autism from Asperger's disorder. The aim of this study was to examine language processing in children with high-functioning autism (HFA) and Asperger's disorder (AD) using a task which taps lexical…

  1. Social Development in Individuals with High Functioning Autism and Asperger Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koegel, Robert L.

    2007-01-01

    Until recently, and even in many current research circles, social behavior in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (including those with high functioning autism or Asperger disorder) was considered to be unmodifiable. Mundy, Henderson, Inge, and Coman and McGee and Daly shed new light on this concept of intractability, suggesting that…

  2. Parents' Criticisms and Attributions about Their Adult Children with High Functioning Autism or Schizophrenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wasserman, Stephanie; Weisman de Mamani, Amy; Mundy, Peter

    2010-01-01

    The current study examined the criticism component of expressed emotion (EE) and attributions in parents of adults diagnosed with schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder (S/SA) or high functioning autism/Asperger's. Consistent with study hypotheses, parents of adults diagnosed with autism/Asperger's disorder exhibited lower levels of high…

  3. Distinct Patterns of Grey Matter Abnormality in High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAlonan, Grainne M.; Suckling, John; Wong, Naikei; Cheung, Vinci; Lienenkaemper, Nina; Cheung, Charlton; Chua, Siew E.

    2008-01-01

    Background: Autism exists across a wide spectrum and there is considerable debate as to whether children with Asperger's syndrome, who have normal language milestones, should be considered to comprise a subgroup distinct other from high-functioning children with autism (HFA), who have a history of delayed language development. Magnetic resonance…

  4. Attention and Written Expression in School-Age, High-Functioning Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zajic, Matthew C.; McIntyre, Nancy; Swain-Lerro, Lindsay; Novotny, Stephanie; Oswald, Tasha; Mundy, Peter

    2018-01-01

    High-functioning children with autism spectrum disorders often find writing challenging. These writing difficulties may be specific to autism spectrum disorder or to a more general clinical effect of attention disturbance, as these children are often comorbid for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptomatology (and children with…

  5. Self-Management for Children with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkinson, Lee A.

    2008-01-01

    Supporting children with autism spectrum disorders in the general education classroom presents a unique challenge to the teachers and schools that serve them. This article addresses the utility of self-management as a proactive strategy for increasing the task engagement and compliant behavior of high-functioning students with autism. The author…

  6. Measuring Reciprocity in High Functioning Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Ommeren, Tineke Backer; Begeer, Sander; Scheeren, Anke M.; Koot, Hans M.

    2012-01-01

    Few instruments have been developed that measure impairments in reciprocity, a defining feature of autism. We introduce a new test assessing the quality of reciprocal behaviour: the interactive drawing test (IDT). Children and adolescents (n = 49) with and without high functioning autism spectrum disorders (HFASD) were invited to collaborate with…

  7. Emotion regulation in Asperger's syndrome and high-functioning autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samson, Andrea C; Huber, Oswald; Gross, James J

    2012-08-01

    It is generally thought that individuals with Asperger's syndrome and high-functioning autism (AS/HFA) have deficits in theory of mind. These deficits have been previously linked to problems with social cognition. However, we reasoned that AS/HFA individuals' Theory of Mind deficits also might lead to problems with emotion regulation. To assess emotional functioning in AS/HFA, 27 AS/HFA adults (16 women) and 27 age-, gender-, and education-matched typically developing (TD) participants completed a battery of measures of emotion experience, labeling, and regulation. With respect to emotion experience, individuals with AS/HFA reported higher levels of negative emotions, but similar levels of positive emotions, compared with TD individuals. With respect to emotion labeling, individuals with AS/HFA had greater difficulties identifying and describing their emotions, with approximately two-thirds exceeding the cutoff for alexithymia. With respect to emotion regulation, individuals with AS/HFA used reappraisal less frequently than TD individuals and reported lower levels of reappraisal self-efficacy. Although AS/HFA individuals used suppression more frequently than TD individuals, no difference in suppression self-efficacy was found. It is important to note that these differences in emotion regulation were evident even when controlling for emotion experience and labeling. Implications of these deficits are discussed, and future research directions are proposed.

  8. Contribution of Theory of Mind, Executive Functioning, and Pragmatics to Socialization Behaviors of Children with High-Functioning Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berenguer, Carmen; Miranda, Ana; Colomer, Carla; Baixauli, Inmaculada; Roselló, Belén

    2018-01-01

    Social difficulties are a key aspect of autism, but the intervening factors are still poorly understood. This study had two objectives: to compare the profile of ToM skills, executive functioning (EF), and pragmatic competence (PC) of children with high-functioning autism (HFA) and children with typical development (TD), and analyze their mediator…

  9. The role of high level play as a predictor social functioning in autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manning, Margaret M; Wainwright, Laurel D

    2010-05-01

    Play and social abilities of a group of children diagnosed with high functioning autism were compared to a second group diagnosed with a variety of developmental language disorders (DLD). The children with autism engaged in fewer acts of high level play. The children with autism also had significantly lower social functioning than the DLD group early in the play session; however, these differences were no longer apparent by the end of the play session. In addition, a significant association existed between play and social functioning regardless of diagnosis. This suggests that play may act as a current indicator of social ability while providing an arena for social skills practice.

  10. Increased premotor cortex activation in high functioning autism during action observation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perkins, Tom J; Bittar, Richard G; McGillivray, Jane A; Cox, Ivanna I; Stokes, Mark A

    2015-04-01

    The mirror neuron (MN) hypothesis of autism has received considerable attention, but to date has produced inconsistent findings. Using functional MRI, participants with high functioning autism or Asperger's syndrome were compared to typically developing individuals (n=12 in each group). Participants passively observed hand gestures that included waving, pointing, and grasping. Concerning the MN network, both groups activated similar regions including prefrontal, inferior parietal and superior temporal regions, with the autism group demonstrating significantly greater activation in the dorsal premotor cortex. Concerning other regions, participants with autism demonstrated increased activity in the anterior cingulate and medial frontal gyrus, and reduced activation in calcarine, cuneus, and middle temporal gyrus. These results suggest that during observation of hand gestures, frontal cortex activation is affected in autism, which we suggest may be linked to abnormal functioning of the MN system. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Health-Related Quality of Life in Children with High-Functioning Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potvin, Marie-Christine; Snider, Laurie; Prelock, Patricia A.; Wood-Dauphinee, Sharon; Kehayia, Eva

    2015-01-01

    The health-related quality of life of school-aged children with high-functioning autism is poorly understood. The objectives of this study were to compare the health-related quality of life of children with high-functioning autism to that of typically developing peers and to compare child-self and parent-proxy reports of health-related quality of…

  12. Study the Relationship of Executive Functions with Behavioral Symptoms in Children with High-Functioning Autism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vali Shiri

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Objective: The relation between autism disorder’s symptoms and cognitive capabilities can help with a better phenotype description of this disorder and can facilitate its pathological evaluation and treatment. Destruction of executive functions seems to be one of the cognitive reasons of potential phenotype in autism disorder. Thus, the present paper aims to study the relationship between executive dysfunction and autism disorder’s symptoms. Materials & Methods: In this cross-sectional research, 50 children with high-functioning autism were selected using convenience sampling method from Behara, Tehranpars and Roshd centers. Then, the GARS test and Autism Spectrum Screening Questionnaire was completed by therapists and neuropsychological tests of Strop and continuous performance test and shift attention were taken by the subjects. Pearson correlation coefficient and multi-variant regression were used for data analysis. Results: There is a significant positive relationship between selective attention with communicative and social interaction symptoms, sustained attention with social interaction symptoms and repetitive behaviors, shifting attention with communicative, social interaction and repetitive behavior symptoms (P<0.001 (P<0.01 (P<0.05. In addition, the results of regression analysis also revealed that selective attention and shifting attention can predict communication, and sustained attention can predict social interaction and repetitive behaviors symptoms (P<0.01 (P<0.05. Conclusion: The results obtained by this study indicate the significant role of executive functions in autistic symptoms. Thus, it is recommended to consider new treatment interventions in repairing executive functions for treatment of children with autistic disorder.

  13. Health-related quality of life in children with high-functioning autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potvin, Marie-Christine; Snider, Laurie; Prelock, Patricia A; Wood-Dauphinee, Sharon; Kehayia, Eva

    2015-01-01

    The health-related quality of life of school-aged children with high-functioning autism is poorly understood. The objectives of this study were to compare the health-related quality of life of children with high-functioning autism to that of typically developing peers and to compare child-self and parent-proxy reports of health-related quality of life of children. A cross-sectional study of children with high-functioning autism (n = 30) and peers (n = 31) was conducted using the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory 4.0 Generic Core Scales. Children with high-functioning autism had significantly poorer health-related quality of life than peers whether reported by themselves (p children and parental scores suggested variance in points of view. This study specifically investigated health-related quality of life in children with high-functioning autism as compared to a sample of peers, from the child's perspective. It strengthens earlier findings that children with high-functioning autism experience poorer health-related quality of life than those without this disorder and points to the importance of clinicians working with families to identify areas in a child's life that promote or hinder their sense of well-being. © The Author(s) 2013.

  14. Comparison of Spontaneously Elicited Language Patterns in Specific Language Impairment and High-Functioning Autism.

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    Craig, Megan; Trauner, Doris

    2018-02-01

    We aimed to characterize differences in the use of language in children with specific language impairment and high-functioning autism by analyzing verbal responses on standardized tests. The overall goal was to provide clinicians with additional tools with which to aid in distinguishing the two neurodevelopmental disorders. This study included 16 children with specific language impairment, 28 children with high-functioning autism, and 52 typically developing participants between the ages of six and 14. Groups were matched for age, and specific language impairment and high-functioning autism groups were matched on verbal and performance IQ. Responses from standardized tests were examined for response length, grammatical errors, filler words, perseverations, revisions (repeated attempts to begin or continue a sentence), off-topic attention shifts (lapses in attention to the task), and rambling. Data were analyzed using parametric and nonparametric methods. Specific language impairment responses were longer and contained more filler words than did those of the other two groups, whereas high-functioning autism responses exhibited more grammatical errors, off-topic attention shifts, and rambling. Specific language impairment and high-functioning autism responses showed higher rates of perseveration compared with controls. There were no significant differences in revisions among the three groups. Differences in language patterns of participants with specific language impairment and high-functioning autism may be useful to the clinician in helping to differentiate isolated language impairment from high-functioning autism. The results also support the conclusion that the two conditions are separable, and each exhibits a different pattern of language dysfunction. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. The Association between Emotional and Behavioral Problems and Gastrointestinal Symptoms among Children with High-Functioning Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazefsky, Carla A.; Schreiber, Dana R.; Olino, Thomas M.; Minshew, Nancy J.

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated the association between gastrointestinal symptoms and a broad set of emotional and behavioral concerns in 95 children with high-functioning autism and IQ scores = 80. Gastrointestinal symptoms were assessed via the Autism Treatment Network's Gastrointestinal Symptom Inventory, and data were gathered on autism symptom…

  16. Promoting social behavior with oxytocin in high-functioning autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andari, Elissar; Duhamel, Jean-René; Zalla, Tiziana; Herbrecht, Evelyn; Leboyer, Marion; Sirigu, Angela

    2010-03-02

    Social adaptation requires specific cognitive and emotional competences. Individuals with high-functioning autism or with Asperger syndrome cannot understand or engage in social situations despite preserved intellectual abilities. Recently, it has been suggested that oxytocin, a hormone known to promote mother-infant bonds, may be implicated in the social deficit of autism. We investigated the behavioral effects of oxytocin in 13 subjects with autism. In a simulated ball game where participants interacted with fictitious partners, we found that after oxytocin inhalation, patients exhibited stronger interactions with the most socially cooperative partner and reported enhanced feelings of trust and preference. Also, during free viewing of pictures of faces, oxytocin selectively increased patients' gazing time on the socially informative region of the face, namely the eyes. Thus, under oxytocin, patients respond more strongly to others and exhibit more appropriate social behavior and affect, suggesting a therapeutic potential of oxytocin through its action on a core dimension of autism.

  17. Facial Emotion Recognition in Children with High Functioning Autism and Children with Social Phobia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Nina; Beidel, Deborah C.; Sarver, Dustin E.; Sims, Valerie

    2012-01-01

    Recognizing facial affect is essential for effective social functioning. This study examines emotion recognition abilities in children aged 7-13 years with High Functioning Autism (HFA = 19), Social Phobia (SP = 17), or typical development (TD = 21). Findings indicate that all children identified certain emotions more quickly (e.g., happy [less…

  18. Effects of Observing Eye Contact on Gaze Following in High-Functioning Autism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Böckler, A.; Timmermans, B.; Sebanz, N.; Vogeley, K.; Schilbach, L.

    2014-01-01

    Observing eye contact between others enhances the tendency to subsequently follow their gaze and has been suggested to function as a social signal that adds meaning to an upcoming action or event. The present study investigated effects of observed eye contact in high-functioning autism (HFA). Two

  19. Executive Functions and Prosodic Abilities in Children With High-Functioning Autism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marisa G. Filipe

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Little is known about the relationship between prosodic abilities and executive function skills. As deficits in executive functions (EFs and prosodic impairments are characteristics of autism, we examined how EFs are related to prosodic performance in children with high-functioning autism (HFA. Fifteen children with HFA (M = 7.4 years; SD = 1.12, matched to 15 typically developing peers on age, gender, and non-verbal intelligence participated in the study. The Profiling Elements of Prosody in Speech-Communication (PEPS-C was used to assess prosodic performance. The Children’s Color Trails Test (CCTT-1, CCTT-2, and CCTT Interference Index was used as an indicator of executive control abilities. Our findings suggest no relation between prosodic abilities and visual search and processing speed (assessed by CCTT-1, but a significant link between prosodic skills and divided attention, working memory/sequencing, set-switching, and inhibition (assessed by CCTT-2 and CCTT Interference Index. These findings may be of clinical relevance since difficulties in EFs and prosodic deficits are characteristic of many neurodevelopmental disorders. Future studies are needed to further investigate the nature of the relationship between impaired prosody and executive (dysfunction.

  20. A Comparative Study of the Spontaneous Social Interactions of Children with High-Functioning Autism and Children with Asperger's Disorder

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    Macintosh, Kathleen; Dissanayake, Cheryl

    2006-01-01

    A comparative observational study was undertaken of the spontaneous social interactions of children with high-functioning autism and Asperger's disorder. The sample comprised 20 children with high-functioning autism, 19 children with Asperger's disorder and 17 typically developing children matched on chronological age and overall mental age. A…

  1. Social Skills and Problem Behaviours in School Aged Children with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macintosh, Kathleen; Dissanayake, Cheryl

    2006-01-01

    The social skills and problem behaviours of children with high-functioning autism and Asperger's Disorder were compared using parent and teacher reports on the Social Skills Rating System. The participants were 20 children with high-functioning autism, 19 children with Asperger's Disorder, and 17 typically developing children, matched on…

  2. Self-Monitoring of Gaze in High Functioning Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grynszpan, Ouriel; Nadel, Jacqueline; Martin, Jean-Claude; Simonin, Jerome; Bailleul, Pauline; Wang, Yun; Gepner, Daniel; Le Barillier, Florence; Constant, Jacques

    2012-01-01

    Atypical visual behaviour has been recently proposed to account for much of social misunderstanding in autism. Using an eye-tracking system and a gaze-contingent lens display, the present study explores self-monitoring of eye motion in two conditions: free visual exploration and guided exploration via blurring the visual field except for the focal…

  3. Social Skills Training for Adolescents with Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tse, Jeanie; Strulovitch, Jack; Tagalakis, Vicki; Meng, Linyan; Fombonne, Eric

    2007-01-01

    The effectiveness of a social skills training group for adolescents with Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism (AS/HFA) was evaluated. Parents of six groups of adolescents (n = 46, 61% male, mean age 14.6) completed questionnaires immediately before and after the 12-week group. Parents and adolescents were surveyed regarding their…

  4. Participation in Daily Activities of Young Adults with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCollum, Mary; LaVesser, Patti; Berg, Christine

    2016-01-01

    Young adults with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) struggle to assume adult roles. This research assessed the feasibility of using the Adolescent and Young Adult Activity Card Sort (AYA-ACS) with emerging adults with high functioning ASD. Two phases were utilized during this research: (1) comparing the activity participation reported by emerging…

  5. How Stimulus and Task Complexity Affect Monitoring in High-Functioning Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koolen, S.; Vissers, C.T.W.M.; Egger, J.I.M.; Verhoeven, L.T.W.

    2014-01-01

    The present study examined whether individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are able to update and monitor working memory representations of visual input, and whether performance is influenced by stimulus and task complexity. 15 high-functioning adults with ASD and 15 controls were asked to

  6. Binding of Multiple Features in Memory by High-Functioning Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowler, Dermot M.; Gaigg, Sebastian B.; Gardiner, John M.

    2014-01-01

    Diminished episodic memory and diminished use of semantic information to aid recall by individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are both thought to result from diminished relational binding of elements of complex stimuli. To test this hypothesis, we asked high-functioning adults with ASD and typical comparison participants to study grids in…

  7. Preparing Transition-Age Students with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders for Meaningful Work

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Gloria K.; Carter, Erik W.

    2012-01-01

    This article provides an overview of promising essential elements for fostering vocational success among students with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders (HFASDs) by drawing literature from the fields of school-to-work transition for post-secondary students and vocational rehabilitation for individuals with disabilities. We highlight seven…

  8. Brief report: Inhibitory control of socially relevant stimuli in children with high functioning autism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geurts, H.M.; Begeer, S.; Stockman, L.

    2009-01-01

    The current study explored whether inhibitory control deficits in high functioning autism (HFA) emerged when socially relevant stimuli were used and whether arousal level affected the performance. A Go/NoGo paradigm, with socially relevant stimuli and varying presentation rates, was applied in 18

  9. Social Competence Intervention for Elementary Students with Aspergers Syndrome and High Functioning Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stichter, Janine P.; O'Connor, Karen V.; Herzog, Melissa J.; Lierheimer, Kristin; McGhee, Stephanie D.

    2012-01-01

    Despite frequent reports of academic success, individuals with high functioning autism or Aspergers Syndrome (HFA/AS) often manifest deficits in social abilities. These deficits can lead to daily difficulties, and negative long-term outcomes. Deficits in social competency are evident in this population from an early age, as children with HFA/AS…

  10. Theory of Mind and Central Coherence in Adults with High-Functioning Autism or Asperger Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaumont, Renae; Newcombe, Peter

    2006-01-01

    The study investigated theory of mind and central coherence abilities in adults with high-functioning autism (HFA) or Asperger syndrome (AS) using naturalistic tasks. Twenty adults with HFA/AS correctly answered significantly fewer theory of mind questions than 20 controls on a forced-choice response task. On a narrative task, there were no…

  11. High-Functional Autism: An Overview of Characteristics and Related Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Ann X.; Wheeler, John J.

    2006-01-01

    Individuals with high-functioning autism are characterized by almost normal language ability and intelligence as well as social, pragmatic impairments. Before the 1980s, limited research was focused on this disorder. This paper reviews previous research on this underserved population with a hope that we are able to gain some insights from existing…

  12. Pragmatic Inferences in High-Functioning Adults with Autism and Asperger Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pijnacker, Judith; Hagoort, Peter; Buitelaar, Jan; Teunisse, Jan-Pieter; Geurts, Bart

    2009-01-01

    Although people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often have severe problems with pragmatic aspects of language, little is known about their pragmatic reasoning. We carried out a behavioral study on high-functioning adults with autistic disorder (n = 11) and Asperger syndrome (n = 17) and matched controls (n = 28) to investigate whether they…

  13. Narrative Discourse in Adults with High-Functioning Autism or Asperger Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colle, Livia; Baron-Cohen, Simon; Wheelwright, Sally; van der Lely, Heather K. J.

    2008-01-01

    We report a study comparing the narrative abilities of 12 adults with high-functioning autism (HFA) or Asperger Syndrome (AS) versus 12 matched controls. The study focuses on the use of referential expressions (temporal expressions and anaphoric pronouns) during a story-telling task. The aim was to assess pragmatics skills in people with HFA/AS in…

  14. Pragmatic Inference Abilities in Individuals with Asperger Syndrome or High-Functioning Autism. A Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loukusa, Soile; Moilanen, Irma

    2009-01-01

    This review summarizes studies involving pragmatic language comprehension and inference abilities in individuals with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism. Systematic searches of three electronic databases, selected journals, and reference lists identified 20 studies meeting the inclusion criteria. These studies were evaluated in terms of:…

  15. WISC-IV and WIAT-II Profiles in Children with High-Functioning Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayes, Susan Dickerson; Calhoun, Susan L.

    2008-01-01

    Children with high-functioning autism earned above normal scores on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Fourth Edition (WISC-IV) Perceptual Reasoning and Verbal Comprehension Indexes and below normal scores on the Working Memory and Processing Speed Indexes and Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-Second Edition (WIAT-II) Written…

  16. Virtual Reality Social Cognition Training for Young Adults with High-Functioning Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kandalaft, Michelle R.; Didehbani, Nyaz; Krawczyk, Daniel C.; Allen, Tandra T.; Chapman, Sandra B.

    2013-01-01

    Few evidence-based social interventions exist for young adults with high-functioning autism, many of whom encounter significant challenges during the transition into adulthood. The current study investigated the feasibility of an engaging Virtual Reality Social Cognition Training intervention focused on enhancing social skills, social cognition,…

  17. Virtual-Reality-Based Social Interaction Training for Children with High-Functioning Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ke, Fengfeng; Im, Tami

    2013-01-01

    Employing the multiple-baseline across-subjects design, the authors examined the implementation and potential effect of a virtual-reality-based social interaction program on the interaction and communication performance of children with high functioning autism. The data were collected via behavior observation and analysis, questionnaires, and…

  18. Atypical Visual Orienting to Gaze- and Arrow-Cues in Adults with High Functioning Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vlamings, Petra H. J. M.; Stauder, Johannes E. A.; van Son, Ilona A. M.; Mottron, Laurent

    2005-01-01

    The present study investigates visual orienting to directional cues (arrow or eyes) in adults with high functioning autism (n = 19) and age matched controls (n = 19). A choice reaction time paradigm is used in which eye-or arrow direction correctly (congruent) or incorrectly (incongruent) cues target location. In typically developing participants,…

  19. Computer-mediated communication in adults with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders and controls

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Aa, Christine; Pollmann, Monique; Plaat, Aske; van der Gaag, Rutger Jan

    2016-01-01

    It has been suggested that people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are attracted to computer-mediated communication (CMC). In this study, we compare CMC use in adults with high-functioning ASD (N = 113) and a control group (N = 72). We find that people with ASD spend more time on CMC than

  20. Inclusion for Students with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders: Definitions and Decision Making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sansosti, Jenine M.; Sansosti, Frank J.

    2012-01-01

    General education placements are believed to offer numerous benefits for students with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders (HFASDs), yet decisions about including students with HFASDs remain controversial. This article presents data from a qualitative analysis of definitions and decision making considerations for a school district with a…

  1. Superior Nonverbal Intelligence in Children with High-Functioning Autism or Asperger's Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Fei; Planche, Pascale; Lemonnier, Eric

    2010-01-01

    Some early studies showed discordance in cognitive strengths and weaknesses in individuals with high-functioning autism (HFA) or Asperger's syndrome (AS). The present study administered the French version of Colored Raven's Progressive Matrices in 14 children with HFA/AS and in 26 chronological age matched peers with typical development. We found…

  2. An Examination of Handedness and Footedness in Children with High Functioning Autism and Asperger Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markoulakis, R.; Scharoun, S. M.; Bryden, P. J.; Fletcher, P. C.

    2012-01-01

    Motor control deficits have been documented in children with high functioning autism and Asperger syndrome (HFA/AS), but the extent to which these disorders affect the children's footedness must be delineated. Twelve typically developing (TD) children and 12 children with HFA/AS, ages 6-9 years, were recruited. Motor control skills were assessed…

  3. Attentional Blink in Young People with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinehart, Nicole; Tonge, Bruce; Brereton, Avril; Bradshaw, John

    2010-01-01

    The aim of the study was to examine the temporal characteristics of information processing in individuals with high-functioning autism and Asperger's disorder using a rapid serial visual presentation paradigm. The results clearly showed that such people demonstrate an attentional blink of similar magnitude to comparison groups. This supports the…

  4. Cognitive Differences in Pictorial Reasoning between High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahyoun, Cherif P.; Soulieres, Isabelle; Belliveau, John W.; Mottron, Laurent; Mody, Maria

    2009-01-01

    We investigated linguistic and visuospatial processing during pictorial reasoning in high-functioning autism (HFA), Asperger's syndrome (ASP), and age and IQ-matched typically developing participants (CTRL), using three conditions designed to differentially engage linguistic mediation or visuospatial processing (visuospatial, V; semantic, S;…

  5. Mathematics Interventions for Students with High Functioning Autism/Asperger's Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donaldson, Jeffrey B.; Zager, Dianne

    2010-01-01

    Teachers are often at a loss when considering how to address mathematics difficulties for students with high functioning autism/Asperger's syndrome (HFA/AS). Students may show difficulty remembering operations throughout an equation, organizing information on the page, and comprehending the language in instructions of word problems. These…

  6. Do Adults with High Functioning Autism or Asperger Syndrome Differ in Empathy and Emotion Recognition?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, Charlotte B.; Allison, Carrie; Lai, Meng-Chuan; Cassidy, Sarah; Langdon, Peter E.; Baron-Cohen, Simon

    2016-01-01

    The present study examined whether adults with high functioning autism (HFA) showed greater difficulties in (1) their self-reported ability to empathise with others and/or (2) their ability to read mental states in others' eyes than adults with Asperger syndrome (AS). The Empathy Quotient (EQ) and "Reading the Mind in the Eyes" Test…

  7. Linguistic Characteristics of Individuals with High Functioning Autism and Asperger Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seung, Hye Kyeung

    2007-01-01

    This study examined the linguistic characteristics of high functioning individuals with autism and Asperger syndrome. Each group consisted of 10 participants who were matched on sex, chronological age, and intelligence scores. Participants generated a narrative after watching a brief video segment of the Social Attribution Task video. Each…

  8. Pragmatic Inferences in High-Functioning Adults with Autism and Asperger Syndrome

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pijnacker, J.; Hagoort, P.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Teunisse, J.P.W.M.; Geurts, L.B.W.

    2009-01-01

    Although people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often have severe problems with pragmatic aspects of language, little is known about their pragmatic reasoning. We carried out a behavioral study on high-functioning adults with autistic disorder (n = 11) and Asperger syndrome (n = 17) and matched

  9. Pragmatic inferences in high-functioning adults with autism and Asperger syndrome.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pijnacker, J.; Hagoort, P.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Teunisse, J.P.W.M.; Geurts, B.

    2009-01-01

    Although people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often have severe problems with pragmatic aspects of language, little is known about their pragmatic reasoning. We carried out a behavioral study on high-functioning adults with autistic disorder (n = 11) and Asperger syndrome (n = 17) and matched

  10. The neuropsychology of male adults with high-functioning autism or Asperger syndrome

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wilson, C.E.; Happé, F.; Wheelwright, S.J.; Ecker, C.; Lombardo, M.V.; Johnston, P.; Daly, E.; Murphy, C.M.; Spain, D.; Lai, M-C.; Chakrabarti, B; Sauter, D.A.; MRC AIMS Consortium, [Unknown; Baron-Cohen, S.; Murphy, D.G.M.

    2014-01-01

    Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is diagnosed on the basis of behavioral symptoms, but cognitive abilities may also be useful in characterizing individuals with ASD. One hundred seventy-eight high-functioning male adults, half with ASD and half without, completed tasks assessing IQ, a broad range of

  11. Reading Comprehension Profiles of High-Functioning Students on the Autism Spectrum: A Grounded Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williamson, Pamela; Carnahan, Christina R.; Jacobs, Jennifer A.

    2012-01-01

    Using a constructivist grounded theory approach, this study sought to understand what influences reading comprehension and how meaning is made from text among high-functioning individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Using a think-aloud procedure, 13 individuals ages 7-13 with ASD read 16 passages at their instructional reading level.…

  12. High Functioning Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Novel Test of Multitasking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackinlay, Rachael; Charman, Tony; Karmiloff-Smith, Annette

    2006-01-01

    High functioning children with a diagnosis of autism or Asperger's syndrome (HF-ASD) often experience difficulties organising goal-directed actions in their day-to-day lives, requiring support to schedule daily activities. This study aimed to capture these everyday difficulties experimentally using multitasking, a methodology that taps into the…

  13. Key Components of Successful Sexuality Education for High Functioning Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greiert, Brittany Sovran

    2016-01-01

    To date, there is very little existing research on the sexuality education of high functioning adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) even though current research suggests that 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with ASD (CDC, 2014). Through group consensus of experts in ASD representing families, school-based professionals, and researchers,…

  14. Teaching Organizational Skills to Children with High Functioning Autism and Asperger's Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorminy, Kimberly Powers; Luscre, Deanna; Gast, David L.

    2009-01-01

    A multiple baseline design across participants was used to evaluate the effectiveness of a file box system plus self-monitoring on the organizational skills of four fourth and fifth grade students with high functioning autism (HFA) and Asperger's Syndrome (AS). Instruction took place in general education classrooms and consisted of teaching…

  15. Cultivation of Empathy in Individuals with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaarsma, Pier

    2013-01-01

    High-functioning individuals with autism spectrum disorder (HF-ASD) typically lack cognitive empathy, compromising their moral agency from both a Kantian and a Humean perspective. Nevertheless, they are capable of exhibiting moral behavior, and sometimes, they exhibit what may be deemed "super-moral" behavior. The empathy deficit poses,…

  16. Contribution of Theory of Mind, Executive Functioning, and Pragmatics to Socialization Behaviors of Children with High-Functioning Autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berenguer, Carmen; Miranda, Ana; Colomer, Carla; Baixauli, Inmaculada; Roselló, Belén

    2018-02-01

    Social difficulties are a key aspect of autism, but the intervening factors are still poorly understood. This study had two objectives: to compare the profile of ToM skills, executive functioning (EF), and pragmatic competence (PC) of children with high-functioning autism (HFA) and children with typical development (TD), and analyze their mediator role in social functioning. The participants were 52 children with HFA and 37 children with TD matched on age, intelligence quotient, and expressive vocabulary. Significant differences were found on measures of ToM, both explicit and applied, EF, and PC between children with HFA and TD. Multiple mediation analysis revealed that applied ToM skills and PC mediated the relations between autism symptoms and social functioning. Implications for social cognitive interventions to address these findings are discussed.

  17. A behavioral comparison of male and female adults with high functioning autism spectrum conditions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meng-Chuan Lai

    Full Text Available Autism spectrum conditions (ASC affect more males than females in the general population. However, within ASC it is unclear if there are phenotypic sex differences. Testing for similarities and differences between the sexes is important not only for clinical assessment but also has implications for theories of typical sex differences and of autism. Using cognitive and behavioral measures, we investigated similarities and differences between the sexes in age- and IQ-matched adults with ASC (high-functioning autism or Asperger syndrome. Of the 83 (45 males and 38 females participants, 62 (33 males and 29 females met Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R cut-off criteria for autism in childhood and were included in all subsequent analyses. The severity of childhood core autism symptoms did not differ between the sexes. Males and females also did not differ in self-reported empathy, systemizing, anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive traits/symptoms or mentalizing performance. However, adult females with ASC showed more lifetime sensory symptoms (p = 0.036, fewer current socio-communication difficulties (p = 0.001, and more self-reported autistic traits (p = 0.012 than males. In addition, females with ASC who also had developmental language delay had lower current performance IQ than those without developmental language delay (p<0.001, a pattern not seen in males. The absence of typical sex differences in empathizing-systemizing profiles within the autism spectrum confirms a prediction from the extreme male brain theory. Behavioral sex differences within ASC may also reflect different developmental mechanisms between males and females with ASC. We discuss the importance of the superficially better socio-communication ability in adult females with ASC in terms of why females with ASC may more often go under-recognized, and receive their diagnosis later, than males.

  18. Disembedding performance in children and adolescents with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaland, Nils; Mortensen, Erik Lykke; Smith, Lars

    2007-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to assess the findings, reported in earlier studies, that individuals with autism spectrum disorders process visuo-spatial tasks faster than typically developing control persons. The participants in the present study were children and adolescents with Asperger syndrome (AS) or high-functioning autism (HFA) (N = 13), and a matched group of typically developing children and adolescents (N = 13). The results showed that the participants in the clinical group performed marginally less well than those in the control group on both the Block Design Test and the Embedded Figures Test, but the differences were not statistically significant. Thus, earlier findings suggesting that individuals with autism spectrum disorders solve non-social cognitive tasks faster than typically developing control persons were not replicated. The results are discussed with special reference to the hypothesis of weak central coherence.

  19. A connectionist model of category learning by individuals with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dovgopoly, Alexander; Mercado, Eduardo

    2013-06-01

    Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show atypical patterns of learning and generalization. We explored the possible impacts of autism-related neural abnormalities on perceptual category learning using a neural network model of visual cortical processing. When applied to experiments in which children or adults were trained to classify complex two-dimensional images, the model can account for atypical patterns of perceptual generalization. This is only possible, however, when individual differences in learning are taken into account. In particular, analyses performed with a self-organizing map suggested that individuals with high-functioning ASD show two distinct generalization patterns: one that is comparable to typical patterns, and a second in which there is almost no generalization. The model leads to novel predictions about how individuals will generalize when trained with simplified input sets and can explain why some researchers have failed to detect learning or generalization deficits in prior studies of category learning by individuals with autism. On the basis of these simulations, we propose that deficits in basic neural plasticity mechanisms may be sufficient to account for the atypical patterns of perceptual category learning and generalization associated with autism, but they do not account for why only a subset of individuals with autism would show such deficits. If variations in performance across subgroups reflect heterogeneous neural abnormalities, then future behavioral and neuroimaging studies of individuals with ASD will need to account for such disparities.

  20. Group social skills interventions for adults with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders: A systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spain, Debbie; Blainey, Sarah H

    2015-10-01

    Autism spectrum disorders are characterised by impairments in communication and social interaction. Social skills interventions have been found to ameliorate socio-communication deficits in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Little is known about the effectiveness of social skills interventions for adults with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders (hf-ASD) - a clinical population who can present with more subtle core deficits, but comparable levels of impairment and secondary difficulties. A systematic review was undertaken to investigate the effectiveness of social skills interventions for adults with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders. Five studies met the pre-specified review inclusion criteria: two quasi-experimental comparative trials and three single-arm interventions. There was a degree of variation in the structure, duration and content of the social skills interventions delivered, as well as several methodological limitations associated with included studies. Nevertheless, narrative analysis tentatively indicates that group social skills interventions may be effective for enhancing social knowledge and understanding, improving social functioning, reducing loneliness and potentially alleviating co-morbid psychiatric symptoms. © The Author(s) 2015.

  1. The Neuropsychology of Male Adults With High-Functioning Autism or Asperger Syndrome†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, C Ellie; Happé, Francesca; Wheelwright, Sally J; Ecker, Christine; Lombardo, Michael V; Johnston, Patrick; Daly, Eileen; Murphy, Clodagh M; Spain, Debbie; Lai, Meng-Chuan; Chakrabarti, Bhismadev; Sauter, Disa A; Baron-Cohen, Simon; Murphy, Declan G M

    2014-01-01

    Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is diagnosed on the basis of behavioral symptoms, but cognitive abilities may also be useful in characterizing individuals with ASD. One hundred seventy-eight high-functioning male adults, half with ASD and half without, completed tasks assessing IQ, a broad range of cognitive skills, and autistic and comorbid symptomatology. The aims of the study were, first, to determine whether significant differences existed between cases and controls on cognitive tasks, and whether cognitive profiles, derived using a multivariate classification method with data from multiple cognitive tasks, could distinguish between the two groups. Second, to establish whether cognitive skill level was correlated with degree of autistic symptom severity, and third, whether cognitive skill level was correlated with degree of comorbid psychopathology. Fourth, cognitive characteristics of individuals with Asperger Syndrome (AS) and high-functioning autism (HFA) were compared. After controlling for IQ, ASD and control groups scored significantly differently on tasks of social cognition, motor performance, and executive function (P's Autism Res 2014, 7: 568–581. © 2014 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:24903974

  2. Maladaptive cognitive appraisals in children with high-functioning autism: associations with fear, anxiety and theory of mind.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Shilpi; Woolfson, Lisa M; Hunter, Simon C

    2014-04-01

    Despite the well-documented success of cognitive restructuring techniques in the treatment of anxiety disorders, there is still little clarity on which cognitions underpin fear and anxiety in children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder. This study examined whether certain cognitive appraisals, known to be associated with fear and anxiety in typically developing groups, may help explain these emotions in children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder. It also investigated relations between these cognitive appraisals and theory of mind. Appraisals, fear and anxiety were assessed using a vignette approach in 22 children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders and 22 typically developing children. The two groups differed significantly on all four appraisal types. Anxiety was negatively correlated with future expectancy and positively with problem-focused coping potential in the high-functioning autism spectrum disorder group but was not correlated with appraisals in the typically developing group. The two appraisals associated with fear were emotion-focused coping potential (in the high-functioning autism spectrum disorder group only) and self-accountability (in the typically developing group only). Linear regression analysis found that appraisals of emotion-focused coping potential, problem-focused coping potential and future expectancy were significant predictors of theory-of-mind ability in the high-functioning autism spectrum disorders group. These findings indicate that specific, problematic patterns of appraisal may characterise children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders.

  3. The Michigan Autism Spectrum Questionnaire: A Rating Scale for High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders

    OpenAIRE

    Ghaziuddin, M.; Welch, K.

    2013-01-01

    Although the DSM-5 has recently created a single category of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), delineation of its putative subtypes remains clinically useful. For this process, screening instruments should ideally be brief, simple, and easily available. The aim of this study is to describe the validity of one such instrument. We administered the Michigan Autism Spectrum Questionnaire (MASQ), a 10-item questionnaire, to 42 patients with ASD (age range 6–13 years, mean 9.7 years, SD 2.5, one fema...

  4. The relationship between executive functioning, central coherence, and repetitive behaviors in the high-functioning autism spectrum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    South, Mikle; Ozonoff, Sally; McMahon, William M

    2007-09-01

    This study examined the relationship between everyday repetitive behavior (primary symptoms of autism) and performance on neuropsychological tests of executive function and central coherence (secondary symptoms). It was hypothesized that the frequency and intensity of repetitive behavior would be positively correlated with laboratory measures of cognitive rigidity and weak central coherence. Participants included 19 individuals (ages 10-19) with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders (ASD group) and 18 age- and IQ-matched typically developing controls (TD group). There was partial support in the ASD group for the link between repetitive behavior and executive performance (the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task). There was no support for a link between repetitive behavior and measures of central coherence (a Gestalt Closure test and the Embedded Figures Test). Further research on repetitive behaviors in autism may benefit from a focus on narrow behavioral and cognitive constructs rather than general categories.

  5. An Investigation of Upper Limb Motor Function in High Functioning Autism and Asperger's Disorder Using a Repetitive Fitts' Aiming Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papadopoulos, Nicole; McGinley, Jennifer; Tonge, Bruce J.; Bradshaw, John L.; Saunders, Kerryn; Rinehart, Nicole J.

    2012-01-01

    There is now a growing body of research examining movement difficulties in children diagnosed with high functioning autism (HFA) and Asperger's disorder (AD). Despite this, few studies have investigated the kinematic components of movement that may be disrupted in children diagnosed with these disorders. The current study investigated rapid aiming…

  6. Behavioral measures of implicit theory of mind in adults with high functioning autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deschrijver, Eliane; Bardi, Lara; Wiersema, Jan R; Brass, Marcel

    2016-01-01

    Theory of mind (ToM) research has shown that adults with high functioning autism (HFA) demonstrate typical performance on tasks that require explicit belief reasoning, despite clear social difficulties in everyday life situations. In the current study, we used implicit belief manipulations that are task-irrelevant and therefore less susceptible to strategies. In a ball-detection task, it was shown that neurotypical individuals detect a ball faster if an agent believed the ball was present. We predicted that adults with high functioning autism (HFA) would not show this effect. While we found a numerical difference in the hypothesized direction, we did not find a reliable group effect. Interestingly, the implicit ToM-index showed a strong negative correlation with both self-reported and observational measures of social difficulties in the HFA group. This suggests that the relationship between implicit ToM reasoning and the symptomatology of HFA might be subtler than assumed.

  7. Binding of multiple features in memory by high-functioning adults with autism spectrum disorder

    OpenAIRE

    Bowler, D. M.; Gaigg, S. B.; Gardiner, J. M.

    2014-01-01

    Diminished episodic memory and diminished use of semantic information to aid recall by individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are both thought to result from diminished relational binding of elements of complex stimuli. To test this hypothesis, we asked high-functioning adults with ASD and typical comparison participants to study grids in which some cells contained drawings of objects in non-canonical colours. Participants were told at study which features (colour, item, location) wo...

  8. Social Anxiety in High-Functioning Children and Adolescents with Autism and Asperger Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuusikko, Sanna; Pollock-Wurman, Rachel; Jussila, Katja; Carter, Alice S.; Mattila, Marja-Leena; Ebeling, Hanna; Pauls, David L.; Moilanen, Irma

    2008-01-01

    We examined social anxiety and internalizing symptoms using the Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory for Children (SPAI-C), the Social Anxiety Scale for Children -Revised (SASC-R), and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) in a sample of fifty-four high-functioning subjects with autism or Asperger syndrome (HFA/AS) (M = 11.2 plus or minus 1.7 years)…

  9. Cognitive Shifting as a Predictor of Progress in Social Understanding in High-Functioning Adolescents with Autism: A Prospective Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Hans J. C.; And Others

    1993-01-01

    This prospective study of 17 high-functioning residentially treated adolescents with autism found that cognitive shifting, as measured by card sorting tests, was the only significant factor in predicting progress in social understanding. (Author/JDD)

  10. The autism-spectrum quotient (AQ): evidence from Asperger syndrome/high-functioning autism, males and females, scientists and mathematicians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baron-Cohen, S; Wheelwright, S; Skinner, R; Martin, J; Clubley, E

    2001-02-01

    Currently there are no brief, self-administered instruments for measuring the degree to which an adult with normal intelligence has the traits associated with the autistic spectrum. In this paper, we report on a new instrument to assess this: the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ). Individuals score in the range 0-50. Four groups of subjects were assessed: Group 1: 58 adults with Asperger syndrome (AS) or high-functioning autism (HFA); Group 2: 174 randomly selected controls. Group 3: 840 students in Cambridge University; and Group 4: 16 winners of the UK Mathematics Olympiad. The adults with AS/HFA had a mean AQ score of 35.8 (SD = 6.5), significantly higher than Group 2 controls (M = 16.4, SD = 6.3). 80% of the adults with AS/HFA scored 32+, versus 2% of controls. Among the controls, men scored slightly but significantly higher than women. No women scored extremely highly (AQ score 34+) whereas 4% of men did so. Twice as many men (40%) as women (21%) scored at intermediate levels (AQ score 20+). Among the AS/HFA group, male and female scores did not differ significantly. The students in Cambridge University did not differ from the randomly selected control group, but scientists (including mathematicians) scored significantly higher than both humanities and social sciences students, confirming an earlier study that autistic conditions are associated with scientific skills. Within the sciences, mathematicians scored highest. This was replicated in Group 4, the Mathematics Olympiad winners scoring significantly higher than the male Cambridge humanities students. 6% of the student sample scored 32+ on the AQ. On interview, 11 out of 11 of these met three or more DSM-IV criteria for AS/HFA, and all were studying sciences/mathematics, and 7 of the 11 met threshold on these criteria. Test-retest and interrater reliability of the AQ was good. The AQ is thus a valuable instrument for rapidly quantifying where any given individual is situated on the continuum from autism to

  11. Idiom Comprehension Deficits in High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder Using a Korean Autism Social Language Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Seul Bee; Song, Seung Ha; Ham, Ju Hyun; Song, Dong Ho

    2015-01-01

    Purpose High-functioning autism spectrum disorder (ASD) involves pragmatic impairment of language skills. Among numerous tasks for assessing pragmatic linguistic skills, idioms are important to evaluating high-functioning ASD. Nevertheless, no assessment tool has been developed with specific consideration of Korean culture. Therefore, we designed the Korean Autism Social Language Task (KASLAT) to test idiom comprehension in ASD. The aim of the current study was to introduce this novel psychological tool and evaluate idiom comprehension deficits in high-functioning ASD. Materials and Methods The participants included 42 children, ages 6-11 years, who visited our child psychiatric clinic between April 2014 and May 2015. The ASD group comprised 16 children; the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) group consisted of 16 children. An additional 10 normal control children who had not been diagnosed with either disorder participated in this study. Idiom comprehension ability was assessed in these three groups using the KASLAT. Results Both ASD and ADHD groups had significantly lower scores on the matched and mismatched tasks, compared to the normal control children (matched tasks mean score: ASD 11.56, ADHD 11.56, normal control 14.30; mismatched tasks mean score: ASD 6.50, ADHD 4.31, normal control 11.30). However, no significant differences were found in scores of KASLAT between the ADHD and ASD groups. Conclusion These findings suggest that children with ASD exhibit greater impairment in idiom comprehension, compared to normal control children. The KASLAT may be useful in evaluating idiom comprehension ability. PMID:26446644

  12. Sleep Patterns in Adults with a Diagnosis of High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Emma K; Richdale, Amanda L

    2015-11-01

    To examine sleep patterns and sleep problems and their relationship with daytime functioning in adults with a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder and no comorbid intellectual disability (high-functioning autism spectrum disorder [HFASD]) compared to neurotypical (NT) adults. Cross-sectional. Home-based study. 36 adults with HFASD and 36 age-, intelligence quotient- and sex-matched NT adults. Participants completed an online questionnaire battery including the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), a 14-d sleep wake diary and 14-d actigraphy data collection. Adults with HFASD had significantly more general sleep disturbances and higher scores on the PSQI, longer sleep onset latencies (actigraphy), and poorer sleep efficiency (diary) and these results remained significant after accounting for the False Discovery Rate. Those adults with HFASD who did not have a comorbid diagnosis of anxiety/depression had significantly shorter total sleep time (diary and actigraphy) compared to NT adults. Compared to NT adults, the HFASD group self-reported significantly poorer refreshment scores upon waking in the morning and higher scores on the daytime dysfunction due to sleepiness subscale of the PSQI. These findings support the notion that problems related to sleep, in particular insomnia, continue into adulthood in individuals with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder. © 2015 Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC.

  13. The neuropsychology of male adults with high-functioning autism or asperger syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, C Ellie; Happé, Francesca; Wheelwright, Sally J; Ecker, Christine; Lombardo, Michael V; Johnston, Patrick; Daly, Eileen; Murphy, Clodagh M; Spain, Debbie; Lai, Meng-Chuan; Chakrabarti, Bhismadev; Sauter, Disa A; Baron-Cohen, Simon; Murphy, Declan G M

    2014-10-01

    Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is diagnosed on the basis of behavioral symptoms, but cognitive abilities may also be useful in characterizing individuals with ASD. One hundred seventy-eight high-functioning male adults, half with ASD and half without, completed tasks assessing IQ, a broad range of cognitive skills, and autistic and comorbid symptomatology. The aims of the study were, first, to determine whether significant differences existed between cases and controls on cognitive tasks, and whether cognitive profiles, derived using a multivariate classification method with data from multiple cognitive tasks, could distinguish between the two groups. Second, to establish whether cognitive skill level was correlated with degree of autistic symptom severity, and third, whether cognitive skill level was correlated with degree of comorbid psychopathology. Fourth, cognitive characteristics of individuals with Asperger Syndrome (AS) and high-functioning autism (HFA) were compared. After controlling for IQ, ASD and control groups scored significantly differently on tasks of social cognition, motor performance, and executive function (P's Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Preserved Imitation of Known Gestures in Children with High-Functioning Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carmo, Joana C.; Rumiati, Raffaella I.; Siugzdaite, Roma; Brambilla, Paolo

    2013-01-01

    It has been suggested that children with autism are particularly deficient at imitating novel gestures or gestures without goals. In the present study, we asked high-functioning autistic children and age-matched typically developing children to imitate several types of gestures that could be either already known or novel to them. Known gestures either conveyed a communicative meaning (i.e., intransitive) or involved the use of objects (i.e., transitive). We observed a significant interaction between gesture type and group of participants, with children with autism performing known gestures better than novel gestures. However, imitation of intransitive and transitive gestures did not differ across groups. These findings are discussed in light of a dual-route model for action imitation. PMID:24062956

  15. Metacognition of agency and theory of mind in adults with high functioning autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zalla, Tiziana; Miele, David; Leboyer, Marion; Metcalfe, Janet

    2015-01-01

    We investigated metacognition of agency in adults with high functioning autism or Asperger Syndrome (HFA/AS) using a computer task in which participants moved the mouse to get the cursor to touch the downward moving X's and avoid the O's. They were then asked to make judgments of performance and judgments of agency. Objective control was either undistorted, or distorted by adding turbulence (i.e., random noise) or a time Lag between the mouse and cursor movements. Participants with HFA/AS used sensorimotor cues available in the turbulence and lag conditions to a lesser extent than control participants in making their judgments of agency. Furthermore, the failure to use these internal diagnostic cues to their own agency was correlated with decrements in a theory of mind task. These findings suggest that a reduced sensitivity to veridical internal cues about the sense of agency is related to mentalizing impairments in autism. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Emotion perception in music in high-functioning adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quintin, Eve-Marie; Bhatara, Anjali; Poissant, Hélène; Fombonne, Eric; Levitin, Daniel J

    2011-09-01

    Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) succeed at a range of musical tasks. The ability to recognize musical emotion as belonging to one of four categories (happy, sad, scared or peaceful) was assessed in high-functioning adolescents with ASD (N = 26) and adolescents with typical development (TD, N = 26) with comparable performance IQ, auditory working memory, and musical training and experience. When verbal IQ was controlled for, there was no significant effect of diagnostic group. Adolescents with ASD rated the intensity of the emotions similarly to adolescents with TD and reported greater confidence in their responses when they had correctly (vs. incorrectly) recognized the emotions. These findings are reviewed within the context of the amygdala theory of autism.

  17. Clinical heterogeneity among people with high functioning autism spectrum conditions: evidence favouring a continuous severity gradient

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Woodbury-Smith Marc

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASCs are characterized by a high degree of clinical heterogeneity, but the extent to which this variation represents a severity gradient versus discrete phenotypes is unclear. This issue has complicated genetic studies seeking to investigate the genetic basis of the high hereditability observed clinically in those with an ASC. The aim of this study was to examine the possible clustering of symptoms associated with ASCs to determine whether the observed distribution of symptom type and severity supported either a severity or a symptom subgroup model to account for the phenotypic variation observed within the ASCs. Methods We investigated the responses of a group of adults with higher functioning ASCs on the fifty clinical features examined in the Autism Spectrum Quotient, a screening questionnaire used in the diagnosis of higher functioning ASCs. In contrast to previous studies we have used this instrument with no a priori assumptions about any underlying factor structure of constituent items. The responses obtained were analyzed using complete linkage hierarchical cluster analysis. For the members of each cluster identified the mean score on each Autism Spectrum Quotient question was calculated. Results Autism Spectrum Quotient responses from a total of 333 individuals between the ages of 16.6 and 78.0 years were entered into the hierarchical cluster analysis. The four cluster solution was the one that generated the largest number of clusters that did not also include very small cluster sizes, defined as a membership comprising 10 individuals or fewer. Examination of these clusters demonstrated that they varied in total Autism Spectrum Quotient but that the profiles across the symptoms comprising the Autism Spectrum Quotient did not differ independently of this severity factor. Conclusion These results are consistent with a unitary spectrum model, suggesting that the clinical heterogeneity observed

  18. High-functioning autism patients share similar but more severe impairments in verbal theory of mind than schizophrenia patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tin, L N W; Lui, S S Y; Ho, K K Y; Hung, K S Y; Wang, Y; Yeung, H K H; Wong, T Y; Lam, S M; Chan, R C K; Cheung, E F C

    2018-06-01

    Evidence suggests that autism and schizophrenia share similarities in genetic, neuropsychological and behavioural aspects. Although both disorders are associated with theory of mind (ToM) impairments, a few studies have directly compared ToM between autism patients and schizophrenia patients. This study aimed to investigate to what extent high-functioning autism patients and schizophrenia patients share and differ in ToM performance. Thirty high-functioning autism patients, 30 schizophrenia patients and 30 healthy individuals were recruited. Participants were matched in age, gender and estimated intelligence quotient. The verbal-based Faux Pas Task and the visual-based Yoni Task were utilised to examine first- and higher-order, affective and cognitive ToM. The task/item difficulty of two paradigms was examined using mixed model analyses of variance (ANOVAs). Multiple ANOVAs and mixed model ANOVAs were used to examine group differences in ToM. The Faux Pas Task was more difficult than the Yoni Task. High-functioning autism patients showed more severely impaired verbal-based ToM in the Faux Pas Task, but shared similar visual-based ToM impairments in the Yoni Task with schizophrenia patients. The findings that individuals with high-functioning autism shared similar but more severe impairments in verbal ToM than individuals with schizophrenia support the autism-schizophrenia continuum. The finding that verbal-based but not visual-based ToM was more impaired in high-functioning autism patients than schizophrenia patients could be attributable to the varied task/item difficulty between the two paradigms.

  19. Local and global processing of music in high-functioning persons with autism: beyond central coherence?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mottron, L; Peretz, I; Ménard, E

    2000-11-01

    A multi-modal abnormality in the integration of parts and whole has been proposed to account for a bias toward local stimuli in individuals with autism (Frith, 1989; Mottron & Belleville, 1993). In the current experiment, we examined the utility of hierarchical models in characterising musical information processing in autistic individuals. Participants were 13 high-functioning individuals with autism and 13 individuals of normal intelligence matched on chronological age, nonverbal IQ, and laterality, and without musical experience. The task consisted of same-different judgements of pairs of melodies. Differential local and global processing was assessed by manipulating the level, local or global, at which modifications occurred. No deficit was found in the two measures of global processing. In contrast, the clinical group performed better than the comparison group in the detection of change in nontransposed, contour-preserved melodies that tap local processing. These findings confirm the existence of a "local bias" in music perception in individuals with autism, but challenge the notion that it is accounted for by a deficit in global music processing. The present study suggests that enhanced processing of elementary physical properties of incoming stimuli, as found previously in the visual modality, may also exist in the auditory modality.

  20. Differentiation of High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's Disorder Based on Neuromotor Behaviour

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nayate, Ashwini; Tonge, Bruce J.; Bradshaw, John L.; McGinley, Jennifer L.; Iansek, Robert; Rinehart, Nicole J.

    2012-01-01

    Autism and Asperger's disorder (AD) are characterised by impairments in social interaction, stereotypic behaviours or restricted interests. Although currently listed as distinct clinical disorders, the validity of their distinction remains controversial. This study examined gait in children with autism and AD. Eleven children with high-functioning…

  1. The association between emotional and behavioral problems and gastrointestinal symptoms among children with high-functioning autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazefsky, Carla A; Schreiber, Dana R; Olino, Thomas M; Minshew, Nancy J

    2014-07-01

    This study investigated the association between gastrointestinal symptoms and a broad set of emotional and behavioral concerns in 95 children with high-functioning autism and IQ scores ≥ 80. Gastrointestinal symptoms were assessed via the Autism Treatment Network's Gastrointestinal Symptom Inventory, and data were gathered on autism symptom severity, adaptive behavior, and multiple internalizing and externalizing problems. The majority (61%) of children had at least one reported gastrointestinal symptom. Emotional and behavioral problems were also common but with a high degree of variability. Children with and without gastrointestinal problems did not differ in autism symptom severity, adaptive behavior, or total internalizing or externalizing problem scores. However, participants with gastrointestinal problems had significantly higher levels of affective problems. This finding is consistent with a small body of research noting a relationship between gastrointestinal problems, irritability, and mood problems in autism spectrum disorder. More research to identify the mechanisms underlying this relationship in autism spectrum disorder is warranted. Future research should include a medical assessment of gastrointestinal concerns, longitudinal design, and participants with a range of autism spectrum disorder severity in order to clarify the directionality of this relationship and to identify factors that may impact heterogeneity in the behavioral manifestation of gastrointestinal concerns. © The Author(s) 2013.

  2. EEG study of the mirror neuron system in children with high functioning autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymaekers, Ruth; Wiersema, Jan Roelf; Roeyers, Herbert

    2009-12-22

    Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are characterised by an impaired imitation, thought to be critical for early affective, social and communicative development. One neurological system proposed to underlie this function is the mirror neuron system (MNS) and previous research has suggested a dysfunctional MNS in ASD. The EEG mu frequency, more precisely the reduction of the mu power, is considered to be an index for mirror neuron functioning. In this work, EEG registrations are used to evaluate the mirror neuron functioning of twenty children with high functioning autism (HFA) between 8 and 13 years. Their mu suppression to self-executed and observed movement is compared to typically developing peers and related to age, intelligence and symptom severity. Both groups show significant mu suppression to both self and observed hand movements. No group differences are found in either condition. These results do not support the hypothesis that HFA is associated with a dysfunctional MNS. The discrepancy with previous research is discussed in light of the heterogeneity of the ASD population.

  3. Convergent Findings of Altered Functional and Structural Brain Connectivity in Individuals with High Functioning Autism: A Multimodal MRI Study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophia Mueller

    Full Text Available Brain tissue changes in autism spectrum disorders seem to be rather subtle and widespread than anatomically distinct. Therefore a multimodal, whole brain imaging technique appears to be an appropriate approach to investigate whether alterations in white and gray matter integrity relate to consistent changes in functional resting state connectivity in individuals with high functioning autism (HFA. We applied diffusion tensor imaging (DTI, voxel-based morphometry (VBM and resting state functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (fcMRI to assess differences in brain structure and function between 12 individuals with HFA (mean age 35.5, SD 11.4, 9 male and 12 healthy controls (mean age 33.3, SD 9.0, 8 male. Psychological measures of empathy and emotionality were obtained and correlated with the most significant DTI, VBM and fcMRI findings. We found three regions of convergent structural and functional differences between HFA participants and controls. The right temporo-parietal junction area and the left frontal lobe showed decreased fractional anisotropy (FA values along with decreased functional connectivity and a trend towards decreased gray matter volume. The bilateral superior temporal gyrus displayed significantly decreased functional connectivity that was accompanied by the strongest trend of gray matter volume decrease in the temporal lobe of HFA individuals. FA decrease in the right temporo-parietal region was correlated with psychological measurements of decreased emotionality. In conclusion, our results indicate common sites of structural and functional alterations in higher order association cortex areas and may therefore provide multimodal imaging support to the long-standing hypothesis of autism as a disorder of impaired higher-order multisensory integration.

  4. Reincarnation Type Presentations of Children with High-Functioning Autism in Sri Lanka.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandradasa, Miyuru; Champika, Layani

    2018-03-01

    Autism is characterised by impaired social communication and restricted repetitive behaviours. However, language and intelligence are spared in high-functioning individuals. The symptomatology is complex and culturally diverse. Buddhists and Hindus believe in rebirth and reincarnation type presentations in children are frequently seen among these populations. Here we describe three children from Sri Lanka claiming memories of their past lives and later diagnosed to have high-functioning autism. The first, a seven-year-old Buddhist believes he was killed by terrorists as a soldier in his previous life and attributed his birthmark to be an injury which caused death. The second, a five-year-old Catholic girl suffering from asthma claiming she died of breathing difficulties in her previous life where she was a Buddhist grandmother. The third, an eight-year-old academically superior child claims he was a monk in his previous life and demands parents to allow him to enter the priesthood. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Risk Factors for Depression in Children and Adolescents with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    De-la-Iglesia, Myriam; Olivar, José-Sixto

    2015-01-01

    The objective of our study was to examine, discuss, and provide proposals on diagnostic comorbidity of depression in children and adolescents with high functioning autism spectrum disorder (HFASD) in the following aspects. (1) Prevalence. It was concluded that there are an elevated depression rate and the need for longitudinal studies to determine prevalence and incidence based on functioning level, autistic symptoms, gender, age, type of depression, prognosis, duration, and treatment. (2) Explicative Hypotheses and Vulnerability. The factors that present the greatest specific risk are higher cognitive functioning, self-awareness of deficit, capacity for introspection, stressful life events, adolescence, quality of social relationships, and alexithymia. (3) Risk of Suicide. The need for control and detection of suicidal tendencies and bullying is emphasised. (4) Depressive Symptoms. Indicators for early detection are proposed and their overlap with HFASD is analysed, examining the assessment techniques used and arguing that specific adapted tests are needed. PMID:26413564

  6. Social competence intervention for youth with Asperger Syndrome and high-functioning autism: an initial investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stichter, Janine P; Herzog, Melissa J; Visovsky, Karen; Schmidt, Carla; Randolph, Jena; Schultz, Tia; Gage, Nicholas

    2010-09-01

    Individuals with high functioning autism (HFA) or Asperger Syndrome (AS) exhibit difficulties in the knowledge or correct performance of social skills. This subgroup's social difficulties appear to be associated with deficits in three social cognition processes: theory of mind, emotion recognition and executive functioning. The current study outlines the development and initial administration of the group-based Social Competence Intervention (SCI), which targeted these deficits using cognitive behavioral principles. Across 27 students age 11-14 with a HFA/AS diagnosis, results indicated significant improvement on parent reports of social skills and executive functioning. Participants evidenced significant growth on direct assessments measuring facial expression recognition, theory of mind and problem solving. SCI appears promising, however, larger samples and application in naturalistic settings are warranted.

  7. Electrophysiological correlates of emotional face processing in typically developing adults and adults with high functioning Autism

    OpenAIRE

    Barrie, Jennifer Nicole

    2012-01-01

    Emotional expressions have been found to affect various event-related potentials (ERPs). Furthermore, socio-emotional functioning is altered in individuals with autism, and a growing body of neuroimaging and electrophysiological evidence substantiates underlying neural differences for face processing in this population. However, relatively few studies have examined the time-course of emotional face processing in autism. This study examined how implicit (not the intended focus of attention) ve...

  8. Decreased Modulation of EEG Oscillations in High-Functioning Autism During a Motor Control Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua Benjamin Ewen

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorders (ASD are thought to result in part from altered cortical excitatory-inhibitory balance; this pathophysiology may impact the generation of oscillations on EEG. We investigated premotor-parietal cortical physiology associated with praxis, which has strong theoretical and empirical associations with ASD symptomatology. 25 children with high-functioning ASD (HFA and 33 controls performed a praxis task involving the pantomiming of tool use, while EEG was recorded. We assessed task-related modulation of signal power in alpha and beta frequency bands. Compared with controls, subjects with HFA showed 27% less left central (motor/premotor beta (18-22 Hz event-related desynchronization (ERD (p = 0.030, as well as 24% less left parietal alpha (7-13 Hz ERD (p = 0.046. Within the HFA group, blunting of central ERD attenuation was associated with impairments in clinical measures of praxis imitation (r = -0.4; p = 0.04 and increased autism severity (r = 0.48; p = 0.016. The modulation of central beta activity is associated, among other things, with motor imagery, which may be necessary for imitation. Impaired imitation has been associated with core features of ASD. Altered modulation of oscillatory activity may be mechanistically involved in those aspects of motor network function that relate to the core symptoms of ASD.

  9. Social skills group training in high-functioning autism: A qualitative responder study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choque Olsson, Nora; Rautio, Daniel; Asztalos, Jenny; Stoetzer, Ulrich; Bölte, Sven

    2016-11-01

    Systematic reviews show some evidence for the efficacy of group-based social skills group training in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder, but more rigorous research is needed to endorse generalizability. In addition, little is known about the perspectives of autistic individuals participating in social skills group training. Using a qualitative approach, the objective of this study was to examine experiences and opinions about social skills group training of children and adolescents with higher functioning autism spectrum disorder and their parents following participation in a manualized social skills group training ("KONTAKT"). Within an ongoing randomized controlled clinical trial (NCT01854346) and based on outcome data from the Social Responsiveness Scale, six high responders and five low-to-non-responders to social skills group training and one parent of each child (N = 22) were deep interviewed. Interestingly, both high responders and low-to-non-responders (and their parents) reported improvements in social communication and related skills (e.g. awareness of own difficulties, self-confidence, independence in everyday life) and overall treatment satisfaction, although more positive intervention experiences were expressed by responders. These findings highlight the added value of collecting verbal data in addition to quantitative data in a comprehensive evaluation of social skills group training. © The Author(s) 2016.

  10. The integration of prosodic speech in high functioning autism: a preliminary FMRI study.

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    Isabelle Hesling

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by a specific triad of symptoms such as abnormalities in social interaction, abnormalities in communication and restricted activities and interests. While verbal autistic subjects may present a correct mastery of the formal aspects of speech, they have difficulties in prosody (music of speech, leading to communication disorders. Few behavioural studies have revealed a prosodic impairment in children with autism, and among the few fMRI studies aiming at assessing the neural network involved in language, none has specifically studied prosodic speech. The aim of the present study was to characterize specific prosodic components such as linguistic prosody (intonation, rhythm and emphasis and emotional prosody and to correlate them with the neural network underlying them.We used a behavioural test (Profiling Elements of the Prosodic System, PEPS and fMRI to characterize prosodic deficits and investigate the neural network underlying prosodic processing. Results revealed the existence of a link between perceptive and productive prosodic deficits for some prosodic components (rhythm, emphasis and affect in HFA and also revealed that the neural network involved in prosodic speech perception exhibits abnormal activation in the left SMG as compared to controls (activation positively correlated with intonation and emphasis and an absence of deactivation patterns in regions involved in the default mode.These prosodic impairments could not only result from activation patterns abnormalities but also from an inability to adequately use the strategy of the default network inhibition, both mechanisms that have to be considered for decreasing task performance in High Functioning Autism.

  11. Teaching Theory of Mind: A Curriculum for Children with High Functioning Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, and Related Social Challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ordetx, Kirstina

    2012-01-01

    This book provides teachers and other professionals with a highly effective, easy-to-follow curriculum for teaching children with high-functioning autism, Asperger syndrome and related social challenges to relate to and interact with others successfully by developing a solid, basic foundation in Theory of Mind (ToM). Dr. Kirstina Ordetx provides…

  12. Working memory arrest in children with high-functioning autism compared to children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Results from a 2-year longitudinal study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Andersen, P.N.; Skogli, E.W.; Hovik, K.T.; Geurts, H.; Egeland, J.; Øie, M.

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to analyse the development of verbal working memory in children with high-functioning autism compared to children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and typically developing children. A total of 34 children with high-functioning autism, 72 children with

  13. Working Memory Arrest in Children with High-Functioning Autism Compared to Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Results from a 2-Year Longitudinal Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Per N.; Skogli, Erik W.; Hovik, Kjell T.; Geurts, Hilde; Egeland, Jens; Øie, Merete

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to analyse the development of verbal working memory in children with high-functioning autism compared to children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and typically developing children. A total of 34 children with high-functioning autism, 72 children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and 45 typically…

  14. Challenges for females with high functioning autism in the workplace: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayward, Susan M; McVilly, Keith R; Stokes, Mark A

    2018-02-01

    Individuals with High Functioning Autism (HFA) experience high levels of underemployment and unemployment, resulting in negative economic, social, and health outcomes. Given what is known about labor market participation difficulties experienced by women generally, and the paucity of research concerning women with HFA, this systematic review synthesized what is known about the labor market experiences of women with HFA. A systematic review of the literature concerning adult females with HFA in relation to the workplace yielded 1947 results; 11 met inclusion criteria being based on original data, but not necessarily focusing solely on women. The total number participants with HFA across all studies was 731 (M = 66.45, SD = 95.44, Mdn = 18.00) aged between 18 and 70 years (M = 34.38, SD = 7.71); females represented 38% (n = 279) of those sampled. The principal challenges reported for individuals with HFA at work were communication, social interaction, and stress, together with negative mental and physical health. These results should be interpreted with caution. Of the studies found, 73% were qualitative and based on small samples. Only one paper differentiated female data in analyses. These factors combined suggest large-scale mixed method research focused on females with HFA is required to gain an accurate insight into the challenges faced in the workplace, to in turn inform intervention and support. However, implications for rehabilitation based on what is known are discussed. Implication for Rehabilitation Unemployment and underemployment of persons with High Functioning Autism (HFA) poses social, health and economic issues for both individuals and the wider community. Those with HFA have the intellectual capacity to make a substantial contribution to the workplace. Based on what is known, some of the challenges for females with HFA might be similar to those experienced by men with HFA, however it is possible that there are gender

  15. Social anxiety in high-functioning children and adolescents with Autism and Asperger syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuusikko, Sanna; Pollock-Wurman, Rachel; Jussila, Katja; Carter, Alice S; Mattila, Marja-Leena; Ebeling, Hanna; Pauls, David L; Moilanen, Irma

    2008-10-01

    We examined social anxiety and internalizing symptoms using the Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory for Children (SPAI-C), the Social Anxiety Scale for Children -Revised (SASC-R), and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) in a sample of fifty-four high-functioning subjects with autism or Asperger syndrome (HFA/AS) (M = 11.2 +/- 1.7 years) and 305 community subjects (M = 12.2 +/- 2.2 years). Children and adolescents completed the SPAI-C and SASC-R, and their parents completed the CBCL Internalizing scale. Adolescents with HFA/AS scored higher than the community sample on all measures. Behavioural avoidance and evaluative social anxiety increased by age within the HFA/AS group, whereas behavioural avoidance decreased by age in control participants. Data support that HFA/AS in adolescents may be associated with clinically relevant social anxiety symptoms.

  16. Autobiographical accounts of sensing in Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elwin, Marie; Ek, Lena; Schröder, Agneta; Kjellin, Lars

    2012-10-01

    Sensory experiences in Asperger syndrome (AS) or high-functioning autism (HFA) were explored by qualitative content analysis of autobiographical texts by persons with AS/HFA. Predetermined categories of hyper- and hyposensitivity were applied to texts. Hypersensitivity consists of strong reactions and heightened apprehension in reaction to external stimuli, sometimes together with overfocused or unselective attention. It was common in vision, hearing, and touch. In contrast, hyposensitivity was frequent in reaction to internal and body stimuli such as interoception, proprioception, and pain. It consists of less registration, discrimination, and recognition of stimuli as well as cravings for specific stimuli. Awareness of the strong impact of sensitivity is essential for creating good environments and encounters in the context of psychiatric and other health care. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Psychiatric comorbidities in asperger syndrome and high functioning autism: diagnostic challenges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mazzone Luigi

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Several psychiatric conditions, both internalizing and externalizing, have been documented in comorbidity with Asperger Syndrome (AS and High Functioning Autism (HFA. In this review we examine the interplay between psychiatric comorbidities and AS/HFA. In particular, we will focus our attention on three main issues. First, we examine which psychiatric disorders are more frequently associated with AS/HFA. Second, we review which diagnostic tools are currently available for clinicians to investigate and diagnose the associated psychiatric disorders in individuals with AS/HFA. Third, we discuss the challenges that clinicians and researchers face in trying to determine whether the psychiatric symptoms are phenotypic manifestations of AS/HFA or rather they are the expression of a distinct, though comorbid, disorder. We will also consider the role played by the environment in the manifestation and interpretation of these symptoms. Finally, we will propose some strategies to try to address these issues, and we will discuss therapeutic implications.

  18. Psychiatric comorbidities in asperger syndrome and high functioning autism: diagnostic challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Several psychiatric conditions, both internalizing and externalizing, have been documented in comorbidity with Asperger Syndrome (AS) and High Functioning Autism (HFA). In this review we examine the interplay between psychiatric comorbidities and AS/HFA. In particular, we will focus our attention on three main issues. First, we examine which psychiatric disorders are more frequently associated with AS/HFA. Second, we review which diagnostic tools are currently available for clinicians to investigate and diagnose the associated psychiatric disorders in individuals with AS/HFA. Third, we discuss the challenges that clinicians and researchers face in trying to determine whether the psychiatric symptoms are phenotypic manifestations of AS/HFA or rather they are the expression of a distinct, though comorbid, disorder. We will also consider the role played by the environment in the manifestation and interpretation of these symptoms. Finally, we will propose some strategies to try to address these issues, and we will discuss therapeutic implications. PMID:22731684

  19. Pragmatic inferences in high-functioning adults with autism and Asperger syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pijnacker, Judith; Hagoort, Peter; Buitelaar, Jan; Teunisse, Jan-Pieter; Geurts, Bart

    2009-04-01

    Although people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often have severe problems with pragmatic aspects of language, little is known about their pragmatic reasoning. We carried out a behavioral study on high-functioning adults with autistic disorder (n = 11) and Asperger syndrome (n = 17) and matched controls (n = 28) to investigate whether they are capable of deriving scalar implicatures, which are generally considered to be pragmatic inferences. Participants were presented with underinformative sentences like "Some sparrows are birds". This sentence is logically true, but pragmatically inappropriate if the scalar implicature "Not all sparrows are birds" is derived. The present findings indicate that the combined ASD group was just as likely as controls to derive scalar implicatures, yet there was a difference between participants with autistic disorder and Asperger syndrome, suggesting a potential differentiation between these disorders in pragmatic reasoning. Moreover, our results suggest that verbal intelligence is a constraint for task performance in autistic disorder but not in Asperger syndrome.

  20. Binding of multiple features in memory by high-functioning adults with autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowler, Dermot M; Gaigg, Sebastian B; Gardiner, John M

    2014-09-01

    Diminished episodic memory and diminished use of semantic information to aid recall by individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are both thought to result from diminished relational binding of elements of complex stimuli. To test this hypothesis, we asked high-functioning adults with ASD and typical comparison participants to study grids in which some cells contained drawings of objects in non-canonical colours. Participants were told at study which features (colour, item, location) would be tested in a later memory test. In a second experiment, participants studied similar grids and were told that they would be tested on object-location or object-colour combinations. Recognition of combinations was significantly diminished in ASD, which survived covarying performance on the Color Trails Test (D'Elia et al. Color trails test. Professional manual. Psychological Assessment Resources, Lutz, 1996), a test of executive difficulties. The findings raise the possibility that medial temporal as well as frontal lobe processes are dysfunctional in ASD.

  1. Abstract analogical reasoning in high-functioning children with autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Adam E; Kenworthy, Lauren; Mosner, Maya G; Gallagher, Natalie M; Fearon, Edward W; Balhana, Carlos D; Yerys, Benjamin E

    2014-12-01

    Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) exhibit a deficit in spontaneously recognizing abstract similarities that are crucial for generalizing learning to new situations. This may contribute to deficits in the development of appropriate schemas for navigating novel situations, including social interactions. Analogical reasoning is the central cognitive mechanism that enables typically developing children to understand abstract similarities between different situations. Intriguingly, studies of high-functioning children with ASD point to a relative cognitive strength in basic, nonabstract forms of analogical reasoning. If this analogical reasoning ability extends to abstract analogical reasoning (i.e., between superficially dissimilar situations), it may provide a bridge between a cognitive capability and core ASD deficits in areas such as generalization and categorization. This study tested whether preserved analogical reasoning abilities in ASD can be extended to abstract analogical reasoning, using photographs of real-world items and situations. Abstractness of the analogies was determined via a quantitative measure of semantic distance derived from latent semantic analysis. Children with ASD performed as well as typically developing children at identifying abstract analogical similarities when explicitly instructed to apply analogical reasoning. Individual differences in abstract analogical reasoning ability predicted individual differences in a measure of social function in the ASD group. Preliminary analyses indicated that children with ASD, but not typically developing children, showed an effect of age on abstract analogical reasoning. These results provide new evidence that children with ASD are capable of identifying abstract similarities through analogical reasoning, pointing to abstract analogical reasoning as a potential lever for improving generalization skills and social function in ASD. © 2014 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley

  2. Conversational Repair in School-Aged Children with High-Functioning Autism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pei-Mei Lu

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The main purpose of this study was to investigate the conversational repair skills of Mandarin Chinese-speaking children with high-functioning autism (HFA as compared with those of typically developing children (TD. Ten school-aged children (age 9 to 12 with HFA were recruited and matched against ten TD children in the control group based on age, gender, and verbal intelligence level. During three different conversation situations (free talk, story picture description, play, an examiner engineered 9 episodes of communicative breakdowns. Each consisted of a stacked series of three prompts for responding to requests for clarification (RQCLs (i.e.‘What?’, ‘I don’t understand’, ‘I still don’t know’. Verbal responses to each RQCL were then coded for further analyses. The results showed that (1 In response to the stacked series RQCLs, children with HFA were similar to the control group children in evidencing repetition, revision, and addition types of repair. Furthermore, children with HFA showed fewer cue type of repair and more inappropriate type of repair than TD group. (2For both groups, the pattern of responding over the series of RQCLs was similar in varying the repetition and revision types of repair strategies. However, the pattern in the addition, cue, and inappropriate types of repair strategies were different. Children with HFA were significantly more likely to respond to an RQCL with an inappropriate response than the language and age-matched controls. It is suggested that teachers and parents could facilitate the conversational repair skills of children with high-functioning autism by offering them opportunities to manage different types of communicative breakdowns.

  3. Insomnia in school-age children with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Smedje Hans

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Asperger syndrome (AS and high-functioning autism (HFA are pervasive developmental disorders (PDD in individuals of normal intelligence. Childhood AS/HFA is considered to be often associated with disturbed sleep, in particular with difficulties initiating and/or maintaining sleep (insomnia. However, studies about the topic are still scarce. The present study investigated childhood AS/HFA regarding a wide range of parent reported sleep-wake behaviour, with a particular focus on insomnia. Methods Thirty-two 8–12 yr old children with AS/HFA were compared with 32 age and gender matched typically developing children regarding sleep and associated behavioural characteristics. Several aspects of sleep-wake behaviour including insomnia were surveyed using a structured paediatric sleep questionnaire in which parents reported their children's sleep patterns for the previous six months. Recent sleep patterns were monitored by use of a one-week sleep diary and actigraphy. Behavioural characteristics were surveyed by use of information gleaned from parent and teacher-ratings in the High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Screening Questionnaire, and in the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Results Parent-reported difficulties initiating sleep and daytime sleepiness were more common in children with AS/HFA than in controls, and 10/32 children with AS/HFA (31.2% but none of the controls fulfilled our definition of paediatric insomnia. The parent-reported insomnia corresponded to the findings obtained by actigraphy. Children with insomnia had also more parent-reported autistic and emotional symptoms, and more teacher-reported emotional and hyperactivity symptoms than those children without insomnia. Conclusion Parental reports indicate that in childhood AS/HFA insomnia is a common and distressing symptom which is frequently associated with coexistent behaviour problems. Identification and treatment of sleep problems need to be a routine

  4. Socio-Dramatic Affective-Relational Intervention for Adolescents with Asperger Syndrome & High Functioning Autism: Pilot Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerner, Matthew D.; Mikami, Amori Yee; Levine, Karen

    2011-01-01

    This study examined the effectiveness of a novel intervention called "socio-dramatic affective-relational intervention" (SDARI), intended to improve social skills among adolescents with Asperger syndrome and high functioning autism diagnoses. SDARI adapts dramatic training activities to focus on in vivo practice of areas of social skill…

  5. A Systematic Review of the Rates of Depression in Children and Adults with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wigham, Sarah; Barton, Stephen; Parr, Jeremy R.; Rodgers, Jacqui

    2017-01-01

    Accurate population rates of depression can inform allocation of health resources and service planning, to counter the impact of depression on quality of life and morbidity. A systematic review of the rates of depression in children and adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and without intellectual disability (high-functioning [HF] ASD) was…

  6. Specific Language Impairment and High Functioning Autism : Evidence for Distinct Etiologies and for Modularity of Grammar and Pragmatics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Creemers, A.; Schaeffer, J.C.; Perkins, L.; Dudley, R.; Gerard, J.; Hitczenko, K.

    2015-01-01

    This study investigates whether grammar and pragmatics are separate linguistic components, and whether children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) and children with High Functioning Autism (HFA) have similar or distinct etiologies. A group of 27 children with HFA aged 6-14, age and gender

  7. Article choice in children with High Functioning Autism (HFA) and in children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI).

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schaeffer, J.; van Witteloostuijn, M.; de Haan, D.

    2014-01-01

    This study reports on the choice between a definite and an indefinite article by children with High Functioning Autism (HFA) and children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI). We carried out an elicited production task with 16 Dutch-speaking non-grammatically impaired children with HFA aged 6-13,

  8. Social Attribution in Children with High Functioning Autism and Asperger Syndrome: An Exploratory Study in the Chinese Setting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Raymond C. K.; Hu, Zhou-yi; Cui, Ji-fang; Wang, Ya; McAlonan, Grainne M.

    2011-01-01

    The present study aimed to examine social attribution in children with high-functioning autism (HFA) and Asperger's syndrome (AS). A sample of 20 boys (9 with HFA and 11 with AS) and 20 age-matched controls were recruited for this study. All participated in two tasks measuring social attribution ability, the conventional Social Attribution Task…

  9. Use of Context in Pragmatic Language Comprehension by Children with Asperger Syndrome or High-Functioning Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loukusa, Soile; Leinonen, Eeva; Kuusikko, Sanna; Jussila, Katja; Mattila, Marja-Leena; Ryder, Nuala; Ebeling, Hanna; Moilanen, Irma

    2007-01-01

    Utilizing relevance theory, this study investigated the ability of children with Asperger syndrome (AS) and high-functioning autism (HFA) to use context when answering questions and when giving explanations for their correct answers. Three groups participated in this study: younger AS/HFA group (age 7-9, n = 16), older AS/HFA group (age 10-12, n =…

  10. A Sosh iPad Application Intervention: Social Skills and Students Diagnosed with High Functioning Autism (HFA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weeks, Nancy Anne

    2017-01-01

    The purpose of this quantitative study was to investigate the effect of a 4-week, school-based, Sosh iPad application intervention on the social skills inventory of participants diagnosed with High Functioning Autism (HFA). The intervention implementation took place during a 4-week period at two separate public school districts within the…

  11. Linguistic and Cognitive Abilities in Children with Specific Language Impairment as Compared to Children with High-Functioning Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaeffer, Jeannette

    2018-01-01

    This study investigates the question as to whether and how the linguistic and other cognitive abilities of children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) differ from those of children with High-Functioning Autism (HFA). To this end, 27 Dutch-speaking elementary-school-age children with SLI, 27 age-matched children with HFA, and a control group…

  12. Linguistic and other cognitive abilities in children with Specific Language Impairment as compared to children with High-Functioning Autism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schaeffer, J.

    2018-01-01

    This study investigates the question as to whether and how the linguistic and other cognitive abilities of children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) differ from those of children with High-Functioning Autism (HFA). To this end, 27 Dutch-speaking elementary-school-age children with SLI, 27

  13. An Exploration of Support Factors Available to Higher Education Students with High Functioning Autism or Asperger Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutherford, Emily N.

    2013-01-01

    This qualitative phenomenological research study used narrative inquiry to explore the support factors available to students with High Functioning Autism or Asperger Syndrome in higher education that contribute to their success as perceived by the students. Creswell's (2009) six step method for analyzing phenomenological studies was used to…

  14. High-Functioning Autism/Asperger Syndrome in Schools: Assessment and Intervention. Practical Intervention in the Schools Series

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sansosti, Frank J.; Powell-Smith, Kelly A.; Cowan, Richard J.

    2010-01-01

    Meeting a growing need for school-based practitioners, this book provides vital tools for improving the academic, behavioral, and social outcomes of students with high-functioning autism or Asperger syndrome (HFA/AS). Research-based best practices are presented for conducting meaningful assessments; collaborating with teachers, students, and…

  15. A Preliminary Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Study of Cortical Inhibition and Excitability in High-Functioning Autism and Asperger Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enticott, Peter G.; Rinehart, Nicole J.; Tonge, Bruce J.; Bradshaw, John L.; Fitzgerald, Paul B.

    2010-01-01

    Aim: Controversy surrounds the distinction between high-functioning autism (HFA) and Asperger disorder, but motor abnormalities are associated features of both conditions. This study examined motor cortical inhibition and excitability in HFA and Asperger disorder using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Method: Participants were diagnosed by…

  16. Quality of Communication Life in Adolescents with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger Syndrome: A Feasibility Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgess, Sloane; Turkstra, Lyn S.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: This study was designed to evaluate the feasibility of using the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's Quality of Communication Life Scale (QCL; Paul et al., 2004) for a group of individuals with developmental communication disorders--adolescents with high-functioning autism/Asperger syndrome (HFA/AS). Perceptions of quality of…

  17. Coping, Daily Hassles and Behavior and Emotional Problems in Adolescents with High-Functioning Autism/Asperger's Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khor, Angela S.; Melvin, Glenn A.; Reid, Sophie C.; Gray, Kylie M.

    2014-01-01

    Although daily hassles and coping are associated with behavior and emotional problems in non-clinical populations, few studies have investigated these relationships in individuals with high-functioning autism/Asperger's Disorder (HFASD). This study examined the relationships between daily hassles, coping and behavior and emotional problems in…

  18. Age-Dependent Relationship between Socio-Adaptability and Motor Coordination in High Functioning Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kostrubiec, Viviane; Huys, Raoul; Jas, Brunhilde; Kruck, Jeanne

    2018-01-01

    Abnormal perceptual-motor coordination is hypothesized here to be involved in social deficits of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). To test this hypothesis, high functioning children with ASD and typical controls, similar in age as well as verbal and perceptive performance, performed perceptual-motor coordination tasks and several social competence…

  19. Navigating the Social World: A Curriculum for Individuals with Asperger's Syndrome, High Functioning Autism and Related Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAfee, Jeanette L.

    This volume presents a curriculum developed specifically to develop the social, emotional, and organizational skills of individuals with Asperger's Syndrome or high functioning autism. The book offers ideas and techniques drawn from various disciplines including cognitive behavioral therapy, applied behavioral therapy, education, and occupational…

  20. Effects of a Story Map on Accelerated Reader Postreading Test Scores in Students with High-Functioning Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stringfield, Suzanne Griggs; Luscre, Deanna; Gast, David L.

    2011-01-01

    In this study, three elementary-aged boys with high-functioning autism (HFA) were taught to use a graphic organizer called a Story Map as a postreading tool during language arts instruction. Students learned to accurately complete the Story Map. The effect of the intervention on story recall was assessed within the context of a multiple-baseline…

  1. Comparison of Saliva Collection Methods in Children with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders: Acceptability and Recovery of Cortisol

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putnam, Susan K.; Lopata, Christopher; Fox, Jeffery D.; Thomeer, Marcus L.; Rodgers, Jonathan D.; Volker, Martin A.; Lee, Gloria K.; Neilans, Erik G.; Werth, Jilynn

    2012-01-01

    This study compared cortisol concentrations yielded using three saliva collection methods (passive drool, salivette, and sorbette) in both in vitro and in vivo conditions, as well as method acceptability for a sample of children (n = 39) with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders. No cortisol concentration differences were observed between…

  2. Eye-Tracking Study on Facial Emotion Recognition Tasks in Individuals with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsang, Vicky

    2018-01-01

    The eye-tracking experiment was carried out to assess fixation duration and scan paths that individuals with and without high-functioning autism spectrum disorders employed when identifying simple and complex emotions. Participants viewed human photos of facial expressions and decided on the identification of emotion, the negative-positive emotion…

  3. Face Memory and Object Recognition in Children with High-Functioning Autism or Asperger Syndrome and in Their Parents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuusikko-Gauffin, Sanna; Jansson-Verkasalo, Eira; Carter, Alice; Pollock-Wurman, Rachel; Jussila, Katja; Mattila, Marja-Leena; Rahko, Jukka; Ebeling, Hanna; Pauls, David; Moilanen, Irma

    2011-01-01

    Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) have reported to have impairments in face, recognition and face memory, but intact object recognition and object memory. Potential abnormalities, in these fields at the family level of high-functioning children with ASD remains understudied despite, the ever-mounting evidence that ASDs are genetic and…

  4. Open-Trial Pilot Study of a Comprehensive Outpatient Psychosocial Treatment for Children with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopata, Christopher; Lipinski, Alanna M.; Thomeer, Marcus L.; Rodgers, Jonathan D.; Donnelly, James P.; McDonald, Christin A.; Volker, Martin A.

    2017-01-01

    This study examined the feasibility and initial outcomes of a comprehensive outpatient psychosocial treatment (MAXout) for children aged 7-12 years with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder. The 18-week treatment, two 90-minute sessions per week, included instruction and therapeutic activities targeting social/social communication skills,…

  5. Emotional Facial and Vocal Expressions during Story Retelling by Children and Adolescents with High-Functioning Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossman, Ruth B.; Edelson, Lisa R.; Tager-Flusberg, Helen

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: People with high-functioning autism (HFA) have qualitative differences in facial expression and prosody production, which are rarely systematically quantified. The authors' goals were to qualitatively and quantitatively analyze prosody and facial expression productions in children and adolescents with HFA. Method: Participants were 22…

  6. Brain resting-state networks in adolescents with high-functioning autism: Analysis of spatial connectivity and temporal neurodynamics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bernas, A.; Barendse, E.M.; Aldenkamp, A.P.; Backes, W.H.; Hofman, P.A.M.; Hendriks, M.P.H.; Kessels, R.P.C.; Willems, F.M.J.; With, P.H.N. de; Zinger, S.; Jansen, J.F.A.

    2018-01-01

    Introduction: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is mainly characterized by functional and communication impairments as well as restrictive and repetitive behavior. The leading hypothesis for the neural basis of autism postulates globally abnormal brain connectivity, which can be assessed using

  7. Social Interaction Style of Children and Adolescents with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheeren, Anke M.; Koot, Hans M.; Begeer, Sander

    2012-01-01

    Qualitative differences in social interaction style exist "within" the autism spectrum. In this study we examined whether these differences are associated with (1) the severity of autistic symptoms and comorbid disruptive behavior problems, (2) the child's psycho-social health, and (3) executive functioning and perspective taking skills. The…

  8. Executive function in high-functioning autism: Decision-making consistency as a characteristic gambling behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Hsuan-Chen; White, Sarah; Rees, Geraint; Burgess, Paul W

    2018-02-02

    Restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviours, interests, or activities are a critical diagnostic criterion for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Previous studies using gambling paradigms with ASD populations have identified that, unlike typically developed control participants, people with a diagnosis of ASD tend to maintain particular response patterns regardless of the magnitude of potential outcomes to uncertain gains or losses. Here we designed a gambling test that permitted calculation of the response consistency in gambling choices in situations that presented varying expected outcomes in terms of gains or losses. The task was administered to 33 adults with a diagnosis of ASDs and compared to a group of 47 typically-developed (TD) control participants who were matched for age and IQ. When presented with choices where participants could either make a risky gamble or a safe choice in terms of gains or losses (e.g., 20% chance of winning £5 vs. 100% chance of winning £1), the ASD participants did not differ from the TDs in their overall risk-taking behaviour. However, they were more consistent in their individual choices from trial to trial. Furthermore, the proportion of participants who either implemented an invariate response strategy (e.g., either always choosing the most risky or most "safe" option) was significantly higher in the ASD group compared with the controls. Additionally, while the ASD group were slower to make their responses in the win frame and the first half of the lose frame, by the end of the task their decision times were the same as the TD controls. These findings suggest that the ASD tendency towards repetitive behaviour may demonstrate itself even in high-level decision-making tasks, which needs to be understood if we are to be sure what such tasks are measuring. Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  9. Empathic responsiveness of children and adolescents with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheeren, Anke M; Koot, Hans M; Mundy, Peter C; Mous, Larissa; Begeer, Sander

    2013-10-01

    Previous studies have shown reduced empathic responsiveness to others' emotions in preschoolers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and an intellectual disability. However, age and intelligence may promote children's empathic responsiveness. Therefore, we examined the empathic responsiveness in normally intelligent school-aged children and adolescents with a clinical diagnosis of ASD (n = 151) and in a typically developing comparison group (n = 50), using structured observations and parent reports. Based on the observations, participants' responses to the emotional displays of an interviewer were surprisingly similar. However, compared with parents from the comparison group, parents of a child with ASD reported significantly fewer empathic responses, particularly when the child received a high score on the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule. Even though parents report a reduced empathic responsiveness in school-aged children and adolescents with ASD, it may be difficult to find these empathic limitations during brief observations in a structured setting. © 2013 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Imaging derived cortical thickness reduction in high-functioning autism: key regions and temporal slope.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheel, Christian; Rotarska-Jagiela, Anna; Schilbach, Leonhard; Lehnhardt, Fritz G; Krug, Barbara; Vogeley, Kai; Tepest, Ralf

    2011-09-15

    Cortical thickness (CT) changes possibly contribute to the complex symptomatology of autism. The aberrant developmental trajectories underlying such differences in certain brain regions and their continuation in adulthood are a matter of intense debate. We studied 28 adults with high-functioning autism (HFA) and 28 control subjects matched for age, gender, IQ and handedness. A surface-based whole brain analysis utilizing FreeSurfer was employed to detect CT differences between the two diagnostic groups and to investigate the time course of age-related changes. Direct comparison with control subjects revealed thinner cortex in HFA in the posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) of the left hemisphere. Considering the time course of CT development we found clusters around the pSTS and cuneus in the left and the paracentral lobule in the right hemisphere to be thinner in HFA with comparable age-related slopes in patients and controls. Conversely, we found clusters around the supramarginal gyrus and inferior parietal lobule (IPL) in the left and the precentral and postcentral gyrus in the right hemisphere to be thinner in HFA, but with different age-related slopes in patients and controls. In the latter regions CT showed a steady decrease in controls but no analogous thinning in HFA. CT analyses contribute in characterizing neuroanatomical correlates of HFA. Reduced CT is present in brain regions involved in social cognition. Furthermore, our results demonstrate that aberrant brain development leading to such differences is proceeding throughout adulthood. Discrepancies in prior morphometric studies may be induced by the complex time course of cortical changes. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Feelings of regret and disappointment in adults with high-functioning autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zalla, Tiziana; Sirigu, Angela; Robic, Suzanne; Chaste, Pauline; Leboyer, Marion; Coricelli, Giorgio

    2014-09-01

    Impairments in emotional processing in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) can be characterised by failure to generate and recognize self-reflective, cognitive-based emotions, such as pride, embarrassment and shame. Among this type of emotions, regret and disappointment, as well as their positive counterparts, result from a counterfactual comparison, that is the comparison between an actual value ("what is") and a fictive value ("what might have been"). However, while disappointment is experienced when the obtained outcome is worse than the expected outcome that might have occurred from the same choice, regret occurs when one experiences an outcome that is worse than the outcome of foregone choices. By manipulating a simple gambling task, we examined subjective reports on the intensity of negative and positive emotions in a group of adults with High-Functioning Autism or Asperger syndrome (HFA/AS), and a control group matched for age, gender and educational level. Participants were asked to choose between two lotteries with different levels of risk under two conditions of outcome feedback: (i) Partial, in which only the outcome of the chosen lottery was visible, (ii) Complete, in which the outcomes of the two lotteries were simultaneously visible. By comparing partial and complete conditions, we aimed to investigate the differential effect between disappointment and regret, as well as between their positive counterparts. Relative to the control participants (CP), the group with HFA/AS reported reduced regret and no difference between regret and disappointment, along with a preserved ability to use counterfactual thinking and similar choice behaviour. Difficulties to distinguish the feeling of regret in participants with HFA/AS can be explained by diminished emotional awareness, likely associated with an abnormal fronto-limbic connectivity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Work performance evaluation and QoL of adults with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders (HFASD).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katz, Noomi; Dejak, Ifat; Gal, Eynat

    2015-01-01

    Studies suggest that adults with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders (HFASD) are reliant on others for support in functioning in everyday life and employment. This study followed a work placement program for people with HFASD over a nine months period. It aimed to measure the trajectory of their work performance and Quality of life on jobs in the open market. Twenty-six participants with HFASD ages 18-40 underwent extensive evaluation and based on it were placed in various jobs on the open market. Participants were followed for nine months at their work place at four different time points. QoL was self-assessed in addition to work performance (WPE) which was assessed both by first-hand and team member's accounts. Team members are health professional who accompany and support the participants in the transition to their jobs. All 26 participants were able to maintain their jobs during the nine months of follow-up. WPE was perceived as high to start with, and its scores slightly improved by both people with HFASD and team members. Self-report suggests a significant change in the quality of life of the participants, specifically in their evaluations of self-competency. This study enhances the importance of providing people with HFASD with work placing programs and following up during actual work performance.

  13. Heterogeneity in Perceptual Category Learning by High Functioning Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo eMercado

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Previous research suggests that high functioning children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD sometimes have problems learning categories, but often appear to perform normally in categorization tasks. The deficits that individuals with ASD show when learning categories have been attributed to executive dysfunction, general deficits in implicit learning, atypical cognitive strategies, or abnormal perceptual biases and abilities. Several of these psychological explanations for category learning deficits have been associated with neural abnormalities such as cortical underconnectivity. The present study evaluated how well existing neurally-based theories account for atypical perceptual category learning shown by high functioning children with ASD across multiple category learning tasks involving novel, abstract shapes. Consistent with earlier results, children’s performances revealed two distinct patterns of learning and generalization associated with ASD: one was indistinguishable from performance in typically developing children; the other revealed dramatic impairments. These two patterns were evident regardless of training regimen or stimulus set. Surprisingly, some children with ASD showed both patterns. Simulations of perceptual category learning could account for the two observed patterns in terms of differences in neural plasticity. However, no current psychological or neural theory adequately explains why a child with ASD might show such large fluctuations in category learning ability across training conditions or stimulus sets.

  14. Brief Report: Examining Driving Behavior in Young Adults with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders--A Pilot Study Using a Driving Simulation Paradigm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reimer, Bryan; Fried, Ronna; Mehler, Bruce; Joshi, Gagan; Bolfek, Anela; Godfrey, Kathryn M.; Zhao, Nan; Goldin, Rachel; Biederman, Joseph

    2013-01-01

    Although it is speculated that impairments associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) will adversely affect driving performance, little is known about the actual extent and nature of the presumed deficits. Ten males (18-24 years of age) with a diagnosis of high functioning autism and 10 age matched community controls were recruited for a…

  15. Quality of Life of High-Functioning Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Typically Developing Peers: Self- and Proxy-Reports

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egilson, Snaefrídur T.; Ólafsdóttir, Linda B.; Leósdóttir, Thóra; Saemundsen, Evald

    2017-01-01

    Studies have shown parents to report lower quality of life for their children with autism spectrum disorder than children's self-report scores and the same applies for data on typically developing children. Our objectives were to: (1) explore how high-functioning children with autism spectrum disorder rate their quality of life compared with…

  16. Examining the Reinforcing Value of Stimuli within Social and Non-Social Contexts in Children with and without High-Functioning Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldberg, Melissa C.; Allman, Melissa J.; Hagopian, Louis P.; Triggs, Mandy M.; Frank-Crawford, Michelle A.; Mostofsky, Stewart H.; Denckla, Martha B.; DeLeon, Iser G.

    2017-01-01

    One of the key diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder includes impairments in social interactions. This study compared the extent to which boys with high-functioning autism and typically developing boys "value" engaging in activities with a parent or alone. Two different assessments that can empirically determine the relative…

  17. Autism Spectrum Disorder and intact executive functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrara, R; Ansermet, F; Massoni, F; Petrone, L; Onofri, E; Ricci, P; Archer, T; Ricci, S

    2016-01-01

    Earliest notions concerning autism (Autism Spectrum Disorders, ASD) describe the disturbance in executive functioning. Despite altered definition, executive functioning, expressed as higher cognitive skills required complex behaviors linked to the prefrontal cortex, are defective in autism. Specific difficulties in children presenting autism or verbal disabilities at executive functioning levels have been identified. Nevertheless, the developmental deficit of executive functioning in autism is highly diversified with huge individual variation and may even be absent. The aim of the present study to examine the current standing of intact executive functioning intact in ASD. Analysis of ASD populations, whether high-functioning, Asperger's or autism Broad Phenotype, studied over a range of executive functions including response inhibition, planning, cognitive flexibility, cognitive inhibition, and alerting networks indicates an absence of damage/impairment compared to the typically-developed normal control subjects. These findings of intact executive functioning in ASD subjects provide a strong foundation on which to construct applications for growth environments and the rehabilitation of autistic subjects.

  18. Selective impairment of cognitive empathy for moral judgment in adults with high functioning autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gleichgerrcht, Ezequiel; Torralva, Teresa; Rattazzi, Alexia; Marenco, Victoria; Roca, María; Manes, Facundo

    2013-10-01

    Faced with a moral dilemma, conflict arises between a cognitive controlled response aimed at maximizing welfare, i.e. the utilitarian judgment, and an emotional aversion to harm, i.e. the deontological judgment. In the present study, we investigated moral judgment in adult individuals with high functioning autism/Asperger syndrome (HFA/AS), a clinical population characterized by impairments in prosocial emotions and social cognition. In Experiment 1, we compared the response patterns of HFA/AS participants and neurotypical controls to moral dilemmas with low and high emotional saliency. We found that HFA/AS participants more frequently delivered the utilitarian judgment. Their perception of appropriateness of moral transgression was similar to that of controls, but HFA/AS participants reported decreased levels of emotional reaction to the dilemma. In Experiment 2, we explored the way in which demographic, clinical and social cognition variables including emotional and cognitive aspects of empathy and theory of mind influenced moral judgment. We found that utilitarian HFA/AS participants showed a decreased ability to infer other people's thoughts and to understand their intentions, as measured both by performance on neuropsychological tests and through dispositional measures. We conclude that greater prevalence of utilitarianism in HFA/AS is associated with difficulties in specific aspects of social cognition.

  19. Speech discrimination difficulties in High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder are likely independent of auditory hypersensitivity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Andrew Dunlop

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD, characterised by impaired communication skills and repetitive behaviours, can also result in differences in sensory perception. Individuals with ASD often perform normally in simple auditory tasks but poorly compared to typically developed (TD individuals on complex auditory tasks like discriminating speech from complex background noise. A common trait of individuals with ASD is hypersensitivity to auditory stimulation. No studies to our knowledge consider whether hypersensitivity to sounds is related to differences in speech-in-noise discrimination. We provide novel evidence that individuals with high-functioning ASD show poor performance compared to TD individuals in a speech-in-noise discrimination task with an attentionally demanding background noise, but not in a purely energetic noise. Further, we demonstrate in our small sample that speech-hypersensitivity does not appear to predict performance in the speech-in-noise task. The findings support the argument that an attentional deficit, rather than a perceptual deficit, affects the ability of individuals with ASD to discriminate speech from background noise. Finally, we piloted a novel questionnaire that measures difficulty hearing in noisy environments, and sensitivity to non-verbal and verbal sounds. Psychometric analysis using 128 TD participants provided novel evidence for a difference in sensitivity to non-verbal and verbal sounds, and these findings were reinforced by participants with ASD who also completed the questionnaire. The study was limited by a small and high-functioning sample of participants with ASD. Future work could test larger sample sizes and include lower-functioning ASD participants.

  20. Atypical category processing and hemispheric asymmetries in high-functioning children with autism: revealed through high-density EEG mapping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiebelkorn, Ian C; Foxe, John J; McCourt, Mark E; Dumas, Kristina N; Molholm, Sophie

    2013-05-01

    Behavioral evidence for an impaired ability to group objects based on similar physical or semantic properties in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has been mixed. Here, we recorded brain activity from high-functioning children with ASD as they completed a visual-target detection task. We then assessed the extent to which object-based selective attention automatically generalized from targets to non-target exemplars from the same well-known object class (e.g., dogs). Our results provide clear electrophysiological evidence that children with ASD (N=17, aged 8-13 years) process the similarity between targets (e.g., a specific dog) and same-category non-targets (SCNT) (e.g., another dog) to a lesser extent than do their typically developing (TD) peers (N=21). A closer examination of the data revealed striking hemispheric asymmetries that were specific to the ASD group. These findings align with mounting evidence in the autism literature of anatomic underconnectivity between the cerebral hemispheres. Years of research in individuals with TD have demonstrated that the left hemisphere (LH) is specialized toward processing local (or featural) stimulus properties and the right hemisphere (RH) toward processing global (or configural) stimulus properties. We therefore propose a model where a lack of communication between the hemispheres in ASD, combined with typical hemispheric specialization, is a root cause for impaired categorization and the oft-observed bias to process local over global stimulus properties. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Diminished Sensitivity to Sad Facial Expressions in High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders Is Associated with Symptomatology and Adaptive Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Gregory L.; Case, Laura K.; Harms, Madeline B.; Silvers, Jennifer A.; Kenworthy, Lauren; Martin, Alex

    2011-01-01

    Prior studies implicate facial emotion recognition (FER) difficulties among individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD); however, many investigations focus on FER accuracy alone and few examine ecological validity through links with everyday functioning. We compared FER accuracy and perceptual sensitivity (from neutral to full expression)…

  2. Using Multitouch Collaboration Technology to Enhance Social Interaction of Children with High-Functioning Autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gal, Eynat; Lamash, Liron; Bauminger-Zviely, Nirit; Zancanaro, Massimo; Weiss, Patrice L Tamar

    2016-01-01

    Children with high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder (HFASD) have major difficulties in social communication skills, which may impact their performance and participation in everyday life. The goal of this study was to examine whether the StoryTable, an intervention paradigm based on a collaborative narrative, multitouch tabletop interface, enhanced social interaction for children with HFASD, and to determine whether the acquired abilities were transferred to behaviors during other tasks. Fourteen boys with HFASD, aged 7-12 years, participated in a 3-week, 11-session intervention. Social interactions during two nonintervention tasks were videotaped at three points in time, one prior to the intervention (pre), a second immediately following the intervention (post) and a third three weeks after the intervention (follow-up). The video-recorded files were coded using the Friendship Observation Scale to ascertain the frequencies of positive and negative social interactions and collaborative play. Differences in these behaviors were tested for significance using nonparametric statistical tests. There were significantly higher rates of positive social interactions and collaborative play, and lower rates of negative social interactions following the intervention suggesting generalization of the social skills learned during the intervention. Improvement was maintained when tested three weeks later. These findings provide support for the use of collaborative technology-based interventions within educational settings to enhance social interaction of children with HFASD.

  3. Heterogeneity in perceptual category learning by high functioning children with autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercado, Eduardo; Church, Barbara A; Coutinho, Mariana V C; Dovgopoly, Alexander; Lopata, Christopher J; Toomey, Jennifer A; Thomeer, Marcus L

    2015-01-01

    Previous research suggests that high functioning (HF) children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) sometimes have problems learning categories, but often appear to perform normally in categorization tasks. The deficits that individuals with ASD show when learning categories have been attributed to executive dysfunction, general deficits in implicit learning, atypical cognitive strategies, or abnormal perceptual biases and abilities. Several of these psychological explanations for category learning deficits have been associated with neural abnormalities such as cortical underconnectivity. The present study evaluated how well existing neurally based theories account for atypical perceptual category learning shown by HF children with ASD across multiple category learning tasks involving novel, abstract shapes. Consistent with earlier results, children's performances revealed two distinct patterns of learning and generalization associated with ASD: one was indistinguishable from performance in typically developing children; the other revealed dramatic impairments. These two patterns were evident regardless of training regimen or stimulus set. Surprisingly, some children with ASD showed both patterns. Simulations of perceptual category learning could account for the two observed patterns in terms of differences in neural plasticity. However, no current psychological or neural theory adequately explains why a child with ASD might show such large fluctuations in category learning ability across training conditions or stimulus sets.

  4. Multi-informant reports of psychiatric symptoms among high-functioning adolescents with Asperger syndrome or autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurtig, Tuula; Kuusikko, Sanna; Mattila, Marja-Leena; Haapsamo, Helena; Ebeling, Hanna; Jussila, Katja; Joskitt, Leena; Pauls, David; Moilanen, Irma

    2009-11-01

    The aim of the study was to examine psychiatric symptoms in high-functioning adolescents with autism spectrum disorders reported by multiple informants. Forty-three 11- to 17-year-old adolescents with Asperger syndrome (AS) or high-functioning autism (HFA) and 217 typically developed adolescents completed the Youth Self-Report (YSR), while their parents completed the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Teachers of adolescents with AS/HFA completed the Teacher Report Form (TRF). The informants reported significantly more psychiatric symptoms, especially withdrawn, anxious/depressed, social and attention problems, in adolescents with AS/HFA than in controls. In contrast to findings in the general population, the psychiatric problems of adolescents with AS/HFA are well acknowledged by multiple informants, including self-reports. However, anxiety and depressive symptoms were more commonly reported by adolescents with AS/HFA and their teachers than their parents, indicating that some emotional distress may be hidden from their parents.

  5. Working memory deficits in high-functioning adolescents with autism spectrum disorders: neuropsychological and neuroimaging correlates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barendse, Evelien M; Hendriks, Marc Ph; Jansen, Jacobus Fa; Backes, Walter H; Hofman, Paul Am; Thoonen, Geert; Kessels, Roy Pc; Aldenkamp, Albert P

    2013-06-04

    Working memory is a temporary storage system under attentional control. It is believed to play a central role in online processing of complex cognitive information and may also play a role in social cognition and interpersonal interactions. Adolescents with a disorder on the autism spectrum display problems in precisely these domains. Social impairments, communication difficulties, and repetitive interests and activities are core domains of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and executive function problems are often seen throughout the spectrum. As the main cognitive theories of ASD, including the theory of mind deficit hypotheses, weak central coherence account, and the executive dysfunction theory, still fail to explain the broad spectrum of symptoms, a new perspective on the etiology of ASD is needed. Deficits in working memory are central to many theories of psychopathology, and are generally linked to frontal-lobe dysfunction. This article will review neuropsychological and (functional) brain imaging studies on working memory in adolescents with ASD. Although still disputed, it is concluded that within the working memory system specific problems of spatial working memory are often seen in adolescents with ASD. These problems increase when information is more complex and greater demands on working memory are made. Neuroimaging studies indicate a more global working memory processing or connectivity deficiency, rather than a focused deficit in the prefrontal cortex. More research is needed to relate these working memory difficulties and neuroimaging results in ASD to the behavioral difficulties as seen in individuals with a disorder on the autism spectrum.

  6. Autism As a Disorder of High Intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crespi, Bernard J.

    2016-01-01

    A suite of recent studies has reported positive genetic correlations between autism risk and measures of mental ability. These findings indicate that alleles for autism overlap broadly with alleles for high intelligence, which appears paradoxical given that autism is characterized, overall, by below-average IQ. This paradox can be resolved under the hypothesis that autism etiology commonly involves enhanced, but imbalanced, components of intelligence. This hypothesis is supported by convergent evidence showing that autism and high IQ share a diverse set of convergent correlates, including large brain size, fast brain growth, increased sensory and visual-spatial abilities, enhanced synaptic functions, increased attentional focus, high socioeconomic status, more deliberative decision-making, profession and occupational interests in engineering and physical sciences, and high levels of positive assortative mating. These findings help to provide an evolutionary basis to understanding autism risk as underlain in part by dysregulation of intelligence, a core human-specific adaptation. In turn, integration of studies on intelligence with studies of autism should provide novel insights into the neurological and genetic causes of high mental abilities, with important implications for cognitive enhancement, artificial intelligence, the relationship of autism with schizophrenia, and the treatment of both autism and intellectual disability. PMID:27445671

  7. The relationship between theory of mind and autobiographical memory in high-functioning autism and Asperger syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adler, Noga; Nadler, Benny; Eviatar, Zohar; Shamay-Tsoory, Simone G

    2010-06-30

    The relationship between theory of mind (ToM) and autobiographical memory (AM) in high-functioning autism (HFA) and Asperger syndrome (AS) has never been investigated. Here, we show that ToM abilities could be predicted by levels of AM in HFA and AS as compared to controls, suggesting that difficulties in AM are closely related to ToM impairments in HFA and AS.

  8. Answering Contextually Demanding Questions: Pragmatic Errors Produced by Children with Asperger Syndrome or High-Functioning Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loukusa, Soile; Leinonen, Eeva; Jussila, Katja; Mattila, Marja-Leena; Ryder, Nuala; Ebeling, Hanna; Moilanen, Irma

    2007-01-01

    This study examined irrelevant/incorrect answers produced by children with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism (7-9-year-olds and 10-12-year-olds) and normally developing children (7-9-year-olds). The errors produced were divided into three types: in Type 1, the child answered the original question incorrectly, in Type 2, the child gave a…

  9. Effectiveness of behavioral skills training on staff performance in a job training setting for high-functioning adolescents with autism spectrum disorders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Palmen, A.M.J.W.; Didden, H.C.M.; Korzilius, H.P.L.M.

    2010-01-01

    Few studies have focused on improving staff performance in naturalistic training settings for high-functioning adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Behavioral skills training, consisting of group instruction and supervisory feedback, was used to improve staff performance on (a) providing

  10. Local visual perception bias in children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders; do we have the whole picture?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falkmer, Marita; Black, Melissa; Tang, Julia; Fitzgerald, Patrick; Girdler, Sonya; Leung, Denise; Ordqvist, Anna; Tan, Tele; Jahan, Ishrat; Falkmer, Torbjorn

    2016-01-01

    While local bias in visual processing in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has been reported to result in difficulties in recognizing faces and facially expressed emotions, but superior ability in disembedding figures, associations between these abilities within a group of children with and without ASD have not been explored. Possible associations in performance on the Visual Perception Skills Figure-Ground test, a face recognition test and an emotion recognition test were investigated within 25 8-12-years-old children with high-functioning autism/Asperger syndrome, and in comparison to 33 typically developing children. Analyses indicated a weak positive correlation between accuracy in Figure-Ground recognition and emotion recognition. No other correlation estimates were significant. These findings challenge both the enhanced perceptual function hypothesis and the weak central coherence hypothesis, and accentuate the importance of further scrutinizing the existance and nature of local visual bias in ASD.

  11. Neurorehabilitation of Social Dysfunctions: A Model-based Neurofeedback Approach for Low and High-Functioning Autism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaime A. Pineda

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD is an increasingly prevalent condition with core deficits in the social domain. Understanding its neuroetiology is critical to providing insights into the relationship between neuroanatomy, physiology and social behaviors, including imitation learning, language, empathy, theory of mind, and even self-awareness. Equally important is the need to find ways to arrest its increasing prevalence and to ameliorate its symptoms. In this perspective, we highlight neurofeedback studies as viable treatment options for high-functioning as well as low-functioning children with ASD. Specifically, we focus on neurofeedback interventions combined with other kinds of behavioral conditioning to induce neuroplastic changes that can address the full spectrum of the autism phenotype.

  12. Altered structure-function relations of semantic processing in youths with high-functioning autism: a combined diffusion and functional MRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo, Yu-Chun; Chou, Tai-Li; Fan, Li-Ying; Gau, Susan Shur-Fen; Chiu, Yen-Nan; Tseng, Wen-Yih Isaac

    2013-12-01

    Deficits in language and communication are among the core symptoms of autism, a common neurodevelopmental disorder with long-term impairment. Despite the striking nature of the autistic language impairment, knowledge about its corresponding alterations in the brain is still evolving. We hypothesized that the dual stream language network is altered in autism, and that this alteration could be revealed by changes in the relationships between microstructural integrity and functional activation. The study recruited 20 right-handed male youths with autism and 20 carefully matched individually, typically developing (TD) youths. Microstructural integrity of the left dorsal and left ventral pathways responsible for language processing and the functional activation of the connected brain regions were investigated by using diffusion spectrum imaging and functional magnetic resonance imaging of a semantic task, respectively. Youths with autism had significantly poorer language function, and lower functional activation in left dorsal and left ventral regions of the language network, compared with TD youths. The TD group showed a significant correlation of the functional activation of the left dorsal region with microstructural integrity of the left ventral pathway, whereas the autism group showed a significant correlation of the functional activation of the left ventral region with microstructural integrity of the left dorsal pathway, and moreover verbal comprehension index was correlated with microstructural integrity of the left ventral pathway. These altered structure-function relationships in autism suggest possible involvement of the dual pathways in supporting deficient semantic processing. © 2013 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Heightened brain response to pain anticipation in high-functioning adults with autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Xiaosi; Zhou, Thomas J; Anagnostou, Evdokia; Soorya, Latha; Kolevzon, Alexander; Hof, Patrick R; Fan, Jin

    2018-03-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is marked by both socio-communicative difficulties and abnormalities in sensory processing. Much of the work on sensory deficits in ASD has focused on tactile sensations and the perceptual aspects of somatosensation, such as encoding of stimulus intensity and location. Although aberrant pain processing has often been noted in clinical observations of patients with ASD, it remains largely uninvestigated. Importantly, the neural mechanism underlying higher order cognitive aspects of pain processing such as pain anticipation also remains unknown. Here we examined both pain perception and anticipation in high-functioning adults with ASD and matched healthy controls (HC) using an anticipatory pain paradigm in combination with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and concurrent skin conductance response (SCR) recording. Participants were asked to choose a level of electrical stimulation that would feel moderately painful to them. Compared to HC group, ASD group chose a lower level of stimulation prior to fMRI. However, ASD participants showed greater activation in both rostral and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex during the anticipation of stimulation, but not during stimulation delivery. There was no significant group difference in insular activation during either pain anticipation or perception. However, activity in the left anterior insula correlated with SCR during pain anticipation. Taken together, these results suggest that ASD is marked with aberrantly higher level of sensitivity to upcoming aversive stimuli, which may reflect abnormal attentional orientation to nociceptive signals and a failure in interoceptive inference. © 2017 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Brain serotonin and dopamine transporter bindings in adults with high-functioning autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Kazuhiko; Sekine, Yoshimoto; Ouchi, Yasuomi; Tsujii, Masatsugu; Yoshikawa, Etsuji; Futatsubashi, Masami; Tsuchiya, Kenji J; Sugihara, Genichi; Iwata, Yasuhide; Suzuki, Katsuaki; Matsuzaki, Hideo; Suda, Shiro; Sugiyama, Toshiro; Takei, Nori; Mori, Norio

    2010-01-01

    Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by repetitive and/or obsessive interests and behavior and by deficits in sociability and communication. Although its neurobiological underpinnings are postulated to lie in abnormalities of the serotoninergic and dopaminergic systems, the details remain unknown. To determine the occurrence of changes in the binding of serotonin and dopamine transporters, which are highly selective markers for their respective neuronal systems. Using positron emission tomography, we measured the binding of brain serotonin and dopamine transporters in each individual with the radioligands carbon 11 ((11)C)-labeled trans-1,2,3,5,6,10-beta-hexahydro-6-[4-(methylthio)phenyl]pyrrolo-[2,1-a]isoquinoline ([(11)C](+)McN-5652) and 2beta-carbomethoxy-3-beta-(4-fluorophenyl)tropane ([(11)C]WIN-35,428), respectively. Statistical parametric mapping was used for between-subject analysis and within-subject correlation analysis with respect to clinical variables. Participants recruited from the community. Twenty men (age range, 18-26 years; mean [SD] IQ, 99.3 [18.1]) with autism and 20 age- and IQ-matched control subjects. Serotonin transporter binding was significantly lower throughout the brain in autistic individuals compared with controls (P dopamine transporter binding was significantly higher in the orbitofrontal cortex of the autistic group (P dopamine transporter binding was significantly inversely correlated with serotonin transporter binding (r = -0.61; P = .004). The brains of autistic individuals have abnormalities in both serotonin transporter and dopamine transporter binding. The present findings indicate that the gross abnormalities in these neurotransmitter systems may underpin the neurophysiologic mechanism of autism. Our sample was not characteristic or representative of a typical sample of adults with autism in the community.

  15. Impaired theory of mind for moral judgment in high-functioning autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, Joseph M; Young, Liane L; Saxe, Rebecca; Lee, Su Mei; O'Young, Daniel; Mavros, Penelope L; Gabrieli, John D

    2011-02-15

    High-functioning autism (ASD) is characterized by real-life difficulties in social interaction; however, these individuals often succeed on laboratory tests that require an understanding of another person's beliefs and intentions. This paradox suggests a theory of mind (ToM) deficit in adults with ASD that has yet to be demonstrated in an experimental task eliciting ToM judgments. We tested whether ASD adults would show atypical moral judgments when they need to consider both the intentions (based on ToM) and outcomes of a person's actions. In experiment 1, ASD and neurotypical (NT) participants performed a ToM task designed to test false belief understanding. In experiment 2, the same ASD participants and a new group of NT participants judged the moral permissibility of actions, in a 2 (intention: neutral/negative) × 2 (outcome: neutral/negative) design. Though there was no difference between groups on the false belief task, there was a selective difference in the moral judgment task for judgments of accidental harms, but not neutral acts, attempted harms, or intentional harms. Unlike the NT group, which judged accidental harms less morally wrong than attempted harms, the ASD group did not reliably judge accidental and attempted harms as morally different. In judging accidental harms, ASD participants appeared to show an underreliance on information about a person's innocent intention and, as a direct result, an overreliance on the action's negative outcome. These findings reveal impairments in integrating mental state information (e.g., beliefs, intentions) for moral judgment.

  16. Brain resting-state networks in adolescents with high-functioning autism: Analysis of spatial connectivity and temporal neurodynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernas, Antoine; Barendse, Evelien M; Aldenkamp, Albert P; Backes, Walter H; Hofman, Paul A M; Hendriks, Marc P H; Kessels, Roy P C; Willems, Frans M J; de With, Peter H N; Zinger, Svitlana; Jansen, Jacobus F A

    2018-02-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is mainly characterized by functional and communication impairments as well as restrictive and repetitive behavior. The leading hypothesis for the neural basis of autism postulates globally abnormal brain connectivity, which can be assessed using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Even in the absence of a task, the brain exhibits a high degree of functional connectivity, known as intrinsic, or resting-state, connectivity. Global default connectivity in individuals with autism versus controls is not well characterized, especially for a high-functioning young population. The aim of this study is to test whether high-functioning adolescents with ASD (HFA) have an abnormal resting-state functional connectivity. We performed spatial and temporal analyses on resting-state networks (RSNs) in 13 HFA adolescents and 13 IQ- and age-matched controls. For the spatial analysis, we used probabilistic independent component analysis (ICA) and a permutation statistical method to reveal the RSN differences between the groups. For the temporal analysis, we applied Granger causality to find differences in temporal neurodynamics. Controls and HFA display very similar patterns and strengths of resting-state connectivity. We do not find any significant differences between HFA adolescents and controls in the spatial resting-state connectivity. However, in the temporal dynamics of this connectivity, we did find differences in the causal effect properties of RSNs originating in temporal and prefrontal cortices. The results show a difference between HFA and controls in the temporal neurodynamics from the ventral attention network to the salience-executive network: a pathway involving cognitive, executive, and emotion-related cortices. We hypothesized that this weaker dynamic pathway is due to a subtle trigger challenging the cognitive state prior to the resting state.

  17. Neurofeedback training produces normalization in behavioural and electrophysiological measures of high-functioning autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pineda, Jaime A; Carrasco, Karen; Datko, Mike; Pillen, Steven; Schalles, Matt

    2014-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental condition exhibiting impairments in behaviour, social and communication skills. These deficits may arise from aberrant functional connections that impact synchronization and effective neural communication. Neurofeedback training (NFT), based on operant conditioning of the electroencephalogram (EEG), has shown promise in addressing abnormalities in functional and structural connectivity. We tested the efficacy of NFT in reducing symptoms in children with ASD by targeting training to the mirror neuron system (MNS) via modulation of EEG mu rhythms. The human MNS has provided a neurobiological substrate for understanding concepts in social cognition relevant to behavioural and cognitive deficits observed in ASD. Furthermore, mu rhythms resemble MNS phenomenology supporting the argument that they are linked to perception and action. Thirty hours of NFT on ASD and typically developing (TD) children were assessed. Both groups completed an eyes-open/-closed EEG session as well as a mu suppression index assessment before and after training. Parents filled out pre- and post-behavioural questionnaires. The results showed improvements in ASD subjects but not in TDs. This suggests that induction of neuroplastic changes via NFT can normalize dysfunctional mirroring networks in children with autism, but the benefits are different for TD brains.

  18. Functional neuroimaging and childhood autism

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boddaert, Nathalie [Service de Radiologie Pediatrique, Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital, Paris (France); Service Hospitalier Frederic Joliot, DRM, DSV, CEA, Orsay (France); Zilbovicius, Monica [Service Hospitalier Frederic Joliot, DRM, DSV, CEA, Orsay (France); INSERM, Tours [France

    2002-01-01

    Childhood autism is now widely viewed as being of developmental neurobiological origin. Yet, localised structural and functional brain correlates of autism have to be established. Structural brain-imaging studies performed in autistic patients have reported abnormalities such as increased total brain volume and cerebellar abnormalities. However, none of these abnormalities fully account for the full range of autistic symptoms. Functional brain imaging, such as positron emission tomography (PET), single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and functional MRI (fMRI) have added a new perspective to the study of normal and pathological brain functions. In autism, functional studies have been performed at rest or during activation. However, first-generation functional imaging devices were not sensitive enough to detect any consistent dysfunction. Recently, with improved technology, two independent groups have reported bilateral hypoperfusion of the temporal lobes in autistic children. In addition, activation studies, using perceptive and cognitive paradigms, have shown an abnormal pattern of cortical activation in autistic patients. These results suggest that different connections between particular cortical regions could exist in autism. The purpose of this review is to present the main results of rest and activation studies performed in autism. (orig.)

  19. The Effectiveness of Theory of Mind Training On the Social Skills of Children with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adibsereshki, Narges; Nesayan, Abbas; Asadi Gandomani, Roghayeh; Karimlou, Masood

    2015-01-01

    Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) tend to have problems in establishing and maintaining their social relationships. Some professionals believe this social impairment is the result of deficit in Theory of Mind (ToM). This study was conducted to explore the effectiveness of ToM training on such children. A quasi-experimental method, pre- test, post-test with control group was used. The sample included of 12 girls and 12 boys with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders (HFASD). Two instruments were used as follows: the Theory of Mind test and the social skills questionnaire (1). The samples were randomly placed in the experimental and control groups. The experimental groups had 15 sessions of ToM training and the control groups had just regular school program. The data were analyzed by Kolmogorov-Smirnov, independent t- and twoway- variance tests. The scores for social skills in the experimental group were significantly more than the control group. ToM training might improve the social skills of children with autism spectrum disorders.

  20. Examining the reinforcing value of stimuli within social and non-social contexts in children with and without high-functioning autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldberg, Melissa C; Allman, Melissa J; Hagopian, Louis P; Triggs, Mandy M; Frank-Crawford, Michelle A; Mostofsky, Stewart H; Denckla, Martha B; DeLeon, Iser G

    2017-10-01

    One of the key diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder includes impairments in social interactions. This study compared the extent to which boys with high-functioning autism and typically developing boys "value" engaging in activities with a parent or alone. Two different assessments that can empirically determine the relative reinforcing value of social and non-social stimuli were employed: paired-choice preference assessments and progressive-ratio schedules. There were no significant differences between boys with high-functioning autism and typically developing boys on either measure. Moreover, there was a strong correspondence in performance across these two measures for participants in each group. These results suggest that the relative reinforcing value of engaging in activities with a primary caregiver is not diminished for children with autism spectrum disorder.

  1. Use of prosody and information structure in high functioning adults with Autism in relation to language ability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne-Marie R DePape

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abnormal prosody is a striking feature of the speech of those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD, but previous reports suggest large variability among those with ASD. Here we show that part of this heterogeneity can be explained by level of language functioning. We recorded semi-spontaneous but controlled conversations in adults with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder and measured features related to pitch and duration to determine (1 general use of prosodic features, (2 prosodic use in relation to marking information structure, specifically, the emphasis of new information in a sentence (focus as opposed to information already given in the conversational context (topic, and (3 the relation between prosodic use and level of language function. We found that, compared to typical adults, those with ASD with high language functioning generally used a larger pitch range than controls but did not mark information structure, whereas those with moderate language functioning generally used a smaller pitch range than controls but marked information structure appropriately to a large extent. Both impaired general prosodic use and impaired marking of information structure would be expected to seriously impact social communication and thereby lead to increased difficulty in personal domains, such as making and keeping friendships, and in professional domains, such as competing for employment opportunities.

  2. Group Social Skills Interventions for Adults with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Systematic Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spain, Debbie; Blainey, Sarah H.

    2015-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorders are characterised by impairments in communication and social interaction. Social skills interventions have been found to ameliorate socio-communication deficits in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Little is known about the effectiveness of social skills interventions for adults with…

  3. Autism and Schizophrenia in High Functioning Adults: Behavioral Differences and Overlap

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spek, Annelies A.; Wouters, Saskia G. M.

    2010-01-01

    Several recent studies have demonstrated a genetical overlap between autism and schizophrenia. However, at a behavioral level it remains unclear which features can validly distinguish adults with autism from an adult schizophrenia group. To this end, the present study compared 21 individuals with the autistic disorder and 21 individuals with…

  4. Perception of Emotions from Facial Expressions in High-Functioning Adults with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Daniel P.; Adolphs, Ralph

    2012-01-01

    Impairment in social communication is one of the diagnostic hallmarks of autism spectrum disorders, and a large body of research has documented aspects of impaired social cognition in autism, both at the level of the processes and the neural structures involved. Yet one of the most common social communicative abilities in everyday life, the…

  5. Autism and Schizophrenia in high functioning adults: Behavioral differences and overlap

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spek, Annelies A; Wouters, Saskia G.M.

    2011-01-01

    Several recent studies have demonstrated a genetical overlap between autism and schizophrenia. However, at a behavioral level it remains unclear which features can validly distinguish adults with autism from an adult schizophrenia group. To this end, the present study compared 21 individuals with

  6. Cognitive Profiles of Adults with Asperger's Disorder, High-Functioning Autism, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified Based on the WAIS-III

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanai, Chieko; Tani, Masayuki; Hashimoto, Ryuichiro; Yamada, Takashi; Ota, Haruhisa; Watanabe, Hiromi; Iwanami, Akira; Kato, Nobumasa

    2012-01-01

    Little is known about the cognitive profiles of high-functioning Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) in adults based on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale III (WAIS-III). We examined cognitive profiles of adults with no intellectual disability (IQ greater than 70), and in adults with Asperger's disorder (AS; n = 47), high-functioning autism (HFA;…

  7. Automatic conversational scene analysis in children with Asperger syndrome/high-functioning autism and typically developing peers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tavano, Alessandro; Pesarin, Anna; Murino, Vittorio; Cristani, Marco

    2014-01-01

    Individuals with Asperger syndrome/High Functioning Autism fail to spontaneously attribute mental states to the self and others, a life-long phenotypic characteristic known as mindblindness. We hypothesized that mindblindness would affect the dynamics of conversational interaction. Using generative models, in particular Gaussian mixture models and observed influence models, conversations were coded as interacting Markov processes, operating on novel speech/silence patterns, termed Steady Conversational Periods (SCPs). SCPs assume that whenever an agent's process changes state (e.g., from silence to speech), it causes a general transition of the entire conversational process, forcing inter-actant synchronization. SCPs fed into observed influence models, which captured the conversational dynamics of children and adolescents with Asperger syndrome/High Functioning Autism, and age-matched typically developing participants. Analyzing the parameters of the models by means of discriminative classifiers, the dialogs of patients were successfully distinguished from those of control participants. We conclude that meaning-free speech/silence sequences, reflecting inter-actant synchronization, at least partially encode typical and atypical conversational dynamics. This suggests a direct influence of theory of mind abilities onto basic speech initiative behavior.

  8. Automatic conversational scene analysis in children with Asperger syndrome/high-functioning autism and typically developing peers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Tavano

    Full Text Available Individuals with Asperger syndrome/High Functioning Autism fail to spontaneously attribute mental states to the self and others, a life-long phenotypic characteristic known as mindblindness. We hypothesized that mindblindness would affect the dynamics of conversational interaction. Using generative models, in particular Gaussian mixture models and observed influence models, conversations were coded as interacting Markov processes, operating on novel speech/silence patterns, termed Steady Conversational Periods (SCPs. SCPs assume that whenever an agent's process changes state (e.g., from silence to speech, it causes a general transition of the entire conversational process, forcing inter-actant synchronization. SCPs fed into observed influence models, which captured the conversational dynamics of children and adolescents with Asperger syndrome/High Functioning Autism, and age-matched typically developing participants. Analyzing the parameters of the models by means of discriminative classifiers, the dialogs of patients were successfully distinguished from those of control participants. We conclude that meaning-free speech/silence sequences, reflecting inter-actant synchronization, at least partially encode typical and atypical conversational dynamics. This suggests a direct influence of theory of mind abilities onto basic speech initiative behavior.

  9. Examination of Local Functional Homogeneity in Autism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lili Jiang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Increasing neuroimaging evidence suggests that autism patients exhibit abnormal brain structure and function. We used the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange (ABIDE sample to analyze locally focal (~8 mm functional connectivity of 223 autism patients and 285 normal controls from 15 international sites using a recently developed surface-based approach. We observed enhanced local connectivity in the middle frontal cortex, left precuneus, and right superior temporal sulcus, and reduced local connectivity in the right insular cortex. The local connectivity in the right middle frontal gyrus was positively correlated with the total score of the autism diagnostic observation schedule whereas the local connectivity within the right superior temporal sulcus was positively correlated with total subscores of both the communication and the stereotyped behaviors and restricted interests of the schedule. Finally, significant interactions between age and clinical diagnosis were detected in the left precuneus. These findings replicated previous observations that used a volume-based approach and suggested possible neuropathological impairments of local information processing in the frontal, temporal, parietal, and insular cortices. Novel site-variability analysis demonstrated high reproducibility of our findings across the 15 international sites. The age-disease interaction provides a potential target region for future studies to further elucidate the neurodevelopmental mechanisms of autism.

  10. Working memory arrest in children with high-functioning autism compared to children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: results from a 2-year longitudinal study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Per N; Skogli, Erik W; Hovik, Kjell T; Geurts, Hilde; Egeland, Jens; Øie, Merete

    2015-05-01

    The aim of this study was to analyse the development of verbal working memory in children with high-functioning autism compared to children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and typically developing children. A total of 34 children with high-functioning autism, 72 children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and 45 typically developing children (age 9-16 years) were included at baseline and followed up approximately 25 months later. The children were given a letter/number sequencing task to assess verbal working memory. The performance of children with high-functioning autism on verbal working memory did not improve after 2 years, while improvement was observed in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and typically developing children. The results indicate a different developmental trajectory for verbal working memory in children with high-functioning autism compared to children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and typically developing children. More research is needed to construct a developmental framework more suitable for children with autism spectrum disorder. © The Author(s) 2014.

  11. Comparative Study of Early Childhood High-Function Autism and Developmental Mixed Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pinchen Yang

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Verbal cognitive profile and general social functioning were compared between two groups of children aged 5 to 7 years, one with high-function autism and the other with developmental mixed receptive-expressive language disorders. The two groups, totaling 50 children, were matched for age and non-verbal IQ (mean, 90. Both groups had impaired verbal cognitive profile and social adaptive functioning, with no statistically significant differences between the two groups. The implications of our findings are discussed. Current preschool and early childhood medical-educational intervention programs in Taiwan must design and implement curricula in which children with language delay, whether autistic or not, can develop essential social skills.

  12. Socio-dramatic affective-relational intervention for adolescents with asperger syndrome & high functioning autism: pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerner, Matthew D; Mikami, Amori Yee; Levine, Karen

    2011-01-01

    This study examined the effectiveness of a novel intervention called 'socio-dramatic affective-relational intervention' (SDARI), intended to improve social skills among adolescents with Asperger syndrome and high functioning autism diagnoses. SDARI adapts dramatic training activities to focus on in vivo practice of areas of social skill deficit among this population. SDARI was administered as a six-week summer program in a community human service agency. Nine SDARI participants and eight age- and diagnosis-group matched adolescents not receiving SDARI were compared on child- and parent-report of social functioning at three week intervals beginning six weeks prior to intervention and ending six weeks post-intervention. Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) was used to estimate growth trends between groups to assess treatment outcomes and post-treatment maintenance. Results indicated significant improvement and post-treatment maintenance among SDARI participants on several measures of child social functioning. Implications for practice and research are discussed.

  13. Camp Campus: College Preparation for Adolescents and Young Adults with High-Functioning Autism, Asperger Syndrome, and Other Social Communication Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Retherford, Kristine S.; Schreiber, Linda R.

    2015-01-01

    Camp Campus is a 1-week campus experience for juniors or seniors in high school or high school graduates who are diagnosed with high-functioning autism, Asperger syndrome, or a related social communication disorder and who plan to attend college. Participants experience campus life by partaking of campus services, living and dining on campus,…

  14. [French version of screening questionnaire for high-functioning autism or Asperger syndrome in adolescent: Autism Spectrum Quotient, Empathy Quotient and Systemizing Quotient. Protocol and questionnaire translation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonié, Sandrine; Kassai, Behrouz; Pirat, Elodie; Masson, Sandrine; Bain, Paul; Robinson, Janine; Reboul, Anne; Wicker, Bruno; Chevallier, Coralie; Beaude-Chervet, Véronique; Deleage, Marie-Hélène; Charvet, Dorothée; Barthélémy, Catherine; Rochet, Thierry; Tatou, Mohamed; Arnaud, Valérie; Manificat, Sabine

    2011-04-01

    No tools are currently available in France, for the detection of autism without mental retardation (high functioning autism and Asperger syndrome here referred as TED SDI). Use of screening tests by first-line clinicians would allow better detection of children who are likely to display such difficulties and to improve patients' care. In England, 3 questionnaires have been evaluated: Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ), Empathy Quotient (EQ), and Systemizing Quotient (SQ). This is the translation and evaluation of 3 questionnaires in France for TED SDI and control adolescents. The translation of the questionnaires into French required two simultaneous translations, two back-translations and two consensus meetings. This is a cross-sectional study comparing scores obtained with the three AQ, EQ and SQ questionnaires. These questionnaires were completed by the parents of four groups of adolescents 11-18 years: 100 TED SDI adolescents (50 with IQ ≥ 85 and 50 with 70≤IQ<85), 50 adolescents with another psychiatric disorder (TP) and 200 control adolescents (T). 580 questionnaires have been sent to 40 recruiting centres. By the 28th of February, 2010, 277 completed questionnaires were received completed (TED SDI: 70 (70%); TP: 25 (50%) et T: 182 (91%)). In the control group, 92 girls (mean 14.4±1.7 years) and 66 boys (14.5±1.7 years) were recruited. In the TED SDI group, 4 girls (14.3±2.4 years) and 42 boys (14.5±1.7 years) were recruited. One girl (81) and 6 boys (72.2±7.7) have an IQ between 70 and 85, and 3 girls (95.3±4.2) and 36 boys (102.9±12) have an IQ higher than 85. In the TP group, 9 girls (15.9±1.7 years) and 4 boys (15.8±1.9 years) were recruited. The aim of this study is to make the AQ, EQ and SQ questionnaires available in French for French speaking clinicians. This study will allow a rigorous evaluation of the usefulness of the AQ questionnaire in the screening of TED SDI in adolescents. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  15. BEYOND SOCIAL SKILLS: GROUP DYNAMICS AT SOCIAL SKILLS TRAINING FOR HIGH FUNCTIONING ADOLESCENTS WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnieszka Siedler

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The usefulness of group social skills training in Autism Spectrum Disorder therapy has been well established. However, little is known about the group dynamics of this kind of intervention. The current multiple case studies were conducted to demonstrate that, despite of the functioning specifics of participants with ASD, processes associated with the dynamics of the group during group social skills training session may be noticeable. Intervention groups consisted of fifteen adolescents and preadolescents with high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders aged between 11 to 17 years old divided into three training groups. The social skills training sessions were conducted on a weekly basis. The observation lasted for six months and it included the formation of the group, the period of stability and unexpected changes. After each group session, the therapists filled in a detailed report about the participants’ behavior and interactions between participants. Collected data were carefully analyzed for group dynamic features. It was noticed that adolescents participating in group interventions are susceptible to the influence of the group, take different individual roles and are moderately sensitive to changes in the group structure. The influence of the disorder characteristics on group dynamics was also observed. Although the results show that group dynamics can be observed at a group training for ASD, the need for further structured observation should be emphasized as a current study constituted the first approach to the subject.

  16. Social communication disorder outside autism? A diagnostic classification approach to delineating pragmatic language impairment, high functioning autism and specific language impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Jenny; Adams, Catherine; Lockton, Elaine; Green, Jonathan

    2013-11-01

    Developmental disorders of language and communication present considerable diagnostic challenges due to overlapping of symptomatology and uncertain aetiology. We aimed to further elucidate the behavioural and linguistic profile associated with impairments of social communication occurring outside of an autism diagnosis. Six to eleven year olds diagnosed with pragmatic language impairment (PLI), high functioning autism (HFA) or specific language impairment (SLI) were compared on measures of social interaction with peers (PI), restricted and repetitive behaviours/interests (RRBIs) and language ability. Odds ratios (OR) from a multinomial logistic regression were used to determine the importance of each measure to diagnostic grouping. MANOVA was used to investigate differences in subscale scores for the PI measure. Greater degrees of PI difficulties (OR = 1.22, 95% CI = 1.05-1.41), RRBI (OR = 1.23, 95% CI = 1.06-1.42) and expressive language ability (OR = 1.16, 95% CI = 1.03-1.30) discriminated HFA from PLI. PLI was differentiated from SLI by elevated PI difficulties (OR = 0.82, 95% CI = 0.70-0.96) and higher expressive language ability (OR = 0.88, 95% CI = 0.77-0.98), but indistinguishable from SLI using RRBI (OR = 1.01, 95% CI=0.94-1.09). A significant effect of group on PI subscales was observed (θ = 1.38, F(4, 56) = 19.26, p communication disorder' in DSM-5. © 2013 The Authors Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry © 2013 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.

  17. Assessing Advanced Theory of Mind in Children and Adolescents with High-Functioning Autism: The Spanish Version of the "Stories of Everyday Life"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lera-Miguel, Sara; Rosa, Mireia; Puig, Olga; Kaland, Nils; Lázaro, Luisa; Castro-Formieles, Josefina; Calvo, Rosa

    2016-01-01

    Most individuals with autism spectrum disorders often fail in tasks of theory of mind (ToM). However, those with normal intellectual functioning known as high functioning ASD (HF-ASD) sometimes succeed in mentalizing inferences. Some tools have been developed to more accurately test their ToM abilities. The aims of this study were to examine the…

  18. Cognitive control and conflict adaptation in youth with high-functioning autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Michael J; South, Mikle; Clayson, Peter E; Clawson, Ann

    2012-04-01

      Youth diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often show deficits in cognitive control processes, potentially contributing to characteristic difficulties monitoring and regulating behavior. Modification of performance following conflict can be measured by examining conflict adaptation, the adjustment of cognitive resources based on previous-trial conflict. The electrophysiological correlates of these processes can be measured using the N2, a stimulus-locked component of the event-related potential (ERP).   High-density ERPs and behavioral data [i.e. response times (RTs) and error rates] were acquired while 28 youth with ASD and 36 typically developing controls completed a modified Eriksen flanker task.   Behaviorally, groups showed similar conflict adaptation effects; youth with ASD showed larger RT slowing on switch trials. For electrophysiology, controls demonstrated larger N2 amplitudes for incongruent (high-conflict) trials following congruent (low-conflict) trials than for incongruent trials following incongruent trials. Importantly, youth with ASD showed no such differences in N2 amplitude based on previous-trial conflict.   Lack of electrophysiological conflict adaptation effects in youth with ASD indicates irregular neural processing associated with conflict adaptation. Individuals with ASD show declines in level of conflict evaluation and adaptation. Future research is necessary to accurately characterize and understand the behavioral implications of these cognitive control deficits relative to diagnostic severity, anxiety, and personality. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry © 2011 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.

  19. Sensitivity to Social Contingency in Adults with High-Functioning Autism during Computer-Mediated Embodied Interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zapata-Fonseca, Leonardo; Froese, Tom; Schilbach, Leonhard; Vogeley, Kai; Timmermans, Bert

    2018-02-08

    Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be understood as a social interaction disorder. This makes the emerging "second-person approach" to social cognition a more promising framework for studying ASD than classical approaches focusing on mindreading capacities in detached, observer-based arrangements. According to the second-person approach, embodied, perceptual, and embedded or interactive capabilities are also required for understanding others, and these are hypothesized to be compromised in ASD. We therefore recorded the dynamics of real-time sensorimotor interaction in pairs of control participants and participants with High-Functioning Autism (HFA), using the minimalistic human-computer interface paradigm known as "perceptual crossing" (PC). We investigated whether HFA is associated with impaired detection of social contingency, i.e., a reduced sensitivity to the other's responsiveness to one's own behavior. Surprisingly, our analysis reveals that, at least under the conditions of this highly simplified, computer-mediated, embodied form of social interaction, people with HFA perform equally well as controls. This finding supports the increasing use of virtual reality interfaces for helping people with ASD to better compensate for their social disabilities. Further dynamical analyses are necessary for a better understanding of the mechanisms that are leading to the somewhat surprising results here obtained.

  20. Sensitivity to Social Contingency in Adults with High-Functioning Autism during Computer-Mediated Embodied Interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Zapata-Fonseca

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD can be understood as a social interaction disorder. This makes the emerging “second-person approach” to social cognition a more promising framework for studying ASD than classical approaches focusing on mindreading capacities in detached, observer-based arrangements. According to the second-person approach, embodied, perceptual, and embedded or interactive capabilities are also required for understanding others, and these are hypothesized to be compromised in ASD. We therefore recorded the dynamics of real-time sensorimotor interaction in pairs of control participants and participants with High-Functioning Autism (HFA, using the minimalistic human-computer interface paradigm known as “perceptual crossing” (PC. We investigated whether HFA is associated with impaired detection of social contingency, i.e., a reduced sensitivity to the other’s responsiveness to one’s own behavior. Surprisingly, our analysis reveals that, at least under the conditions of this highly simplified, computer-mediated, embodied form of social interaction, people with HFA perform equally well as controls. This finding supports the increasing use of virtual reality interfaces for helping people with ASD to better compensate for their social disabilities. Further dynamical analyses are necessary for a better understanding of the mechanisms that are leading to the somewhat surprising results here obtained.

  1. Elderly with Autism: Executive Functions and Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geurts, Hilde M.; Vissers, Marlies E.

    2012-01-01

    Cognitive autism research is mainly focusing on children and young adults even though we know that autism is a life-long disorder and that healthy aging already has a strong impact on cognitive functioning. We compared the neuropsychological profile of 23 individuals with autism and 23 healthy controls (age range 51-83 years). Deficits were…

  2. Processing of musical structure by high-functioning adolescents with autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quintin, Eve-Marie; Bhatara, Anjali; Poissant, Hélène; Fombonne, Eric; Levitin, Daniel J

    2013-01-01

    Enhanced pitch perception and memory have been cited as evidence of a local processing bias in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). This bias is argued to account for enhanced perceptual functioning ( Mottron & Burack, 2001 ; Mottron, Dawson, Soulières, Hubert, & Burack, 2006 ) and central coherence theories of ASD ( Frith, 1989 ; Happé & Frith, 2006 ). A local processing bias confers a different cognitive style to individuals with ASD ( Happé, 1999 ), which accounts in part for their good visuospatial and visuoconstructive skills. Here, we present analogues in the auditory domain, audiotemporal or audioconstructive processing, which we assess using a novel experimental task: a musical puzzle. This task evaluates the ability of individuals with ASD to process temporal sequences of musical events as well as various elements of musical structure and thus indexes their ability to employ a global processing style. Musical structures created and replicated by children and adolescents with ASD (10-19 years old) and typically developing children and adolescents (7-17 years old) were found to be similar in global coherence. Presenting a musical template for reference increased accuracy equally for both groups, with performance associated to performance IQ and short-term auditory memory. The overall pattern of performance was similar for both groups; some puzzles were easier than others and this was the case for both groups. Task performance was further found to be correlated with the ability to perceive musical emotions, more so for typically developing participants. Findings are discussed in light of the empathizing-systemizing theory of ASD ( Baron-Cohen, 2009 ) and the importance of describing the strengths of individuals with ASD ( Happé, 1999 ; Heaton, 2009 ).

  3. Working memory deficits in high-functioning adolescents with autism spectrum disorders: neurpsychological and neuroimaging correlates

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Barendse, E.M.; Hendriks, M.P.H.; Jansen, J.F.A.; Backes, W.H.; Hofman, P.A.M.; Thoonen, G.; Kessels, R.P.; Aldenkamp, A.P.

    2013-01-01

    Working memory is a temporary storage system under attentional control. It is believed to play a central role in online processing of complex cognitive information and may also play a role in social cognition and interpersonal interactions. Adolescents with a disorder on the autism spectrum display

  4. Working memory deficits in high-functioning adolescents with autism spectrum disorders: neuropsychological and neuroimaging correlates

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Barendse, E.M.; Hendriks, M.P.H.; Jansen, J.F.A.; Backes, W.H.; Hofman, P.A.M.; Thoonen, G.H.J.; Kessels, R.P.C.; Aldenkamp, A.P.

    2013-01-01

    Working memory is a temporary storage system under attentional control. It is believed to play a central role in online processing of complex cognitive information and may also play a role in social cognition and interpersonal interactions. Adolescents with a disorder on the autism spectrum display

  5. Saccadic Eye Movements in Adults with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zalla, Tiziana; Seassau, Magali; Cazalis, Fabienne; Gras, Doriane; Leboyer, Marion

    2018-01-01

    In this study, we examined the accuracy and dynamics of visually guided saccades in 20 adults with autism spectrum disorder, as compared to 20 typically developed adults using the Step/Overlap/Gap paradigms. Performances in participants with autistic spectrum disorder were characterized by preserved Gap/Overlap effect, but reduced gain and peak…

  6. Abnormal wiring of the connectome in adults with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder

    OpenAIRE

    Roine, Ulrika; Roine, Timo; Salmi, Juha; Nieminen-von Wendt, Taina; Tani, Pekka; Lepp?m?ki, Sami; Rintahaka, Pertti; Caeyenberghs, Karen; Leemans, Alexander; Sams, Mikko

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Background Recent brain imaging findings suggest that there are widely distributed abnormalities affecting the brain connectivity in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Using graph theoretical analysis, it is possible to investigate both global and local properties of brain’s wiring diagram, i.e., the connectome. Methods We acquired diffusion-...

  7. Brief Report: Suggestibility, Compliance and Psychological Traits in High-Functioning Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maras, Katie L.; Bowler, Dermot M.

    2012-01-01

    Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may be over-represented within the criminal justice system; it is therefore important to understand how they fare under police questioning. The present study examined interrogative suggestibility and compliance in individuals with ASD, and whether this is associated with certain psychological traits.…

  8. Social Skills Group Training in High-Functioning Autism: A Qualitative Responder Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choque Olsson, Nora; Rautio, Daniel; Asztalos, Jenny; Stoetzer, Ulrich; Bölte, Sven

    2016-01-01

    Systematic reviews show some evidence for the efficacy of group-based social skills group training in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder, but more rigorous research is needed to endorse generalizability. In addition, little is known about the perspectives of autistic individuals participating in social skills group training.…

  9. Rethinking Theory of Mind in High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheeren, Anke M.; de Rosnay, Marc; Koot, Hans M.; Begeer, Sander

    2013-01-01

    Background: The sociocommunicative problems in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are traditionally linked to impairments in Theory of Mind (ToM), the ability to ascribe mental states to others. Although ToM impairments are consistently reported in young children with ASD, findings on more advanced ToM understanding in older individuals with…

  10. Cognitive Control and Conflict Adaptation in Youth with High-Functioning Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Michael J.; South, Mikle; Clayson, Peter E.; Clawson, Ann

    2012-01-01

    Background: Youth diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often show deficits in cognitive control processes, potentially contributing to characteristic difficulties monitoring and regulating behavior. Modification of performance following conflict can be measured by examining conflict adaptation, the adjustment of cognitive resources based…

  11. Brief Report: Empathic Responsiveness of High Functioning Children with Autism to Expressed and Anticipated Distress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newbigin, Amanda; Uljarevic, Mirko; Vivanti, Giacomo; Dissanayake, Cheryl

    2016-01-01

    The majority of studies that have investigated empathic responsiveness of individuals with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have used heterogeneous groups in terms of age, cognitive level and gender which significantly impact the results. Our aim in this study was to explore responsiveness of a more homogenous sample of 21 children with ASD and 17…

  12. MMPI-2 Personality Profiles of High-Functioning Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozonoff, Sally; Garcia, Nicanor; Clark, Elaine; Lainhart, Janet E.

    2005-01-01

    The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-Second Edition was administered to 20 adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) who fell in the average to above average range of intelligence and 24 age-, intelligence-, and gender-matched college students. Large group differences, with the ASD group scoring higher, were found on the L validity…

  13. A neurobehavioral examination of individuals with high-functioning autism and Asperger's disorder using a fronto-striatal model of dysfunction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinehart, Nicole J; Bradshaw, John L; Tonge, Bruce J; Brereton, Avril V; Bellgrove, Mark A

    2002-06-01

    The repetitive, stereotyped, and obsessive behaviors that characterize autism may in part be attributable to disruption of the region of the fronto-striatal system, which mediates executive abilities. Neuropsychological testing has shown that children with autism exhibit set-shifting deficiencies on tests such as the Wisconsin Card Sorting task but show normal inhibitory ability on variants of the Stroop color-word test. According to Minshew and Goldstein's multiple primary deficit theory, the complexity of the executive functioning task is important in determining the performance of individuals with autism. This study employed a visual-spatial task (with a Stroop-type component) to examine the integrity of executive functioning, in particular inhibition, in autism (n = 12) and Asperger's disorder (n = 12) under increasing levels of cognitive complexity. Whereas the Asperger's disorder group performed similarly to age- and IQ-matched control participants, even at the higher levels of cognitive complexity, the high-functioning autism group displayed inhibitory deficits specifically associated with increasing cognitive load.

  14. A social competence intervention for young children with high functioning autism and Asperger syndrome: a pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minne, Elizabeth Portman; Semrud-Clikeman, Margaret

    2012-11-01

    The key features of Asperger Syndrome (AS) and high functioning autism (HFA) include marked and sustained impairment in social interactions. A multi-session, small group program was developed to increase social perception based on the assumption perceptual or interpretive problems underlying these social difficulties. Additionally, the group format espoused a play therapy orientation and the use of sociodramatic play was the primary therapeutic modality used. Qualitative analyses of the data resulted in an explanation of the key changes in social interactions that took place through the course of the intervention. Although each participant's experience in this group was unique, all children in this program demonstrated improvements in their social interactions, as they experienced development both emotionally and behaviorally. Findings suggest that, despite their rigid interests and behavior patterns, the social limitations of these children improved when provided with the necessary environmental resources.

  15. Top-Down and Bottom-Up Visual Information Processing of Non-Social Stimuli in High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maekawa, Toshihiko; Tobimatsu, Shozo; Inada, Naoko; Oribe, Naoya; Onitsuka, Toshiaki; Kanba, Shigenobu; Kamio, Yoko

    2011-01-01

    Individuals with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (HF-ASD) often show superior performance in simple visual tasks, despite difficulties in the perception of socially important information such as facial expression. The neural basis of visual perception abnormalities associated with HF-ASD is currently unclear. We sought to elucidate the…

  16. Local Information Processing in Adults with High Functioning Autism and Asperger Syndrome: The Usefulness of Neuropsychological Tests and Self-Reports

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spek, Annelies A.; Scholte, Evert M.; Van Berckelaer-Onnes, Ina A.

    2011-01-01

    Local information processing in 42 adults with high functioning autism, 41 adults with Asperger syndrome and 41 neurotypical adults was examined. Contrary to our expectations, the disorder groups did not outperform the neurotypical group in the neuropsychological measures of local information processing. In line with our hypotheses, the…

  17. A Meta-Analysis of Differences in IQ Profiles between Individuals with Asperger's Disorder and High-Functioning Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiang, Hsu-Min; Tsai, Luke Y.; Cheung, Ying Kuen; Brown, Alice; Li, Huacheng

    2014-01-01

    A meta-analysis was performed to examine differences in IQ profiles between individuals with Asperger's disorder (AspD) and high-functioning autism (HFA). Fifty-two studies were included for this study. The results showed that (a) individuals with AspD had significantly higher full-scale IQ, verbal IQ (VIQ), and performance IQ (PIQ) than did…

  18. Research Paper: Effectiveness of Group Play Therapy on the Communication of 5-8 Years Old Children With High Functioning Autism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fateme Rafati

    2016-11-01

    Conclusion It is concluded that the group play therapy can help the children to understand and communicate well. This therapy can be used as a complementary training and therapeutic method for children with high functioning autism to help improve their communication deficiencies.

  19. Sexual Well-Being of a Community Sample of High-Functioning Adults on the Autism Spectrum Who Have Been in a Romantic Relationship

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byers, E. Sandra; Nichols, Shana; Voyer, Susan D.; Reilly, Georgianna

    2013-01-01

    This study explored factors (gender, age, relationship status, symptomatology) associated with the sexual well-being of 141 (56 men and 85 women) adults with high-functioning autism and Asperger syndrome (HFA/AS) living in the community. Participants completed an online survey consisting of a measure of autistic symptoms as well as measures of…

  20. Examining the Screen for Child Anxiety-Related Emotional Disorder-71 as an Assessment Tool for Anxiety in Children with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Steensel, Francisca J. A.; Deutschman, Amber A. C. G.; Bögels, Susan M.

    2013-01-01

    The psychometric properties of a questionnaire developed to assess symptoms of anxiety disorders (SCARED-71) were compared between two groups of children: children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder and comorbid anxiety disorders (ASD-group; "n" = 115), and children with anxiety disorders (AD-group; "n" = 122).…

  1. The Influences of Face Inversion and Facial Expression on Sensitivity to Eye Contact in High-Functioning Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vida, Mark D.; Maurer, Daphne; Calder, Andrew J.; Rhodes, Gillian; Walsh, Jennifer A.; Pachai, Matthew V.; Rutherford, M. D.

    2013-01-01

    We examined the influences of face inversion and facial expression on sensitivity to eye contact in high-functioning adults with and without an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Participants judged the direction of gaze of angry, fearful, and neutral faces. In the typical group only, the range of directions of gaze leading to the perception of eye…

  2. Virtual Reality Based Collaborative Design by Children with High-Functioning Autism: Design-Based Flexibility, Identity, and Norm Construction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ke, Fengfeng; Lee, Sungwoong

    2016-01-01

    This exploratory case study examined the process and potential impact of collaborative architectural design and construction in an OpenSimulator-based virtual reality (VR) on the social skills development of children with high-functioning autism (HFA). Two children with a formal medical diagnosis of HFA and one typically developing peer, aged…

  3. Acoustic and Perceptual Measurement of Expressive Prosody in High-Functioning Autism: Increased Pitch Range and What it Means to Listeners

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    Nadig, Aparna; Shaw, Holly

    2012-01-01

    Are there consistent markers of atypical prosody in speakers with high functioning autism (HFA) compared to typically-developing speakers? We examined: (1) acoustic measurements of pitch range, mean pitch and speech rate in conversation, (2) perceptual ratings of conversation for these features and overall prosody, and (3) acoustic measurements of…

  4. Does Gender Matter? A One Year Follow-Up of Autistic, Attention and Anxiety Symptoms in High-Functioning Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    May, Tamara; Cornish, Kim; Rinehart, Nicole

    2014-01-01

    Gender differences in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms and associated problem behaviours over development may provide clues regarding why more males than females are diagnosed with ASD. Fifty-six high-functioning children with ASD, and 44 typically developing controls, half of the participants female, were assessed at baseline (aged…

  5. Young People with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's Syndrome Planning for and Anticipating the Move to College: What Supports a Positive Transition?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Wendy; Beresford, Bryony

    2014-01-01

    For many young people in England, the move into continuing education involves a transfer from the school where they were educated to a further education college. For those with high-functioning autism or Asperger's syndrome, this can be a challenging process. Past research has demonstrated some of the problems that these young people can…

  6. LEGO[R] Therapy and the Social Use of Language Programme: An Evaluation of Two Social Skills Interventions for Children with High Functioning Autism and Asperger Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owens, Gina; Granader, Yael; Humphrey, Ayla; Baron-Cohen, Simon

    2008-01-01

    LEGO[R] therapy and the Social Use of Language Programme (SULP) were evaluated as social skills interventions for 6-11 year olds with high functioning autism and Asperger Syndrome. Children were matched on CA, IQ, and autistic symptoms before being randomly assigned to LEGO or SULP. Therapy occurred for 1 h/week over 18 weeks. A no-intervention…

  7. The Use of Peer-Mediated Interventions to Promote the Generalization of Social Competence for Adolescents with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Carla; Stichter, Janine P.

    2012-01-01

    Impairments in social competence are core deficits for individuals with high-functioning autism and Asperger's Syndrome (HFA/AS). As the incidence rate for these disorders continues to increase so does the urgency to identify evidence-based interventions that can remediate core deficits in order to provide these individuals with independence as…

  8. A Phenomenological Inquiry into the Perceptions of Software Professionals on the Asperger's Syndrome/High Functioning Autism Spectrum and the Success of Software Development Projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kendall, Leslie R.

    2013-01-01

    Individuals who have Asperger's Syndrome/High-Functioning Autism, as a group, are chronically underemployed and underutilized. Many in this group have abilities that are well suited for various roles within the practice of software development. Multiple studies have shown that certain organizational and management changes in the software…

  9. A Comparative Study of the Use and Understanding of Self-Presentational Display Rules in Children with High Functioning Autism and Asperger's Disorder

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    Barbaro, Josephine; Dissanayake, Cheryl

    2007-01-01

    The use and understanding of self-presentational display rules (SPDRs) was investigated in 21 children with high-functioning autism (FHA), 18 children with Asperger's disorder (AspD) and 20 typically developing (TD) children (all male, aged 4- to 11-years, matched on mental age). Their behaviour was coded during a deception scenario to assess use…

  10. The Secret Agent Society Social-Emotional Skills Program for Children with a High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Parent-Directed Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sofronoff, Kate; Silva, Jenni; Beaumont, Renae

    2017-01-01

    This study evaluated a parent-delivered social and emotional skills intervention--the Secret Agent Society (SAS) for children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders (HF-ASD). The study was a pre-post follow-up design with an 8-week baseline period and 6-week follow-up period. Participants were 38 parents and 41 children recruited from…

  11. The Secret Agent Society Social Skills Program for Children with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Comparison of Two School Variants

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    Beaumont, Renae; Rotolone, Cassie; Sofronoff, Kate

    2015-01-01

    School is often considered an ideal setting for child social skills training due to the opportunities it provides for skills teaching, modeling, and practice. The current study evaluated the effectiveness of two variants of the Secret Agent Society social skills program for children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders (HFASD) in a…

  12. The Perspective of Young Adult Siblings of Individuals with Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism: An Exploration of Grief and Implications for Developmental Transition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allgood, Nicole R.

    2010-01-01

    Asperger syndrome (AS) and high functioning autism are complex developmental disabilities that have a significant impact on the individual and his/her family. Asperger syndrome is characterized by challenges with understanding non-verbal communication, difficulties with social relationships, and restricted interests. Having a brother or sister…

  13. Combining Readers Theater, Story Mapping and Video Self-Modeling Interventions to Improve Narrative Reading Comprehension in Children with High-Functioning Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schatz, Rochelle B.

    2017-01-01

    Individuals with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder (HFA) demonstrate atypical development resulting in significant deficits in the areas of perspective-taking and observational learning. These deficits lead to challenges in social interactions and academic performance. In particular, children with HFA tend to struggle with comprehending…

  14. Facing Your Fears in Adolescence: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders and Anxiety

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judy Reaven

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Adolescents with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders (ASDs are at high risk for developing psychiatric symptoms, with anxiety disorders among the most commonly cooccurring. Cognitive behavior therapies (CBTs are considered the best practice for treating anxiety in the general population. Modified CBT approaches for youth with high-functioning ASD and anxiety have resulted in significant reductions in anxiety following intervention. The purpose of the present study was to develop an intervention for treating anxiety in adolescents with ASD based on a CBT program designed for school-aged children. The Facing Your Fears-Adolescent Version (FYF-A program was developed; feasibility and acceptability data were obtained, along with initial efficacy of the intervention. Twenty-four adolescents, aged 13–18, completed the FYF-A intervention. Results indicated significant reductions in anxiety severity and interference posttreatment, with low rates of anxiety maintained at 3-month follow-up. In addition, nearly 46% of teen participants met criteria for a positive treatment response on primary diagnosis following the intervention. Initial findings from the current study are encouraging and suggest that modified group CBT for adolescents with high-functioning ASD may be effective in reducing anxiety symptoms. Limitations include small sample size and lack of control group. Future directions are discussed.

  15. Metacognition, Metamemory, and Mindreading in High-Functioning Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    OpenAIRE

    Grainger, Catherine; Williams, David M.; Lind, Sophie E.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives: Metacognition refers to cognition about cognition, and encompasses both knowledge of cognitive processes and the ability to monitor and control one’s own cognitions. The current study aimed to establish whether metacognition is impaired in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). According to some theories, the ability to represent one’s own mental states (an aspect of metacognition) relies on the same mechanism as the ability to represent others’ mental states (“mindreading”). Given numer...

  16. LEGO therapy and the social use of language programme: an evaluation of two social skills interventions for children with high functioning autism and Asperger Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owens, Gina; Granader, Yael; Humphrey, Ayla; Baron-Cohen, Simon

    2008-11-01

    LEGO therapy and the Social Use of Language Programme (SULP) were evaluated as social skills interventions for 6-11 year olds with high functioning autism and Asperger Syndrome. Children were matched on CA, IQ, and autistic symptoms before being randomly assigned to LEGO or SULP. Therapy occurred for 1 h/week over 18 weeks. A no-intervention control group was also assessed. Results showed that the LEGO therapy group improved more than the other groups on autism-specific social interaction scores (Gilliam Autism Rating Scale). Maladaptive behaviour decreased significantly more in the LEGO and SULP groups compared to the control group. There was a non-significant trend for SULP and LEGO groups to improve more than the no-intervention group in communication and socialisation skills.

  17. Do Social Attribution Skills Improve with Age in Children with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bal, Elgiz; Yerys, Benjamin E.; Sokoloff, Jennifer L.; Celano, Mark J.; Kenworthy, Lauren; Giedd, Jay N.; Wallace, Gregory L.

    2013-01-01

    Age-related changes in social attribution skills were assessed using the "Triangles Playing Tricks" task in 7-17 year old high functioning children with ASDs (n = 41) and in typically developing (TD) children (n = 58) matched on age, IQ, and sex ratio. Children with ASDs gave responses that received lower intentionality and appropriateness ratings…

  18. Investigating Multitasking in High-Functioning Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders Using the Virtual Errands Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajendran, Gnanathusharan; Law, Anna S.; Logie, Robert H.; van der Meulen, Marian; Fraser, Diane; Corley, Martin

    2011-01-01

    Using a modified version of the Virtual Errands Task (VET; McGeorge et al. in "Presence-Teleop Virtual Environ" 10(4):375-383, 2001), we investigated the executive ability of multitasking in 18 high-functioning adolescents with ASD and 18 typically developing adolescents. The VET requires multitasking (Law et al. in "Acta Psychol" 122(1):27-44,…

  19. Evaluation of the Revised Algorithm of Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) in the Diagnostic Investigation of High-Functioning Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamp-Becker, Inge; Ghahreman, Mardjan; Heinzel-Gutenbrunner, Monika; Peters, Mira; Remschmidt, Helmut; Becker, Katja

    2013-01-01

    The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) is a semi-structured, standardized assessment designed for use in diagnostic evaluation of individuals with suspected autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The ADOS has been effective in categorizing children who definitely have autism or not, but has lower specificity and sometimes sensitivity for…

  20. Emotional prosody perception and its association with pragmatic language in school-aged children with high-function autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jia-En; Tsao, Feng-Ming

    2015-02-01

    Emotional prosody perception is essential for social communication, but it is still an open issue whether children with high-function autism (HFA) exhibit any prosodic perception deficits or experience selective impairments in recognizing the prosody of positive emotions. Moreover, the associations between prosody perception, pragmatic language, and social adaptation in children with HFA have not been fully explored. This study investigated whether emotional prosody perception for words and sentences in children with HFA (n=25, 6-11 years of age) differed from age-matched, typically developing children (TD, n=25) when presented with an emotional prosody identification task. The Children's Communication Checklist and Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale were used to assess pragmatic and social adaption abilities. Results show that children with HFA performed poorer than TD children in identifying happy prosody in both emotionally neutral and relevant utterances. In contrast, children with HFA did not exhibit any deficits in identifying sad and angry prosody. Results of correlation analyses revealed a positive association between happy prosody identification and pragmatic function. The findings indicate that school-aged children with HFA experience difficulties in recognizing happy prosody, and that this limitation in prosody perception is associated with their pragmatic and social adaption performances. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. High prevalence of bipolar disorder comorbidity in adolescents and young adults with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder: a preliminary study of 44 outpatients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munesue, T; Ono, Y; Mutoh, K; Shimoda, K; Nakatani, H; Kikuchi, M

    2008-12-01

    Psychiatric comorbidity of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has not been well examined. Mood disorders in 44 consecutive outpatients with high-functioning ASD were examined at a university hospital according to DSM-IV. Inclusion criteria were an IQ of 70 or higher on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale and age of 12 years or over. Sixteen patients (36.4%) were diagnosed with mood disorder. Of these 16 patients, four were diagnosed as having major depressive disorder, two patients as bipolar I disorder, six patients as bipolar II disorder, and four patients as bipolar disorder not otherwise specified. Bipolar disorder accounted for 75% of cases. Twelve patients had Asperger disorder and four patients had pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified. None of the patients had autistic disorder. The sample size was small. We could not use Autism Diagnostic Interview - Revised. Referral bias could not be avoided in this study. The major comorbid mood disorder in patients with high-functioning ASD is bipolar disorder and not major depressive disorder. The autistic spectrum may share common vulnerability genes with the bipolar spectrum.

  2. Social Competence with an Unfamiliar Peer in Children and Adolescents with High Functioning Autism: Measurement and Individual Differences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usher, Lauren V.; Burrows, Catherine A.; Schwartz, Caley B.; Henderson, Heather A.

    2015-01-01

    Children and adolescents with high functioning autism (HFA) display heterogeneity in social competence, which may be particularly evident during interactions with unfamiliar peers. The goal of this study was to examine predictors of social competence variability during an unfamiliar peer interaction. Thirty-nine participants with HFA and 39 age-, gender- and IQ-matched comparison participants were observed during dyadic laboratory interactions and detailed behavioral coding revealed three social competence dimensions: social initiative, social reciprocity, and social self-monitoring. Participants with HFA displayed higher social initiative but lower reciprocity than comparison participants. For participants with HFA, theory of mind was positively associated with observed initiative. For COM participants, social anxiety was negatively associated with reciprocity. However, for HFA participants, there was a quadratic relation between parent-reported social anxiety and observed reciprocity, demonstrating that low and high levels of anxiety were associated with low reciprocity. Results demonstrated the utility of our behavioral coding scheme as a valid assessment of social competence for children and adolescents with and without HFA. The curvilinear association between social anxiety and reciprocity highlights the importance of examining nonlinear relations in individuals with HFA, and emphasizes that discrete profiles of social anxiety in individuals with HFA may necessitate different treatment options. PMID:26161136

  3. Deficits in motor abilities and developmental fractionation of imitation performance in high-functioning autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biscaldi, Monica; Rauh, Reinhold; Irion, Lisa; Jung, Nikolai H; Mall, Volker; Fleischhaker, Christian; Klein, Christoph

    2014-07-01

    The co-occurrence of motor and imitation disabilities often characterises the spectrum of deficits seen in patients with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Whether these seemingly separate deficits are inter-related and whether, in particular, motor deficits contribute to the expression of imitation deficits is the topic of the present study and was investigated by comparing these deficits' cross-sectional developmental trajectories. To that end, different components of motor performance assessed in the Zurich Neuromotor Assessment and imitation abilities for facial movements and non-meaningful gestures were tested in 70 subjects (aged 6-29 years), including 36 patients with high-functioning ASD and 34 age-matched typically developed (TD) participants. The results show robust deficits in probands with ASD in timed motor performance and in the quality of movement, which are all independent of age, with one exception. Only diadochokinesis improves moderately with increasing age in ASD probands. Imitation of facial movements and of non-meaningful hand, finger, hand finger gestures not related to social context or tool use is also impaired in ASD subjects, but in contrast to motor performance this deficit overall improves with age. A general imitation factor, extracted from the highly inter-correlated imitation tests, is differentially correlated with components of neuromotor performance in ASD and TD participants. By developmentally fractionating developmentally stable motor deficits from developmentally dynamic imitation deficits, we infer that imitation deficits are primarily cognitive in nature.

  4. Do Social Attribution Skills Improve with Age in Children with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bal, Elgiz; Yerys, Benjamin E; Sokoloff, Jennifer L; Celano, Mark J; Kenworthy, Lauren; Giedd, Jay N; Wallace, Gregory L

    2013-01-01

    Age-related changes in social attribution skills were assessed using the "Triangles Playing Tricks" task in 7-17 year old high functioning children with ASDs (n=41) and in typically developing (TD) children (n=58) matched on age, IQ, and sex ratio. Children with ASDs gave responses that received lower intentionality and appropriateness ratings than did TD children in both the goal-directed and theory of mind (ToM) conditions. Results remained unchanged when the effects of verbal output (i.e., number of clause produced) and verbal IQ were included as covariates in the analyses. Whereas age was highly associated with ToM performance in the TD children, this relationship was not as strong among children with ASDs. These results indicate not only a diminished tendency among high functioning children with ASDs to attribute social meaning and intentionality to ambiguous visual displays of interactive forms but also an aberrant developmental trajectory. That is, children with ASDs may fall further behind their typically developing peers in social attribution abilities as they get older.

  5. The Contribution of Executive Functions to Participation in School Activities of Children with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zingerevich, Chaya; Patricia D., LaVesser

    2009-01-01

    This study describes the contribution of executive functions to participation in school activities of children diagnosed with ASD ages 6-9 years while controlling for sensory processing. Twenty-four children, ages 73-112 months (S.D. = 11.4), diagnosed with high functioning ASD were assessed with the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. Their teachers…

  6. Assessment of suicidality in children and adolescents with diagnosis of high functioning autism spectrum disorder in a Turkish clinical sample

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karakoç Demirkaya S

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Sevcan Karakoç Demirkaya,1 Mustafa Deniz Tutkunkardaş,2 Nahit Motavalli Mukaddes3 1Department of Child Psychiatry, Adnan Menderes University School of Medicine, Aydin, 2Department of Child Psychiatry, Istanbul School of Medicine, Istanbul University, Istanbul, 3Istanbul Institute of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Istanbul, Turkey Objectives: Considering that suicide is one of the most common reasons of adolescent death worldwide, there is a lack of clinical awareness on suicidal behaviors of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD. The present study aims to assess the rate of suicidality (suicidal ideation, behaviors and attempts and associated risk factors for suicidality in high functioning ASD.Methods: Medical records of 55 adolescents (six girls, 49 boys, aged between 7–20 years, with diagnosis of ASD were reviewed. The participants were all able to speak fluently and had no significant limitations in intellectual functioning. Clinical assessment of participants was carried out on the basis of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th Edition, Text Revision criteria and Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children-Present and Lifetime Version. Eskin’s Suicide Screening Questionnaire and sociodemographic data form including detailed history of suicidal behaviors were used. The study group was also divided into suicidal and non-suicidal groups for the purpose of comparing the results.Results: The rate of suicidal behaviors was 29% and suicide attempt was 12.7%. Types of suicidality were behaviors (43.7%, thoughts (37.5%, and verbal declarations (18.7%. A number of bizarre acts were recorded. Rates of comorbid psychiatric disorders such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders and disruptive behaviors were 23.6%, 43.6% and 65.4% respectively. Groups with the psychotic features, positive family history for suicidal behaviors and completed suicide showed more suicidality than

  7. Memory for past events: movement and action chains in high-functioning autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daprati, Elena; Nico, Daniele; Delorme, Richard; Leboyer, Marion; Zalla, Tiziana

    2013-05-01

    In the present study, we assessed whether individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) show memory impairments for previously performed actions, as previously suggested for people suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) (Ecker and Engelkamp in Behav Cogn Psychother 23:349-371, 1995; Merckelbach and Wessel in J Nerv Ment Dis 188(12):846-848, 2000). To test this possibility, we explored verbal memory for actions in individuals with a diagnosis of ASD, with and without co-morbidity for OCD, and in controls matched for age and gender. Participants observed or observed and enacted a number of actions while listening to the corresponding phrases being spoken. After a suitable delay, they were submitted to an old/new recognition task. Results showed that ASD individuals with OCD were less accurate and slower in responding compared to ASD individuals without OCD and controls, particularly when dealing with phrases describing simple movements. In contrast, ASD participants without OCD were more impaired when phrases described complex actions that involved pantomiming object use or coordinating movements of multiple body parts. These findings are discussed in terms of differential organization of the motor trace for simple versus complex actions in ASD individuals according to the concurrent presence of OCD.

  8. Disrupted Cerebro-cerebellar Intrinsic Functional Connectivity in Young Adults with High-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Data-driven, Whole-brain, High Temporal Resolution fMRI Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnold Anteraper, Sheeba; Guell, Xavier; D'Mello, Anila; Joshi, Neha; Whitfield-Gabrieli, Susan; Joshi, Gagan

    2018-06-13

    To examine the resting-state functional-connectivity (RsFc) in young adults with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (HF-ASD) using state-of-the-art fMRI data acquisition and analysis techniques. Simultaneous multi-slice, high temporal resolution fMRI acquisition; unbiased whole-brain connectome-wide multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA) techniques for assessing RsFc; and post-hoc whole-brain seed-to-voxel analyses using MVPA results as seeds. MVPA revealed two clusters of abnormal connectivity in the cerebellum. Whole-brain seed-based functional connectivity analyses informed by MVPA-derived clusters showed significant under connectivity between the cerebellum and social, emotional, and language brain regions in the HF-ASD group compared to healthy controls. The results we report are coherent with existing structural, functional, and RsFc literature in autism, extend previous literature reporting cerebellar abnormalities in the neuropathology of autism, and highlight the cerebellum as a potential target for therapeutic, diagnostic, predictive, and prognostic developments in ASD. The description of functional connectivity abnormalities using whole-brain, data-driven analyses as reported in the present study may crucially advance the development of ASD biomarkers, targets for therapeutic interventions, and neural predictors for measuring treatment response.

  9. A pilot study for robot appearance preferences among high-functioning individuals with autism spectrum disorder: Implications for therapeutic use.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hirokazu Kumazaki

    Full Text Available Recent rapid technological advances have enabled robots to fulfill a variety of human-like functions, leading researchers to propose the use of such technology for the development and subsequent validation of interventions for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD. Although a variety of robots have been proposed as possible therapeutic tools, the physical appearances of humanoid robots currently used in therapy with these patients are highly varied. Very little is known about how these varied designs are experienced by individuals with ASD. In this study, we systematically evaluated preferences regarding robot appearance in a group of 16 individuals with ASD (ages 10-17. Our data suggest that there may be important differences in preference for different types of robots that vary according to interaction type for individuals with ASD. Specifically, within our pilot sample, children with higher-levels of reported ASD symptomatology reported a preference for specific humanoid robots to those perceived as more mechanical or mascot-like. The findings of this pilot study suggest that preferences and reactions to robotic interactions may vary tremendously across individuals with ASD. Future work should evaluate how such differences may be systematically measured and potentially harnessed to facilitate meaningful interactive and intervention paradigms.

  10. The use of virtual characters to assess and train non-verbal communication in high-functioning autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgescu, Alexandra Livia; Kuzmanovic, Bojana; Roth, Daniel; Bente, Gary; Vogeley, Kai

    2014-01-01

    High-functioning autism (HFA) is a neurodevelopmental disorder, which is characterized by life-long socio-communicative impairments on the one hand and preserved verbal and general learning and memory abilities on the other. One of the areas where particular difficulties are observable is the understanding of non-verbal communication cues. Thus, investigating the underlying psychological processes and neural mechanisms of non-verbal communication in HFA allows a better understanding of this disorder, and potentially enables the development of more efficient forms of psychotherapy and trainings. However, the research on non-verbal information processing in HFA faces several methodological challenges. The use of virtual characters (VCs) helps to overcome such challenges by enabling an ecologically valid experience of social presence, and by providing an experimental platform that can be systematically and fully controlled. To make this field of research accessible to a broader audience, we elaborate in the first part of the review the validity of using VCs in non-verbal behavior research on HFA, and we review current relevant paradigms and findings from social-cognitive neuroscience. In the second part, we argue for the use of VCs as either agents or avatars in the context of "transformed social interactions." This allows for the implementation of real-time social interaction in virtual experimental settings, which represents a more sensitive measure of socio-communicative impairments in HFA. Finally, we argue that VCs and environments are a valuable assistive, educational and therapeutic tool for HFA.

  11. Independence of Hot and Cold Executive Function Deficits in High-Functioning Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmerman, David L; Ownsworth, Tamara; O'Donovan, Analise; Roberts, Jacqueline; Gullo, Matthew J

    2016-01-01

    Individuals with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) display diverse deficits in social, cognitive and behavioral functioning. To date, there has been mixed findings on the profile of executive function deficits for high-functioning adults (IQ > 70) with ASD. A conceptual distinction is commonly made between "cold" and "hot" executive functions. Cold executive functions refer to mechanistic higher-order cognitive operations (e.g., working memory), whereas hot executive functions entail cognitive abilities supported by emotional awareness and social perception (e.g., social cognition). This study aimed to determine the independence of deficits in hot and cold executive functions for high-functioning adults with ASD. Forty-two adults with ASD (64% male, aged 18-66 years) and 40 age and gender matched controls were administered The Awareness of Social Inference Test (TASIT; emotion recognition and social inference), Letter Number Sequencing (working memory) and Hayling Sentence Completion Test (response initiation and suppression). Between-group analyses identified that the ASD group performed significantly worse than matched controls on all measures of cold and hot executive functions (d = 0.54 - 1.5). Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that the ASD sample performed more poorly on emotion recognition and social inference tasks than matched controls after controlling for cold executive functions and employment status. The findings also indicated that the ability to recognize emotions and make social inferences was supported by working memory and response initiation and suppression processes. Overall, this study supports the distinction between hot and cold executive function impairments for adults with ASD. Moreover, it advances understanding of higher-order impairments underlying social interaction difficulties for this population which, in turn, may assist with diagnosis and inform intervention programs.

  12. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety in Children With High-Functioning Autism: A Meta-analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloch, Michael H.; Panza, Kaitlyn E.; Reichow, Brian

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND Anxiety is a common and impairing problem in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). There is emerging evidence that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) could reduce anxiety in children with high-functioning ASD. OBJECTIVE: To systematically review the evidence of using CBT to treat anxiety in children and adolescents with ASD. Methods for this review were registered with PROSPERO (CRD42012002722). METHODS: We included randomized controlled trials published in English in peer-reviewed journals comparing CBT with another treatment, no treatment control, or waitlist control. Two authors independently screened 396 records obtained from database searches and hand searched relevant journals. Two authors independently extracted and reconciled all data used in analyses from study reports. RESULTS: Eight studies involving 469 participants (252 treatment, 217 comparison) met our inclusion criteria and were included in meta-analyses. Overall effect sizes for clinician- and parent-rated outcome measures of anxiety across all studies were d = 1.19 and d = 1.21, respectively. Five studies that included child self-report yielded an average d = 0.68 across self-reported anxiety. CONCLUSIONS: Parent ratings and clinician ratings of anxiety are sensitive to detecting treatment change with CBT for anxiety relative to waitlist and treatment-as-usual control conditions in children with high-functioning ASD. Clinical studies are needed to evaluate CBT for anxiety against attention control conditions in samples of children with ASD that are well characterized with regard to ASD diagnosis and co-occurring anxiety symptoms. PMID:24167175

  13. Brief Report: Effects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy on Parent-Reported Autism Symptoms in School-Age Children with High-Functioning Autism

    OpenAIRE

    Wood, Jeffrey J.; Drahota, Amy; Sze, Karen; Dyke, Marilyn; Decker, Kelly; Fujii, Cori; Bahng, Christie; Renno, Patricia; Hwang, Wei-Chin; Spiker, Michael

    2009-01-01

    This pilot study tested the effect of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) on parent-reported autism symptoms. Nineteen children with autism spectrum disorders and an anxiety disorder (7?11?years old) were randomly assigned to 16 sessions of CBT or a waitlist condition. The CBT program emphasized in vivo exposure supported by parent training and school consultation to promote social communication and emotion regulation skills. Parents completed a standardized autism symptom checklist at baselin...

  14. TEACCH-based group social skills training for children with high-functioning autism: a pilot randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ichikawa, Kayoko; Takahashi, Yoshimitsu; Ando, Masahiko; Anme, Tokie; Ishizaki, Tatsuro; Yamaguchi, Hinako; Nakayama, Takeo

    2013-10-01

    Although social skills training programs for people with high-functioning autism (HFA) are widely practiced, the standardization of curricula, the examination of clinical effectiveness, and the evaluation of the feasibility of future trials have yet to be done in Asian countries. To compensate for this problem, a Japanese pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) of the Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children (TEACCH)-based group social skills training for children with HFA and their mothers was conducted. Eleven children with HFA, aged 5-6 years, and their mothers were randomly assigned to the TEACCH program (n=5) or a waiting-list control group (n=6). The program involved comprehensive group intervention and featured weekly 2-hour sessions, totaling 20 sessions over six months. The adaptive behaviors and social reciprocity of the children, parenting stress, and parent-child interactions were assessed using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), Parenting Stress Index (PSI), Beck depression inventory-II (BDI-II), and Interaction Rating Scale (IRS). Through this pilot trial, the intervention and evaluation of the program has been shaped. There were no dropouts from the program and the mothers' satisfaction was high. The outcome measurements improved more in the program group than in the control group, with moderate effect sizes (SDQ, 0.71; PSI, 0.58; BDI-II, 0.40; and IRS, 0.69). This pilot trial also implied that this program is more beneficial for high IQ children and mothers with low stress than for those who are not. We have standardized the TEACCH program, confirmed the feasibility of a future trial, and successfully estimated the positive effect size. These findings will contribute to a larger trial in the future and to forthcoming systematic reviews with meta-analyses. UMIN000004560.

  15. Brief Report: Effects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy on Parent-Reported Autism Symptoms in School-Age Children with High-Functioning Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Jeffrey J.; Drahota, Amy; Sze, Karen; Van Dyke, Marilyn; Decker, Kelly; Fujii, Cori; Bahng, Christie; Renno, Patricia; Hwang, Wei-Chin; Spiker, Michael

    2009-01-01

    This pilot study tested the effect of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) on parent-reported autism symptoms. Nineteen children with autism spectrum disorders and an anxiety disorder (7-11 years old) were randomly assigned to 16 sessions of CBT or a waitlist condition. The CBT program emphasized in vivo exposure supported by parent training and…

  16. X marks the spot : structural and functional brain mapping in a genetically defined group at high risk of autism symptoms (47,XXY), and a comparison with idiopathic autism spectrum disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Goddard, Marcia Naomi

    2015-01-01

    Klinefelter syndrome (47,XXY) is associated with a wide range of behavioral problems, including autism symptomatology. In the current thesis, brain structure and function were assesed in boys with 47,XXY, boys with idiopathic autism spectrum disorder, and non-clinical controls, using multiple

  17. Emerging Executive Functioning and Motor Development in Infants at High and Low Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    St John, Tanya; Estes, Annette M; Dager, Stephen R; Kostopoulos, Penelope; Wolff, Jason J; Pandey, Juhi; Elison, Jed T; Paterson, Sarah J; Schultz, Robert T; Botteron, Kelly; Hazlett, Heather; Piven, Joseph

    2016-01-01

    Existing evidence suggests executive functioning (EF) deficits may be present in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by 3 years of age. It is less clear when, prior to 3 years, EF deficits may emerge and how EF unfold over time. The contribution of motor skill difficulties to poorer EF in children with ASD has not been systematically studied. We investigated the developmental trajectory of EF in infants at high and low familial risk for ASD (HR and LR) and the potential associations between motor skills, diagnostic group, and EF performance. Participants included 186 HR and 76 LR infants. EF (A-not-B), motor skills (Fine and Gross Motor), and cognitive ability were directly assessed at 12 months and 24 months of age. Participants were directly evaluated for ASD at 24 months using DSM-IV-TR criteria and categorized as HR-ASD, HR-Negative, and LR-Negative. HR-ASD and HR-Negative siblings demonstrated less improvement in EF over time compared to the LR-Negative group. Motor skills were associated with group and EF performance at 12 months. No group differences were found at 12 months, but at 24 months, the HR-ASD and HR-Negative groups performed worse than the LR-Negative group overall after controlling for visual reception and maternal education. On reversal trials, the HR-ASD group performed worse than the LR-Negative group. Motor skills were associated with group and EF performance on reversal trials at 24 months. Findings suggest that HR siblings demonstrate altered EF development and that motor skills may play an important role in this process.

  18. Impaired induction of long-term potentiation-like plasticity in patients with high-functioning autism and Asperger syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Nikolai H; Janzarik, Wibke G; Delvendahl, Igor; Münchau, Alexander; Biscaldi, Monica; Mainberger, Florian; Bäumer, Tobias; Rauh, Reinhold; Mall, Volker

    2013-01-01

    We aimed to investigate the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP)-like plasticity by paired associative stimulation (PAS) in patients with high-functioning autism and Asperger syndrome (HFA/AS). PAS with an interstimulus interval between electrical and transcranial magnetic stimulation of 25 ms (PAS(25)) was performed in patients with HFA/AS (n=9; eight males, one female; mean age 17 y 11 mo, SD 4 y 5 mo) and in typically developing age-matched volunteers (n=9; five males, four females; mean age 22 y 4 mo, SD 5 y 2 mo). The amplitude of motor-evoked potentials was measured before PAS(25), immediately after stimulation, and 30 minutes and 60 minutes later. A PAS protocol adapted to individual N20 latency (PAS(N20+2)) was performed in six additional patients with HFA/AS. Short-interval intracortical inhibition was measured using paired-pulse stimulation. In contrast to the typically developing participants, the patients with HFA/AS did not show a significant increase in motor-evoked potentials after PAS(25). This finding could also be demonstrated after adaptation for N20 latency. Short-interval intracortical inhibition of patients with HFA/AS was normal compared with the comparison group and did not correlate with PAS effect. Our results show a significant impairment of LTP-like plasticity induced by PAS in individuals with HFA/AS compared with typically developing participants. This finding is in accordance with results from animal studies as well as human studies. Impaired LTP-like plasticity in patients with HFA/AS points towards reduced excitatory synaptic connectivity and deficits in sensory-motor integration in these patients. © The Authors. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology © 2012 Mac Keith Press.

  19. The Use of Virtual Characters to Assess and Train Non-Verbal Communication in High-Functioning Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgescu, Alexandra Livia; Kuzmanovic, Bojana; Roth, Daniel; Bente, Gary; Vogeley, Kai

    2014-01-01

    High-functioning autism (HFA) is a neurodevelopmental disorder, which is characterized by life-long socio-communicative impairments on the one hand and preserved verbal and general learning and memory abilities on the other. One of the areas where particular difficulties are observable is the understanding of non-verbal communication cues. Thus, investigating the underlying psychological processes and neural mechanisms of non-verbal communication in HFA allows a better understanding of this disorder, and potentially enables the development of more efficient forms of psychotherapy and trainings. However, the research on non-verbal information processing in HFA faces several methodological challenges. The use of virtual characters (VCs) helps to overcome such challenges by enabling an ecologically valid experience of social presence, and by providing an experimental platform that can be systematically and fully controlled. To make this field of research accessible to a broader audience, we elaborate in the first part of the review the validity of using VCs in non-verbal behavior research on HFA, and we review current relevant paradigms and findings from social-cognitive neuroscience. In the second part, we argue for the use of VCs as either agents or avatars in the context of “transformed social interactions.” This allows for the implementation of real-time social interaction in virtual experimental settings, which represents a more sensitive measure of socio-communicative impairments in HFA. Finally, we argue that VCs and environments are a valuable assistive, educational and therapeutic tool for HFA. PMID:25360098

  20. Emerging Executive Functioning and Motor Development in Infants at High and Low Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    St. John, Tanya; Estes, Annette M.; Dager, Stephen R.; Kostopoulos, Penelope; Wolff, Jason J.; Pandey, Juhi; Elison, Jed T.; Paterson, Sarah J.; Schultz, Robert T.; Botteron, Kelly; Hazlett, Heather; Piven, Joseph

    2016-01-01

    Existing evidence suggests executive functioning (EF) deficits may be present in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by 3 years of age. It is less clear when, prior to 3 years, EF deficits may emerge and how EF unfold over time. The contribution of motor skill difficulties to poorer EF in children with ASD has not been systematically studied. We investigated the developmental trajectory of EF in infants at high and low familial risk for ASD (HR and LR) and the potential associations between motor skills, diagnostic group, and EF performance. Participants included 186 HR and 76 LR infants. EF (A-not-B), motor skills (Fine and Gross Motor), and cognitive ability were directly assessed at 12 months and 24 months of age. Participants were directly evaluated for ASD at 24 months using DSM-IV-TR criteria and categorized as HR-ASD, HR-Negative, and LR-Negative. HR-ASD and HR-Negative siblings demonstrated less improvement in EF over time compared to the LR-Negative group. Motor skills were associated with group and EF performance at 12 months. No group differences were found at 12 months, but at 24 months, the HR-ASD and HR-Negative groups performed worse than the LR-Negative group overall after controlling for visual reception and maternal education. On reversal trials, the HR-ASD group performed worse than the LR-Negative group. Motor skills were associated with group and EF performance on reversal trials at 24 months. Findings suggest that HR siblings demonstrate altered EF development and that motor skills may play an important role in this process. PMID:27458411

  1. Language and pragmatic functions in school-age children on the autism spectrum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramberg, C; Ehlers, S; Nydén, A; Johansson, M; Gillberg, C

    1996-01-01

    This study examined group differences in language and pragmatic functions across sex-, age- and IQ-matched samples of Asperger syndrome (N = 22), high-functioning autism (N = 11), deficits in attention, motor control and perception (DAMP) (N = 11), and speech and language disorder (SLD) (N = 11) groups. The purpose was to explore possible differentiating features in the fields of vocabulary, comprehension and pragmatics and, in addition, to determine whether Asperger syndrome could be reliably separated from high-functioning autism on these variables. The findings suggest that Asperger syndrome may be associated with higher full-scale and verbal IQ than high-functioning autism; Asperger syndrome may not be associated with better pragmatic skills (as defined in this context) than high-functioning autism; language comprehension may not clearly separate Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism once the effects of very low IQ are partialled out; both DAMP and SLD can be distinctly separated from Asperger syndrome and autism.

  2. Neural mechanisms of behavioral change in young adults with high-functioning autism receiving virtual reality social cognition training: A pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Y J Daniel; Allen, Tandra; Abdullahi, Sebiha M; Pelphrey, Kevin A; Volkmar, Fred R; Chapman, Sandra B

    2018-05-01

    Measuring treatment efficacy in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) relies primarily on behaviors, with limited evidence as to the neural mechanisms underlying these behavioral gains. This pilot study addresses this void by investigating neural and behavioral changes in a Phase I trial in young adults with high-functioning ASD who received an evidence-based behavioral intervention, Virtual Reality-Social Cognition Training over 5 weeks for a total of 10 hr. The participants were tested pre- and post-training with a validated biological/social versus scrambled/nonsocial motion neuroimaging task, previously shown to activate regions within the social brain networks. Three significant brain-behavior changes were identified. First, the right posterior superior temporal sulcus, a hub for socio-cognitive processing, showed increased brain activation to social versus nonsocial stimuli in individuals with greater gains on a theory-of-mind measure. Second, the left inferior frontal gyrus, a region for socio-emotional processing, tracked individual gains in emotion recognition with decreased activation to social versus nonsocial stimuli. Finally, the left superior parietal lobule, a region for visual attention, showed significantly decreased activation to nonsocial versus social stimuli across all participants, where heightened attention to nonsocial contingencies has been considered a disabling aspect of ASD. This study provides, albeit preliminary, some of the first evidence of the harnessable neuroplasticity in adults with ASD through an age-appropriate intervention in brain regions tightly linked to social abilities. This pilot trial motivates future efforts to develop and test social interventions to improve behaviors and supporting brain networks in adults with ASD. Autism Res 2018, 11: 713-725. © 2018 The Authors Autism Research published by International Society for Autism Research and Wiley Periodicals, Inc. This study addresses how the behavioral

  3. Electrophysiological Signs of Supplementary-Motor-Area Deficits in High-Functioning Autism but Not Asperger Syndrome: An Examination of Internally Cued Movement-Related Potentials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enticott, Peter G.; Bradshaw, John L.; Iansek, Robert; Tonge, Bruce J.; Rinehart, Nicole J.

    2009-01-01

    Aims: Motor dysfunction is common to both autism and Asperger syndrome, but the underlying neurophysiological impairments are unclear. Neurophysiological examinations of motor dysfunction can provide information about likely sites of functional impairment and can contribute to the debate about whether autism and Asperger syndrome are variants of…

  4. Anxiety Symptoms in Young People with Autism Spectrum Disorder Attending Special Schools: Associations with Gender, Adaptive Functioning and Autism Symptomatology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magiati, Iliana; Ong, Clarissa; Lim, Xin Yi; Tan, Julianne Wen-Li; Ong, Amily Yi Lin; Patrycia, Ferninda; Fung, Daniel Shuen Sheng; Sung, Min; Poon, Kenneth K.; Howlin, Patricia

    2016-01-01

    Anxiety-related problems are among the most frequently reported mental health difficulties in autism spectrum disorder. As most research has focused on clinical samples or high-functioning children with autism spectrum disorder, less is known about the factors associated with anxiety in community samples across the ability range. This…

  5. Outcomes of an acceptance and commitment therapy-based skills training group for students with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder: a quasi-experimental pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pahnke, Johan; Lundgren, Tobias; Hursti, Timo; Hirvikoski, Tatja

    2014-11-01

    Autism spectrum disorder is characterized by social impairments and behavioural inflexibility. In this pilot study, the feasibility and outcomes of a 6-week acceptance and commitment therapy-based skills training group were evaluated in a special school setting using a quasi-experimental design (acceptance and commitment therapy/school classes as usual). A total of 28 high-functioning students with autism spectrum disorder (aged 13-21 years) were assessed using self- and teacher-ratings at pre- and post-assessment and 2-month follow-up. All participants completed the skills training, and treatment satisfaction was high. Levels of stress, hyperactivity and emotional distress were reduced in the treatment group. The acceptance and commitment therapy group also reported increased prosocial behaviour. These changes were stable or further improved at the 2-month follow-up. Larger studies are needed to further evaluate the benefits of acceptance and commitment therapy for autism spectrum disorder. © The Author(s) 2013.

  6. The effects of different combinations of perceptual-motor exercises, music, and vitamin D supplementation on the nerve growth factor in children with high-functioning autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moradi, Hadi; Sohrabi, Mehdi; Taheri, Hamidreza; Khodashenas, Ezzat; Movahedi, Ahmadreza

    2018-05-01

    The present study investigated the effects of different combinations of perceptual-motor exercises, music, and Vitamin D consumption on the nerve growth factor (NGF) in children with high-functioning autism. 48 children with autism, aged between six and nine years, were divided into four groups: Group A- perceptual-motor activities along with music (n = 12); Group B-Vitamin D supplementation (n = 12); Group C-perceptual-motor activities along with music and Vitamin D (n = 12); and Group D-control (n = 12). Participants' blood NGF level was measured before and after the intervention. The results showed a significant improvement in the NGF levels in Groups B and C due to the interventions. Also, in Group A, the NGF levels increased compared to Group D, although this increase was not significant. In addition, the intake of Vitamin D along with perceptual-motor exercises resulted in a significant increase in the levels of NGF compared to Groups A, B and D. These findings suggest that perceptual-motor exercises along with music as well as taking Vitamin D may provide two appropriate interventions for improving NGF in children with autism. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Symptom Profile of ADHD in Youth With High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Comparative Study in Psychiatrically Referred Populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joshi, Gagan; Faraone, Stephen V; Wozniak, Janet; Tarko, Laura; Fried, Ronna; Galdo, Maribel; Furtak, Stephannie L; Biederman, Joseph

    2017-08-01

    To compare the clinical presentation of ADHD between youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and ADHD and a sample of youth with ADHD only. A psychiatrically referred sample of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) youth with ADHD attending a specialized ambulatory program for ASD ( n = 107) and a sample of youth with ADHD attending a general child psychiatry ambulatory clinic ( n = 74) were compared. Seventy-six percent of youth with ASD met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; DSM-IV) criteria for ADHD. The clinical presentation of ADHD in youth with ASD was predominantly similar to its typical presentation including age at onset (3.5 ± 1.7 vs. 4.0 ± 1.9; p = .12), distribution of diagnostic subtypes, the qualitative and quantitative symptom profile, and symptom severity. Combined subtype was the most frequent presentation of ADHD in ASD youth. Despite the robust presentation of ADHD, a significant majority of ASD youth with ADHD failed to receive appropriate ADHD treatment (41% vs. 24%; p = .02). A high rate of comorbidity with ADHD was observed in psychiatrically referred youth with ASD, with a clinical presentation typical of the disorder.

  8. Socioeconomic Status and Intelligence Quotient as Predictors of Psychiatric Disorders in Children and Adolescents with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder and in Their Siblings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosa, Mireia; Puig, Olga; Lázaro, Luisa; Calvo, Rosa

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have shown high rates of comorbid disorders in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder, but failed to compare them with general population and few of them have identified predictors of comorbidity. This study compared the rates of psychiatric disorders in 50 children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder, 24…

  9. Social Cognition in Children with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Associations with Executive Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Miranda

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorder (ASD and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD are neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by social impairments. The first objective of this study was to analyze social cognition deficits of children with ADHD, high-functioning ASD (HFASD, and typical development (TD in their performance on explicit and applied measures of theory of mind (ToM. The second objective was to investigate the relationships between executive functions and social cognition in HFASD and ADHD. One hundred and twenty-six 7- to 11-year old children, 52 with HFASD, 35 with ADHD, and 39 with TD, performed the NEPSY-II social perception subtests. Parents estimated their children's ToM skills using the Theory of Mind Inventory (ToMI. Teacher-reported data from the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF were also obtained. The HFASD and ADHD groups showed worse performance on the verbal ToM task than the TD group, and only the performance of the HFASD group was significantly lower than the TD group on the contextual ToM task. Parents also estimated that the HFASD group had more difficulties on the applied ToM than the ADHD and TD groups. Furthermore, there is a different executive function-theory of mind link in the HFASD and ADHD groups: behavioral regulation processes such as inhibition and emotional control are more associated with social cognition in children with ADHD, whereas metacognitive processes such as initiation and planning have a strong association with social cognition in children with HFASD. These findings have implications for understanding social perception deficits in neurodevelopmental disorders, highlighting the need for early intervention.

  10. Neurobiological correlates of social functioning in autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuhaus, Emily; Beauchaine, Theodore P; Bernier, Raphael

    2010-08-01

    Although autism is defined by deficits in three areas of functioning (social, communicative, and behavioral), impairments in social interest and restricted behavioral repertoires are central to the disorder. As a result, a detailed understanding of the neurobiological systems subserving social behavior may have implications for prevention, early identification, and intervention for affected families. In this paper, we review a number of potential neurobiological mechanisms--across several levels of analysis--that subserve normative social functioning. These include neural networks, neurotransmitters, and hormone systems. After describing the typical functioning of each system, we review available empirical findings specific to autism. Among the most promising potential mechanisms of social behavioral deficits in autism are those involving neural networks including the amygdala, the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system, and the oxytocin system. Particularly compelling are explanatory models that integrate mechanisms across biological systems, such as those linking dopamine and oxytocin with brain regions critical to reward processing. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Second generation antipsychotics in Asperger's Disorder and high functioning autism: a systematic review of the literature and effectiveness of meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sochocky, Natalie; Milin, Robert

    2013-11-01

    Second generation antipsychotics (SGA) have gained increased evidence for the treatment of irritability and aggression in children and adolescents with lower functioning autistic disorder. Individuals with Asperger's Disorder (AD) and High Functioning Autism (HFA) experience significant emotional and behavioral problems and psychiatric comorbidity. There is a need to review the published literature on SGA treatment efficacy in the AD and HFA populations to provide more effective treatment choices for these subgroups. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the recent English literature on SGA use in children and adolescents (ages 0-24 years) with AD and HFA using the Medline/PubMed and PsychINFO computerized databases. Key search words were 'Asperger', 'high functioning autism', 'autism spectrum disorders (ASD)', and 'pervasive developmental disorder (PDD)' in combination with 'second generation antipsychotics', 'aripiprazole; 'olanzapine', 'quetiapine', 'risperidone', or 'ziprasidone'. Our search yielded 214 citations, however only open-label or randomized-controlled trials (RCT) with ≥25% of their subjects having an IQ≥71 were included in our review. Eleven original studies met our inclusion parameters for review; eight studies for the meta-analysis. These studies, although limited in methodological rigor, and the meta-analytic results suggest that SGAs provide improvement in behavioral symptoms associated with AD and HFA. The majority of the studies reported weight gain as a potentially concerning adverse effect. There is a lack of robustly conducted trials on the use of SGAs in the management of AD and HFA. More research in pharmacological and psychosocial treatments is warranted. Clinicians are cautioned to approach pharmacological treatment prudently balancing benefit with potential cardiometabolic risk.

  12. Social Communication Disorder outside Autism? A Diagnostic Classification Approach to Delineating Pragmatic Language Impairment, High Functioning Autism and Specific Language Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Jenny; Adams, Catherine; Lockton, Elaine; Green, Jonathan

    2013-01-01

    Background: Developmental disorders of language and communication present considerable diagnostic challenges due to overlapping of symptomatology and uncertain aetiology. We aimed to further elucidate the behavioural and linguistic profile associated with impairments of social communication occurring outside of an autism diagnosis. Methods: Six to…

  13. Brief Report: The Autism Spectrum Quotient Has Convergent Validity with the Social Responsiveness Scale in a High-Functioning Sample

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, Kimberly; Iarocci, Grace

    2013-01-01

    The Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) is widely used to measure autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms and screen for ASD. It is readily available free of charge online and is easily accessible to practitioners, researchers and individuals who suspect that they may have an ASD. Thus, the AQ is a potentially useful, widely accessible tool for ASD…

  14. Family functioning, parenting stress and quality of life in mothers and fathers of Polish children with high functioning autism or Asperger syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pisula, Ewa; Porębowicz-Dörsmann, Anna

    2017-01-01

    The aim of the study was to investigate the perception of the family functioning in parents of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) with normal-range intelligence and the relationships between family functioning, parenting stress and quality of life. Dyads of parents of children with ASD without intellectual disability and parents of typically developing children (controls) completed a set of self-report questionnaires. Parents of children with ASD reported lower functioning of the family as a whole and their own functioning as family members; they exhibited higher levels of parenting stress and lower quality of life. Mothers of children with ASD experienced more stress in personal domain than fathers. Relationships between family functioning, parenting stress and quality of life have been established. There were also moderate to strong correlations in mother-father dyads between their assessments of family functioning, parenting stress and QoL in social relationships and environmental domains.

  15. Family functioning, parenting stress and quality of life in mothers and fathers of Polish children with high functioning autism or Asperger syndrome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ewa Pisula

    Full Text Available The aim of the study was to investigate the perception of the family functioning in parents of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD with normal-range intelligence and the relationships between family functioning, parenting stress and quality of life. Dyads of parents of children with ASD without intellectual disability and parents of typically developing children (controls completed a set of self-report questionnaires. Parents of children with ASD reported lower functioning of the family as a whole and their own functioning as family members; they exhibited higher levels of parenting stress and lower quality of life. Mothers of children with ASD experienced more stress in personal domain than fathers. Relationships between family functioning, parenting stress and quality of life have been established. There were also moderate to strong correlations in mother-father dyads between their assessments of family functioning, parenting stress and QoL in social relationships and environmental domains.

  16. Receptive Vocabulary Knowledge in Low-Functioning Autism as Assessed by Eye Movements, Pupillary Dilation, and Event-Related Potentials

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-01

    screening questionnaire for Asperger Syndrome and other high-functioning autism spectrum disorders in school age children. Journal of Autism ...Award Number: W81XWH-10-1-0404 TITLE: Receptive Vocabulary Knowledge in Low-Functioning Autism as Assessed by Eye Movements, Pupillary...Knowledge in Low-Functioning Autism as Assessed by Eye- Movements, Pupillary Dilation, and Event-Related Potentials 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-10-1-0404

  17. Peer-Mediated Intervention for the Development of Social Interaction Skills in High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Pilot Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Medina, Jairo; Martín-Antón, Luis J; Carbonero, Miguel A; Ovejero, Anastasio

    2016-01-01

    Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterized by difficulties with social interaction and communication, which manifest at school especially in less structured situations such as recess. Recess provides opportunities for relationship with peers in a natural context, for which students with ASD may not be equipped with the necessary skills to use without support. Using a single-case design, we evaluated an intervention applied in recess to improve the social interaction skills of a student with high-functioning ASD mediated by his peers without ASD, in second grade of elementary school. This intervention includes different strategies to initiate the peers without ASD, using direct instruction, modeling, and social reinforcement carried out in the recess setting. After 14 sessions, changes were observed in the rates of initiating and responding to interactions, and a negative trend in the percentage of time that the student maintained low-intensity interactions or was alone. Teachers and family perceived improvements in social skills, more peer acceptance, and increase in the frequency and duration of social interactions. This intervention can help teachers to apply research-based practices to improve some social interaction skills in high-functioning students with autism in inclusive school environments.

  18. Peer-Mediated Intervention for the Development of Social Interaction Skills in High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Pilot Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Medina, Jairo; Martín-Antón, Luis J.; Carbonero, Miguel A.; Ovejero, Anastasio

    2016-01-01

    Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterized by difficulties with social interaction and communication, which manifest at school especially in less structured situations such as recess. Recess provides opportunities for relationship with peers in a natural context, for which students with ASD may not be equipped with the necessary skills to use without support. Using a single-case design, we evaluated an intervention applied in recess to improve the social interaction skills of a student with high-functioning ASD mediated by his peers without ASD, in second grade of elementary school. This intervention includes different strategies to initiate the peers without ASD, using direct instruction, modeling, and social reinforcement carried out in the recess setting. After 14 sessions, changes were observed in the rates of initiating and responding to interactions, and a negative trend in the percentage of time that the student maintained low-intensity interactions or was alone. Teachers and family perceived improvements in social skills, more peer acceptance, and increase in the frequency and duration of social interactions. This intervention can help teachers to apply research-based practices to improve some social interaction skills in high-functioning students with autism in inclusive school environments. PMID:28066303

  19. The dynamics of attentional and inhibitory functions in the presence of distracting stimuli in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, high-functioning autism and oppositional defiant disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aneta Rita Borkowska

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Objective: The objective of this study is to elucidate the specific nature of attention and response inhibition deficits in three clinical groups: attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and high-functioning autism, as compared to children with a typical development. The analysis approached task performance dynamics as a function of time and the presence of distracting stimuli. Material and method: 108 children aged 7–12 years participated in the study – 21 diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder, 21 with high-functioning autism, 19 with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; 47 made the control group. The study employed the MOXO-CPT to evaluate attention and inhibition functions. Results: Pairwise comparisons of clinical groups with typically-developing children in their performance on the entire test indicated considerable differences between the control group and children with both oppositional defiant disorders and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, but not between healthy subjects and children with autism. Performance profiles varied depending on the group, i.e. the type of disorder, and the level of the test, i.e. stimulus duration and intensity, but they were different for the particular studied aspects of attention and/or inhibition. High levels of similarity in functioning for all clinical groups were found in the measures of response accuracy, i.e. sustained attention and the speed of accurate response. The tendency to provide unnecessary responses and difficulties in complying with rules were found only in children with oppositional-defiant disorders. Impulsiveness rates increased over time in the attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder group, fluctuated over time in autism, while in the oppositional defiant disorder group performance was stable over time, but worse than in the control group. Conclusions: The dynamics of attentional and inhibitory control in clinical groups

  20. A prosocial online game for social cognition training in adolescents with high-functioning autism: an fMRI study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chung US

    2016-03-01

    helped participants more accurately consider associated environments in response to facial emotional stimulation. However, the online CBT was less effective than the offline-CBT at evoking emotions in response to emotional words. Keywords: autism, online games, sociality, cognitive behavior therapy, functional magnetic resonance image

  1. Assessing Advanced Theory of Mind in Children and Adolescents with High-Functioning Autism: The Spanish Version of the Stories of Everyday Life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lera-Miguel, Sara; Rosa, Mireia; Puig, Olga; Kaland, Nils; Lázaro, Luisa; Castro-Formieles, Josefina; Calvo, Rosa

    2016-01-01

    Most individuals with autism spectrum disorders often fail in tasks of theory of mind (ToM). However, those with normal intellectual functioning known as high functioning ASD (HF-ASD) sometimes succeed in mentalizing inferences. Some tools have been developed to more accurately test their ToM abilities. The aims of this study were to examine the psychometric properties of the Spanish version of Stories of Everyday Life Test (SEL) in a sample of 29 children and adolescents with HF-ASD and 25 typically developing controls and to compare their performance. The Spanish-SEL demonstrated good internal consistency, strong convergence with clinical severity and another ToM test, and adequate discriminant validity from intellectual capability and age, identifying the condition of 70 % of participants.

  2. An Initial Investigation of the Generalization of a School-Based Social Competence Intervention for Youth with High-Functioning Autism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carla Schmidt

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available This study evaluated the impact of generalization of the Social Competence Intervention-Adolescent (SCI-A curriculum in a school setting for individuals with high-functioning autism or Asperger's Syndrome (=6. This study examined to what degree the generalization of the SCI-A curriculum could be measured when delivered in a school setting. Across the six participants preliminary results suggest improvement on teacher reports of social skills and executive functioning. Some improvements were also evident in direct measures of facial-expression recognition. Data collected in the nonintervention settings indicated that some generalization of social interaction skills may have occurred for all six participants. Future research directions are discussed.

  3. Symptoms of ADHD in children with high-functioning autism are related to impaired verbal working memory and verbal delayed recall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Per Normann; Hovik, Kjell Tore; Skogli, Erik Winther; Egeland, Jens; Oie, Merete

    2013-01-01

    Symptoms similar to those found in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) often occur in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The objective of the current study was to compare verbal working memory, acquisition and delayed recall in children with High-Functioning Autism (HFA) to children with ADHD and typically developing children (TDC). Thirty-eight children with HFA, 79 with ADHD and 50 TDC (age 8-17) were assessed with a letter/number sequencing task and a verbal list-learning task. To investigate the possible influence of attention problems in children with HFA, we divided the HFA group into children with (HFA+) or without (HFA-) "attention problems" according to the Child Behaviour Checklist 6-18. The children with HFA+ displayed significant impairment compared to TDC on all three neurocognitive measures, while the children with HFA- were significantly impaired compared to TDC only on the working memory and acquisition measures. In addition, the HFA+ group scored significantly below the HFA- group and the ADHD group on the verbal working memory and delayed recall measures. The results support the proposition that children with HFA+, HFA-, and ADHD differ not only on a clinical level but also on a neurocognitive level which may have implications for treatment.

  4. Symptoms of ADHD in children with high-functioning autism are related to impaired verbal working memory and verbal delayed recall.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Per Normann Andersen

    Full Text Available Symptoms similar to those found in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD often occur in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD. The objective of the current study was to compare verbal working memory, acquisition and delayed recall in children with High-Functioning Autism (HFA to children with ADHD and typically developing children (TDC. Thirty-eight children with HFA, 79 with ADHD and 50 TDC (age 8-17 were assessed with a letter/number sequencing task and a verbal list-learning task. To investigate the possible influence of attention problems in children with HFA, we divided the HFA group into children with (HFA+ or without (HFA- "attention problems" according to the Child Behaviour Checklist 6-18. The children with HFA+ displayed significant impairment compared to TDC on all three neurocognitive measures, while the children with HFA- were significantly impaired compared to TDC only on the working memory and acquisition measures. In addition, the HFA+ group scored significantly below the HFA- group and the ADHD group on the verbal working memory and delayed recall measures. The results support the proposition that children with HFA+, HFA-, and ADHD differ not only on a clinical level but also on a neurocognitive level which may have implications for treatment.

  5. Severe Multisensory Speech Integration Deficits in High-Functioning School-Aged Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Their Resolution During Early Adolescence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foxe, John J.; Molholm, Sophie; Del Bene, Victor A.; Frey, Hans-Peter; Russo, Natalie N.; Blanco, Daniella; Saint-Amour, Dave; Ross, Lars A.

    2015-01-01

    Under noisy listening conditions, visualizing a speaker's articulations substantially improves speech intelligibility. This multisensory speech integration ability is crucial to effective communication, and the appropriate development of this capacity greatly impacts a child's ability to successfully navigate educational and social settings. Research shows that multisensory integration abilities continue developing late into childhood. The primary aim here was to track the development of these abilities in children with autism, since multisensory deficits are increasingly recognized as a component of the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) phenotype. The abilities of high-functioning ASD children (n = 84) to integrate seen and heard speech were assessed cross-sectionally, while environmental noise levels were systematically manipulated, comparing them with age-matched neurotypical children (n = 142). Severe integration deficits were uncovered in ASD, which were increasingly pronounced as background noise increased. These deficits were evident in school-aged ASD children (5–12 year olds), but were fully ameliorated in ASD children entering adolescence (13–15 year olds). The severity of multisensory deficits uncovered has important implications for educators and clinicians working in ASD. We consider the observation that the multisensory speech system recovers substantially in adolescence as an indication that it is likely amenable to intervention during earlier childhood, with potentially profound implications for the development of social communication abilities in ASD children. PMID:23985136

  6. Olfactory functions are not associated with autism severity in autism spectrum disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dudova I

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Iva Dudova, Michal HrdlickaDepartment of Child Psychiatry, University Hospital Motol, Prague, Czech RepublicBackground: Changes in olfactory functions have been found in many neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders, including autism spectrum disorders (ASDs. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the relationship between olfactory functions (odor-detection thresholds, odor identification, and odor preference and autism severity and sensory-related behavior in children and adolescents with ASD.Subjects and methods: Our sample consisted of 35 high-functioning patients with ASD (mean age 10.8±3.6 years, 31 boys. Olfactory testing (threshold and identification used the Sniffin' Sticks test. Odor pleasantness was assessed on a 5-point scale using the Identification part of the Sniffin’ Sticks test. The severity of autistic psychopathology was measured using the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS.Results: Using Spearman’s correlation, we found no significant correlations between autism severity (as expressed by total CARS score and odor-detection thresholds (R=0.144, P=0.409, odor identification (R=0.07, P=0.966, or odor pleasantness (R=-0.046, P=0.794. There was also no significant relationship between CARS item 9 (“Taste, smell, and touch response and use” and odor-detection thresholds (R=0.170, P=0.330, odor identification (R=0.282, P=0.100, or odor pleasantness (R=0.017, P=0.923.Conclusion: We did not find any significant relationship between the severity of autistic psychopathology and olfactory functions.Keywords: autism spectrum disorders, psychopathology, Sniffin’ Sticks, odor threshold, odor identification, odor pleasantness

  7. Mothering, fathering, and the regulation of negative and positive emotions in high-functioning preschoolers with autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirschler-Guttenberg, Yael; Golan, Ofer; Ostfeld-Etzion, Sharon; Feldman, Ruth

    2015-05-01

    Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exhibit difficulties in regulating emotions and authors have called to study the specific processes underpinning emotion regulation (ER) in ASD. Yet, little observational research examined the strategies preschoolers with ASD use to regulate negative and positive emotions in the presence of their mothers and fathers. Forty preschoolers with ASD and 40 matched typically developing children and their mothers and fathers participated. Families were visited twice for identical battery of paradigms with mother or father. Parent-child interactions were coded for parent and child behaviors and children engaged in ER paradigms eliciting negative (fear) and positive (joy) emotions with each parent. ER paradigms were microcoded for negative and positive emotionality, ER strategies, and parent regulation facilitation. During free play, mothers' and fathers' sensitivity and warm discipline were comparable across groups; however, children with ASD displayed lower positive engagement and higher withdrawal. During ER paradigms, children with ASD expressed less positive emotionality overall and more negative emotionality during fear with father. Children with ASD used more simple self-regulatory strategies, particularly during fear, but expressed comparable levels of assistance seeking behavior toward mother and father in negative and positive contexts. Parents of children with ASD used less complex regulation facilitation strategies, including cognitive reappraisal and emotional reframing, and employed simple tactics, such as physical comforting to manage fear and social gaze to maintain joy. Findings describe general and parent- and emotion-specific processes of child ER and parent regulation facilitation in preschoolers with ASD. Results underscore the ability of such children to seek parental assistance during moments of high arousal and the parents' sensitive adaptation to their children's needs. Reduced positive emotionality

  8. Valence Scaling of Dynamic Facial Expressions Is Altered in High-Functioning Subjects with Autism Spectrum Disorders: An FMRI Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahko, Jukka S.; Paakki, Jyri-Johan; Starck, Tuomo H.; Nikkinen, Juha; Pauls, David L.; Katsyri, Jari V.; Jansson-Verkasalo, Eira M.; Carter, Alice S.; Hurtig, Tuula M.; Mattila, Marja-Leena; Jussila, Katja K.; Remes, Jukka J.; Kuusikko-Gauffin, Sanna A.; Sams, Mikko E.; Bolte, Sven; Ebeling, Hanna E.; Moilanen, Irma K.; Tervonen, Osmo; Kiviniemi, Vesa

    2012-01-01

    FMRI was performed with the dynamic facial expressions fear and happiness. This was done to detect differences in valence processing between 25 subjects with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and 27 typically developing controls. Valence scaling was abnormal in ASDs. Positive valence induces lower deactivation and abnormally strong activity in ASD…

  9. Impaired Overt Facial Mimicry in Response to Dynamic Facial Expressions in High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshimura, Sayaka; Sato, Wataru; Uono, Shota; Toichi, Motomi

    2015-01-01

    Previous electromyographic studies have reported that individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) exhibited atypical patterns of facial muscle activity in response to facial expression stimuli. However, whether such activity is expressed in visible facial mimicry remains unknown. To investigate this issue, we videotaped facial responses in…

  10. Oxytocin enhances orienting to social information in a selective group of high-functioning male adults with autism spectrum disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Althaus, M.; Groen, Y.; Wijers, A. A.; Noltes, H.; Tucha, O.; Hoekstra, P. J.

    2015-01-01

    Objective: The study investigated the effects of nasally administered oxytocin on neurophysiological orienting to empathy-evoking pictures in normally intelligent male adults with and without an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It further investigated whether these effects might be moderated by the

  11. Evidence for impairments in using static line drawings of eye gaze cues to orient visual-spatial attention in children with high functioning autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldberg, Melissa C; Mostow, Allison J; Vecera, Shaun P; Larson, Jennifer C Gidley; Mostofsky, Stewart H; Mahone, E Mark; Denckla, Martha B

    2008-09-01

    We examined the ability to use static line drawings of eye gaze cues to orient visual-spatial attention in children with high functioning autism (HFA) compared to typically developing children (TD). The task was organized such that on valid trials, gaze cues were directed toward the same spatial location as the appearance of an upcoming target, while on invalid trials gaze cues were directed to an opposite location. Unlike TD children, children with HFA showed no advantage in reaction time (RT) on valid trials compared to invalid trials (i.e., no significant validity effect). The two stimulus onset asynchronies (200 ms, 700 ms) did not differentially affect these findings. The results suggest that children with HFA show impairments in utilizing static line drawings of gaze cues to orient visual-spatial attention.

  12. Development of the Contextual Assessment of Social Skills (CASS): a role play measure of social skill for individuals with high-functioning autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratto, Allison B; Turner-Brown, Lauren; Rupp, Betty M; Mesibov, Gary B; Penn, David L

    2011-09-01

    This study piloted a role play assessment of conversational skills for adolescents and young adults with high-functioning autism/Asperger syndrome (HFA/AS). Participants completed two semi-structured role plays, in which social context was manipulated by changing the confederate's level of interest in the conversation. Participants' social behavior was rated via a behavioral coding system, and performance was compared across contexts and groups. An interaction effect was found for several items, whereby control participants showed significant change across context, while participants with HFA/AS showed little or no change. Total change across contexts was significantly correlated with related social constructs and significantly predicted ASD. The findings are discussed in terms of the potential utility of the CASS in the evaluation of social skill.

  13. Health-related quality of life in parents of school-age children with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Smedje Hans

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The estimated prevalence rate of Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD in children is 6 per 1.000. Parenting children who are intellectually impaired and have PDDs is known to be linked to the impaired well-being of the parents themselves. However, there is still little available data on health-related quality of life (HRQL in parents of children with Asperger Syndrome (AS and High-Functioning Autism (HFA, or other PDD diagnoses in children of normal intelligence. The present study aimed to evaluate aspects of HRQL in parents of school-age children with AS/HFA and the correlates with child behaviour characteristics. Methods The sample consisted of 31 mothers and 30 fathers of 32 children with AS/HFA and 30 mothers and 29 fathers of 32 age and gender matched children with typical development. Parental HRQL was surveyed by the use of the 12 Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-12 which measures physical and mental well-being. The child behaviour characteristics were assessed using the structured questionnaires: The High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Screening Questionnaire (ASSQ and The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ. Results The mothers of children with AS/HFA had lower SF-12 scores than the controls, indicating poorer physical health. The mothers of children with AS/HFA also had lower physical SF-12 scores compared to the fathers. In the AS/HFA group, maternal health was related to behaviour problems such as hyperactivity and conduct problems in the child. Conclusion Mothers but not fathers of children with AS/HFA reported impaired HRQL, and there was a relationship between maternal well-being and child behaviour characteristics.

  14. Brief report: cognitive flexibility and focused attention in children and adolescents with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism as measured on the computerized version of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kaland, Nils; Smith, Lars; Mortensen, Erik Lykke

    2008-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to assess mental flexibility and set maintenance of a group of individuals with Asperger syndrome (AS) or high-functioning autism (HFA) (N = 13; mean age 16,4), as compared with a matched group of typically developing children and adolescents (N = 13; mean age 15...

  15. The Risk Factors for Criminal Behaviour in High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders (HFASDs): A Comparison of Childhood Adversities between Individuals with HFASDs Who Exhibit Criminal Behaviour and Those with HFASD and No Criminal Histories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawakami, Chihiro; Ohnishi, Masafumi; Sugiyama, Toshiro; Someki, Fumio; Nakamura, Kazuhiko; Tsujii, Masatsugu

    2012-01-01

    Most reports of the criminal behaviour of individuals with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (HFASD) have been case studies, and few have empirically examined the risk factors of criminal behaviour among these individuals. This study examined 175 individuals with HFASD, including 36 individuals who had a prior history of criminal…

  16. Effects of theory of mind performance training on reducing bullying involvement in children and adolescents with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Meng-Jung; Ma, Le-Yin; Chou, Wen-Jiun; Chen, Yu-Min; Liu, Tai-Ling; Hsiao, Ray C; Hu, Huei-Fan; Yen, Cheng-Fang

    2018-01-01

    Bullying involvement is prevalent among children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study examined the effects of theory of mind performance training (ToMPT) on reducing bullying involvement in children and adolescents with high-functioning ASD. Children and adolescents with high-functioning ASD completed ToMPT (n = 26) and social skills training (SST; n = 23) programs. Participants in both groups and their mothers rated the pretraining and posttraining bullying involvement of participants on the Chinese version of the School Bullying Experience Questionnaire. The paired t test was used to evaluate changes in bullying victimization and perpetration between the pretraining and posttraining assessments. Furthermore, the linear mixed-effect model was used to examine the difference in the training effect between the ToMPT and SST groups. The paired t test indicated that in the ToMPT group, the severities of both self-reported (p = .039) and mother-reported (p = .003) bullying victimization significantly decreased from the pretraining to posttraining assessments, whereas in the SST group, only self-reported bullying victimization significantly decreased (p = .027). The linear mixed-effect model indicated that compared with the SST program, the ToMPT program significantly reduced the severity of mother-reported bullying victimization (p = .041). The present study supports the effects of ToMPT on reducing mother-reported bullying victimization in children and adolescents with high-functioning ASD.

  17. Effects of theory of mind performance training on reducing bullying involvement in children and adolescents with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meng-Jung Liu

    Full Text Available Bullying involvement is prevalent among children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD. This study examined the effects of theory of mind performance training (ToMPT on reducing bullying involvement in children and adolescents with high-functioning ASD. Children and adolescents with high-functioning ASD completed ToMPT (n = 26 and social skills training (SST; n = 23 programs. Participants in both groups and their mothers rated the pretraining and posttraining bullying involvement of participants on the Chinese version of the School Bullying Experience Questionnaire. The paired t test was used to evaluate changes in bullying victimization and perpetration between the pretraining and posttraining assessments. Furthermore, the linear mixed-effect model was used to examine the difference in the training effect between the ToMPT and SST groups. The paired t test indicated that in the ToMPT group, the severities of both self-reported (p = .039 and mother-reported (p = .003 bullying victimization significantly decreased from the pretraining to posttraining assessments, whereas in the SST group, only self-reported bullying victimization significantly decreased (p = .027. The linear mixed-effect model indicated that compared with the SST program, the ToMPT program significantly reduced the severity of mother-reported bullying victimization (p = .041. The present study supports the effects of ToMPT on reducing mother-reported bullying victimization in children and adolescents with high-functioning ASD.

  18. Pseudo-Random Number Generation in Children with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's Disorder: Further Evidence for a Dissociation in Executive Functioning?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinehart, Nicole J.; Bradshaw, John L.; Moss, Simon A.; Brereton, Avril V.; Tonge, Bruce J.

    2006-01-01

    The repetitive, stereotyped and obsessive behaviours, which are core diagnostic features of autism, are thought to be underpinned by executive dysfunction. This study examined executive impairment in individuals with autism and Asperger's disorder using a verbal equivalent of an established pseudo-random number generating task. Different patterns…

  19. Efficacy of an internet-based CBT program for children with comorbid High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder and anxiety: A randomised controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conaughton, Rebecca J; Donovan, Caroline L; March, Sonja

    2017-08-15

    All trials conducted to date on BRAVE-ONLINE for youth anxiety disorders have excluded children with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder (HFASD) and therefore it is unknown whether these programs might be beneficial to HFASD children. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of BRAVE-ONLINE in HFASD children with an anxiety disorder. Forty-two HFASD children, aged 8-12 years, with an anxiety disorder, and their parents, were randomly assigned to either the BRAVE-ONLINE condition (NET) or a waitlist control (WLC). Diagnostic interviews and parent/child questionnaires were completed at pre-treatment, post-treatment and 3-month follow-up. At post- assessment, compared to children in the WLC condition, children in the NET condition demonstrated a significantly greater reduction in number of anxiety diagnoses, clinical severity of diagnosis, and self and parent reported anxiety symptoms, as well as significantly greater increases in overall functioning. However, loss of primary diagnosis in this sample was lower than in previous studies. The small sample size, coupled with attrition rates, makes it difficult to generalise the findings of the study to HFASD population and to conduct analyses regarding mediators, moderators and predictors of outcomes. The BRAVE-ONLINE program may be useful in reducing anxiety symptoms in HFASD children, although the effects are less strong than those found in neurotypical children for a variety of reasons. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  20. Metacognitive Aspects of Executive Function Are Highly Associated with Social Functioning on Parent-Rated Measures in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tonje Torske

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD is characterized by social dysfunction. Even though executive dysfunction has been recognized as important in understanding ASD, the findings are inconsistent. This might be due to different definitions of executive function (EF, which part of EF that has been studied, structured vs. unstructured tasks, inclusion of different moderators (age, IQ, sex and different diagnostic categories within the spectrum. The main finding is that people with ASD have more EF difficulties than normal controls and more difficulties on open-end tasks than on structured cognitive tasks. Since some EF difficulties may not be observable in a laboratory setting, informant measures might have higher ecological validity than neuropsychological tests. Evidence suggests that executive dysfunctions are associated with social impairments, but few studies have investigated the details of this relationship, and it remains unclear what types of EF deficits are relevant for the social problems of individuals with ASD. Here we investigated which EF domains were associated with various domains of social function on parent-rated measures. A total of 86 children and adolescents with a diagnosis of ASD were included and tested for general cognitive abilities. Parents completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF and the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS. Multiple regression analysis revealed significant associations between SRS scores and age, sex, total IQ and the BRIEF indexes. The Metacognition Index from the BRIEF added significantly to the prediction of the SRS total score and the subscales Social Communication, Social Motivation and Autistic Mannerisms. The findings suggest that metacognitive aspects of EF are of particular importance for social abilities in children and adolescents with ASD. Earlier research has shown that typically developing (TD children have a different relationship between EF and social function than

  1. The Relationship between Comprehension of Figurative Language by Japanese Children with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders and College Freshmen’s Assessment of Its Conventionality of Usage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manabu Oi

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Unlike their English-speaking counterparts, Japanese children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders (HFASDs perform as well as typically developing (TD children in comprehending metaphor, despite lacking 1st order theory of mind (ToM reasoning. Additionally, although Japanese sarcasm and “indirect reproach” appear theoretically to need 2nd order ToM reasoning, HFASD children without this comprehended these forms of language as well as TD children. To attempt to explain this contradiction, we asked college freshmen to evaluate the strangeness (unconventionality of these types of figurative language. We aimed to test the hypothesis that metaphor, sarcasm, and “indirect reproach” might be evaluated as more conventional than irony, which children with HFASDs do not comprehend as well as those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The results for irony, metaphor, and “indirect reproach” supported the hypothesis, while those for sarcasm did not. Sarcasm is comprehended by HFASDs children as well as by TD children despite being evaluated as highly unconventional. This contradiction is discussed from a self-in-relation-to-other perspective. We postulate that a new explanation of disabilities of figurative language comprehension in children with HFASDs is needed instead of relying on a single cognitive process.

  2. Hand Strength, Handwriting, and Functional Skills in Children With Autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alaniz, Michele L; Galit, Eleanor; Necesito, Corina Isabel; Rosario, Emily R

    2015-01-01

    To establish hand strength development trends in children with autism and to investigate correlations between grip and pinch strength, components of handwriting, and functional activities in children with and without autism. Fifty-one children were divided into two groups: typically developing children and children on the autism spectrum. Each child completed testing for pinch and grip strength, handwriting legibility, pencil control, and independence in functional activities. The children with autism followed the same strength development trends as the typically developing children. Grip strength correlated with pencil control in both groups and with handwriting legibility in the typically developing children but not in the children with autism. Grip and pinch strength correlated with independence with functional activities in both groups. This study provides evidence that grip and pinch strength are important components in developing pencil control, handwriting legibility, and independence with functional fine motor tasks. Copyright © 2015 by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.

  3. Oxytocin efficacy is modulated by dosage and oxytocin receptor genotype in young adults with high-functioning autism: a 24-week randomized clinical trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kosaka, H; Okamoto, Y; Munesue, T; Yamasue, H; Inohara, K; Fujioka, T; Anme, T; Orisaka, M; Ishitobi, M; Jung, M; Fujisawa, T X; Tanaka, S; Arai, S; Asano, M; Saito, D N; Sadato, N; Tomoda, A; Omori, M; Sato, M; Okazawa, H; Higashida, H; Wada, Y

    2016-08-23

    Recent studies have suggested that long-term oxytocin administration can alleviate the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD); however, factors influencing its efficacy are still unclear. We conducted a single-center phase 2, pilot, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, clinical trial in young adults with high-functioning ASD, to determine whether oxytocin dosage and genetic background of the oxytocin receptor affects oxytocin efficacy. This trial consisted of double-blind (12 weeks), open-label (12 weeks) and follow-up phases (8 weeks). To examine dose dependency, 60 participants were randomly assigned to high-dose (32 IU per day) or low-dose intranasal oxytocin (16 IU per day), or placebo groups during the double-blind phase. Next, we measured single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR). In the intention-to-treat population, no outcomes were improved after oxytocin administration. However, in male participants, Clinical Global Impression-Improvement (CGI-I) scores in the high-dose group, but not the low-dose group, were significantly higher than in the placebo group. Furthermore, we examined whether oxytocin efficacy, reflected in the CGI-I scores, is influenced by estimated daily dosage and OXTR polymorphisms in male participants. We found that >21 IU per day oxytocin was more effective than ⩽21 IU per day, and that a SNP in OXTR (rs6791619) predicted CGI-I scores for ⩽21 IU per day oxytocin treatment. No severe adverse events occurred. These results suggest that efficacy of long-term oxytocin administration in young men with high-functioning ASD depends on the oxytocin dosage and genetic background of the oxytocin receptor, which contributes to the effectiveness of oxytocin treatment of ASD.

  4. The effect of a motor-based, social skills intervention for adolescents with high-functioning autism: two single-subject design cases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutman, Sharon A; Raphael, Emily I; Ceder, Leila M; Khan, Arshi; Timp, Katherine M; Salvant, Sabrina

    2010-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of a motor-based, social skills intervention for two adolescents with high-functioning autism (HFA) using single-subject design. A description of the intervention is provided as a first step in the manualization process. The intervention was provided as a 7-week after-school program, once weekly to the paired participants. Intervention consisted of role-play methods in which motor behaviours were linked with their cognitive and emotional meanings. Baseline, intervention and 3-month probe data collection periods were carried out and then compared using visual inspection of graphed data, paired t-tests and a three-standard-deviation-band approach. Both participants displayed a statistically significant increase in targeted social skills behaviours from baseline to intervention and maintained this level at a 3-month post-intervention probe. These single-subject design cases illustrate that motor-based, social skills interventions may be effective for adolescents with HFA and warrant further testing. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  5. Piloting the use of experience sampling method to investigate the everyday social experiences of children with Asperger syndrome/high functioning autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordier, Reinie; Brown, Nicole; Chen, Yu-Wei; Wilkes-Gillan, Sarah; Falkmer, Torbjorn

    2016-01-01

    This pilot study explored the nature and quality of social experiences of children with Asperger Syndrome/High Functioning Autism (AS/HFA) through experience sampling method (ESM) while participating in everyday activities. ESM was used to identify the contexts and content of daily life experiences. Six children with AS/HFA (aged 8-12) wore an iPod Touch on seven consecutive days, while being signalled to complete a short survey. Participants were in the company of others 88.3% of their waking time, spent 69.0% of their time with family and 3.8% with friends, but only conversed with others 26.8% of the time. Participants had more positive experiences and emotions when they were with friends compared with other company. Participating in leisure activities was associated with enjoyment, interest in the occasion, and having positive emotions. ESM was found to be helpful in identifying the nature and quality of social experiences of children with AS/HFA from their perspective.

  6. Children on the Autism Spectrum: Grandmother Involvement and Family Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Alison; Winograd, Greta; Verkuilen, Jay; Fish, Marian C.

    2012-01-01

    Background: This study investigated associations between the presence of a child with autism or Asperger's disorder in the family, family functioning and grandmother experiences with the goal of better understanding grandparent involvement in the lives of grandchildren on the autism spectrum and their families. Methods: Mothers and grandmothers of…

  7. A prosocial online game for social cognition training in adolescents with high-functioning autism: an fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Un-Sun; Han, Doug Hyun; Shin, Yee Jin; Renshaw, Perry F

    2016-01-01

    To help patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) improve their social skills, effective interventions and new treatment modalities are necessary. We hypothesized that a prosocial online game would improve social cognition in ASD adolescents, as assessed using metrics of social communication, facial recognition, and emotional words. Ten ASD adolescents underwent cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) using a prosocial online game (game-CBT), and ten ASD adolescents participated in an offline-CBT. At baseline and 6 weeks later, social communication quality, correct identification of emotional words and facial emoticons, and brain activity were assessed in both groups. Social communication quality and correct response rate of emotional words and facial emoticons improved in both groups over the course of the intervention, and there were no significant differences between groups. In response to the emotional words, the brain activity within the temporal and parietal cortices increased in the game-CBT group, while the brain activity within cingulate and parietal cortices increased in the offline-CBT group. In addition, ASD adolescents in the game-CBT group showed increased brain activity within the right cingulate gyrus, left medial frontal gyrus, left cerebellum, left fusiform gyrus, left insular cortex, and sublobar area in response to facial emoticons. A prosocial online game designed for CBT was as effective as offline-CBT in ASD adolescents. Participation in the game especially increased social arousal and aided ASD adolescents in recognizing emotion. The therapy also helped participants more accurately consider associated environments in response to facial emotional stimulation. However, the online CBT was less effective than the offline-CBT at evoking emotions in response to emotional words.

  8. A prosocial online game for social cognition training in adolescents with high-functioning autism: an fMRI study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Un-sun; Han, Doug Hyun; Shin, Yee Jin; Renshaw, Perry F

    2016-01-01

    To help patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) improve their social skills, effective interventions and new treatment modalities are necessary. We hypothesized that a prosocial online game would improve social cognition in ASD adolescents, as assessed using metrics of social communication, facial recognition, and emotional words. Ten ASD adolescents underwent cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) using a prosocial online game (game-CBT), and ten ASD adolescents participated in an offline-CBT. At baseline and 6 weeks later, social communication quality, correct identification of emotional words and facial emoticons, and brain activity were assessed in both groups. Social communication quality and correct response rate of emotional words and facial emoticons improved in both groups over the course of the intervention, and there were no significant differences between groups. In response to the emotional words, the brain activity within the temporal and parietal cortices increased in the game-CBT group, while the brain activity within cingulate and parietal cortices increased in the offline-CBT group. In addition, ASD adolescents in the game-CBT group showed increased brain activity within the right cingulate gyrus, left medial frontal gyrus, left cerebellum, left fusiform gyrus, left insular cortex, and sublobar area in response to facial emoticons. A prosocial online game designed for CBT was as effective as offline-CBT in ASD adolescents. Participation in the game especially increased social arousal and aided ASD adolescents in recognizing emotion. The therapy also helped participants more accurately consider associated environments in response to facial emotional stimulation. However, the online CBT was less effective than the offline-CBT at evoking emotions in response to emotional words. PMID:27051288

  9. Episodic memory and episodic future thinking impairments in high-functioning autism spectrum disorder: an underlying difficulty with scene construction or self-projection?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lind, Sophie E; Williams, David M; Bowler, Dermot M; Peel, Anna

    2014-01-01

    There appears to be a common network of brain regions that underlie the ability to recall past personal experiences (episodic memory) and the ability to imagine possible future personal experiences (episodic future thinking). At the cognitive level, these abilities are thought to rely on "scene construction" (the ability to bind together multimodal elements of a scene in mind--dependent on hippocampal functioning) and temporal "self-projection" (the ability to mentally project oneself through time--dependent on prefrontal cortex functioning). Although autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by diminished episodic memory, it is unclear whether episodic future thinking is correspondingly impaired. Moreover, the underlying basis of such impairments (difficulties with scene construction, self-projection, or both) is yet to be established. The current study therefore aimed to elucidate these issues. Twenty-seven intellectually high-functioning adults with ASD and 29 age- and IQ-matched neurotypical comparison adults were asked to describe (a) imagined atemporal, non-self-relevant fictitious scenes (assessing scene construction), (b) imagined plausible self-relevant future episodes (assessing episodic future thinking), and (c) recalled personally experienced past episodes (assessing episodic memory). Tests of narrative ability and theory of mind were also completed. Performances of participants with ASD were significantly and equally diminished in each condition and, crucially, this diminution was independent of general narrative ability. Given that participants with ASD were impaired in the fictitious scene condition, which does not involve self-projection, we suggest the underlying difficulty with episodic memory/future thinking is one of scene construction.

  10. Social Function and Communication in Optimal Outcome Children and Adolescents with an Autism History on Structured Test Measures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orinstein, Alyssa J.; Suh, Joyce; Porter, Kaitlyn; De Yoe, Kaitlin A.; Tyson, Katherine E.; Troyb, Eva; Barton, Marianne L.; Eigsti, Inge-Marie; Stevens, Michael C.; Fein, Deborah A.

    2015-01-01

    Youth who lose their ASD diagnosis may have subtle social and communication difficulties. We examined social and communication functioning in 44 high-functioning autism (HFA), 34 optimal outcome (OO) and 34 typically developing (TD) youth. Results indicated that OO participants had no autism communication symptoms, no pragmatic language deficits,…

  11. Precentral gyrus functional connectivity signatures of autism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary Beth eNebel

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Motor impairments are prevalent in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD and are perhaps the earliest symptoms to develop. In addition, motor skills relate to the communicative/social deficits at the core of ASD diagnosis, and these behavioral deficits may reflect abnormal connectivity within brain networks underlying motor control and learning. Despite the fact that motor abnormalities in ASD are well-characterized, there remains a fundamental disconnect between the complexity of the clinical presentation of ASD and the underlying neurobiological mechanisms. In this study, we examined connectivity within and between functional subregions of a key component of the motor control network, the precentral gyrus, using resting state functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging data collected from a large, heterogeneous sample of individuals with ASD as well as neurotypical controls. We found that the strength of connectivity within and between distinct functional subregions of the precentral gyrus was related to ASD diagnosis and to the severity of ASD traits. In particular, connectivity involving the dorsomedial (lower limb/trunk subregion was abnormal in ASD individuals as predicted by models using a dichotomous variable coding for the presence of ASD, as well as models using symptom severity ratings. These findings provide further support for a link between motor and social/communicative abilities in ASD.

  12. Social influence on associative learning: double dissociation in high-functioning autism, early-stage behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kéri, Szabolcs

    2014-05-01

    Most of our learning activity takes place in a social context. I examined how social interactions influence associative learning in neurodegenerative diseases and atypical neurodevelopmental conditions primarily characterised by social cognitive and memory dysfunctions. Participants were individuals with high-functioning autism (HFA, n = 18), early-stage behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD, n = 16) and Alzheimer's disease (AD, n = 20). The leading symptoms in HFA and bvFTD were social and behavioural dysfunctions, whereas AD was characterised by memory deficits. Participants received three versions of a paired associates learning task. In the game with boxes test, objects were hidden in six candy boxes placed in different locations on the computer screen. In the game with faces, each box was labelled by a photo of a person. In the real-life version of the game, participants played with real persons. Individuals with HFA and bvFTD performed well in the computer games, but failed on the task including real persons. In contrast, in patients with early-stage AD, social interactions boosted paired associates learning up to the level of healthy control volunteers. Worse performance in the real life game was associated with less successful recognition of complex emotions and mental states in the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test. Spatial span did not affect the results. When social cognition is impaired, but memory systems are less compromised (HFA and bvFTD), real-life interactions disrupt associative learning; when disease process impairs memory systems but social cognition is relatively intact (early-stage AD), social interactions have a beneficial effect on learning and memory. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Latent and Abnormal Functional Connectivity Circuits in Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Shuo; Xing, Yishi; Kang, Jian

    2017-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is associated with disrupted brain networks. Neuroimaging techniques provide noninvasive methods of investigating abnormal connectivity patterns in ASD. In the present study, we compare functional connectivity networks in people with ASD with those in typical controls, using neuroimaging data from the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange (ABIDE) project. Specifically, we focus on the characteristics of intrinsic functional connectivity based on data collected by resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). Our aim was to identify disrupted brain connectivity patterns across all networks, instead of in individual edges, by using advanced statistical methods. Unlike many brain connectome studies, in which networks are prespecified before the edge connectivity in each network is compared between clinical groups, we detected the latent differentially expressed networks automatically. Our network-level analysis identified abnormal connectome networks that (i) included a high proportion of edges that were differentially expressed between people with ASD and typical controls; and (ii) showed highly-organized graph topology. These findings provide new insight into the study of the underlying neuropsychiatric mechanism of ASD.

  14. Reduced functional connectivity between V1 and inferior frontal cortex associated with visuomotor performance in autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villalobos, Michele E; Mizuno, Akiko; Dahl, Branelle C; Kemmotsu, Nobuko; Müller, Ralph-Axel

    2005-04-15

    Some recent evidence has suggested abnormalities of the dorsal stream and possibly the mirror neuron system in autism, which may be responsible for impairments of joint attention, imitation, and secondarily for language delays. The current study investigates functional connectivity along the dorsal stream in autism, examining interregional blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signal cross-correlation during visuomotor coordination. Eight high-functioning autistic men and eight handedness and age-matched controls were included. Visually prompted button presses were performed with the preferred hand. For each subject, functional connectivity was computed in terms of BOLD signal correlation with the mean time series in bilateral visual area 17. Our hypothesis of reduced dorsal stream connectivity in autism was only in part confirmed. Functional connectivity with superior parietal areas was not significantly reduced. However, the autism group showed significantly reduced connectivity with bilateral inferior frontal area 44, which is compatible with the hypothesis of mirror neuron defects in autism. More generally, our findings suggest that dorsal stream connectivity in autism may not be fully functional.

  15. Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Staying Safe Videos for Educators Search English Español Autism KidsHealth / For Teens / Autism What's in this article? ... With Autism? Print en español Autismo What Is Autism? Autism (also called "autism spectrum disorder") is a ...

  16. Autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Susan E; Mandell, David S; Schultz, Robert T

    2009-11-07

    Autism spectrum disorders are characterised by severe deficits in socialisation, communication, and repetitive or unusual behaviours. Increases over time in the frequency of these disorders (to present rates of about 60 cases per 10,000 children) might be attributable to factors such as new administrative classifications, policy and practice changes, and increased awareness. Surveillance and screening strategies for early identification could enable early treatment and improved outcomes. Autism spectrum disorders are highly genetic and multifactorial, with many risk factors acting together. Genes that affect synaptic maturation are implicated, resulting in neurobiological theories focusing on connectivity and neural effects of gene expression. Several treatments might address core and comorbid symptoms. However, not all treatments have been adequately studied. Improved strategies for early identification with phenotypic characteristics and biological markers (eg, electrophysiological changes) might hopefully improve effectiveness of treatment. Further knowledge about early identification, neurobiology of autism, effective treatments, and the effect of this disorder on families is needed.

  17. Facing the challenge of teaching emotions to individuals with low- and high-functioning autism using a new Serious game: a pilot study

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background It is widely accepted that emotion processing difficulties are involved in Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC). An increasing number of studies have focused on the development of training programs and have shown promising results. However, most of these programs are appropriate for individuals with high-functioning ASC (HFA) but exclude individuals with low-functioning ASC (LFA). We have developed a computer-based game called JeStiMulE based on logical skills to teach emotions to individuals with ASC, independently of their age, intellectual, verbal and academic level. The aim of the present study was to verify the usability of JeStiMulE (which is its adaptability, effectiveness and efficiency) on a heterogeneous ASC group. We hypothesized that after JeStiMulE training, a performance improvement would be found in emotion recognition tasks. Methods A heterogeneous group of thirty-three children and adolescents with ASC received two one-hour JeStiMulE sessions per week over four weeks. In order to verify the usability of JeStiMulE, game data were collected for each participant. Furthermore, all participants were presented before and after training with five emotion recognition tasks, two including pictures of game avatars (faces and gestures) and three including pictures of real-life characters (faces, gestures and social scenes). Results Descriptive data showed suitable adaptability, effectiveness and efficiency of JeStiMulE. Results revealed a significant main effect of Session on avatars (ANOVA: F (1,32) = 98.48, P Emotion interaction was also found for avatars (ANOVA: F (6,192) = 2.84, P = .01). This triple interaction was close to significance for pictures of real-life characters (ANOVA: F (12,384) = 1.73, P = .057). Post-hoc analyses revealed that 30 out of 35 conditions found a significant increase after training. Conclusions JeStiMulE appears to be a promising tool to teach emotion recognition not only to individuals with HFA but

  18. Relationships Between Gross Motor Skills and Social Function in Young Boys With Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holloway, Jamie M; Long, Toby M; Biasini, Fred

    2018-05-02

    The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between gross motor skills and social function in young boys with autism spectrum disorder. Twenty-one children with autism spectrum disorder participated in the study. The Peabody Developmental Motor Scales Second Edition and the Miller Function and Participation Scales were used to assess gross motor skills. The Social Skills Improvement System Rating Scales was used to assess social function. Moderately high correlations were found between overall gross motor and social skills (r = 0.644) and between the core stability motor subtest and overall social skills (r = -0.672). Specific motor impairments in stability, motor accuracy, and object manipulation scores were predictive of social function. This study suggests that motor skills and social function are related in young boys with autism. Implications for physical therapy intervention are also discussed.

  19. State-Dependent Differences in Functional Connectivity in Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashura W. Buckley

    2015-12-01

    Interpretation: Functional connectivity is distinctly different in children with autism compared to samples with typical development and developmental delay without autism. Differences in connectivity in autism are state and region related. In this study, children with autism were characterized by a dynamically evolving pattern of altered connectivity.

  20. Symptom Profile of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Youth with High-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Comparative Study in Psychiatrically Referred Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joshi, Gagan; Faraone, Stephen V.; Wozniak, Janet; Tarko, Laura; Fried, Ronna; Galdo, Maribel; Furtak, Stephannie L.; Biederman, Joseph

    2014-01-01

    Objective To compare the clinical presentation of ADHD between youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and ADHD and a sample of youth with ADHD only. Method A psychiatrically referred sample of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) youth with ADHD attending a specialized ambulatory program for ASD (n = 107) and a sample of youth with ADHD attending a general child psychiatry ambulatory clinic (n = 74) were compared. Results Seventy-six percent of youth with ASD met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; DSM-IV) criteria for ADHD. The clinical presentation of ADHD in youth with ASD was predominantly similar to its typical presentation including age at onset (3.5 ± 1.7 vs. 4.0 ± 1.9; p = .12), distribution of diagnostic subtypes, the qualitative and quantitative symptom profile, and symptom severity. Combined subtype was the most frequent presentation of ADHD in ASD youth. Conclusion Despite the robust presentation of ADHD, a significant majority of ASD youth with ADHD failed to receive appropriate ADHD treatment (41% vs. 24%; p = .02). A high rate of comorbidity with ADHD was observed in psychiatrically referred youth with ASD, with a clinical presentation typical of the disorder. PMID:25085653

  1. Autism Spectrum Disorders in Children with Functional Defecation Disorders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peeters, B.; Noens, I.; Philips, E.M.; Kuppens, S.P.E.; Benninga, M.A.

    2013-01-01

    Objective: To prospectively assess the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms in children presenting with functional defecation disorders. Study design: Children (age 4-12 years) with functional constipation or functional non-retentive fecal incontinence according to the Rome III

  2. Autism spectrum disorders in children with functional defecation disorders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peeters, Babette; Noens, Ilse; Philips, Elise M.; Kuppens, Sofie; Benninga, Marc A.

    2013-01-01

    To prospectively assess the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms in children presenting with functional defecation disorders. Children (age 4-12 years) with functional constipation or functional non-retentive fecal incontinence according to the Rome III criteria referred to a

  3. Autism Symptom Topography and Maternal Socioemotional Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ekas, Naomi; Whitman, Thomas L.

    2010-01-01

    Researchers examining the relationship of autism "symptomatology" and maternal stress have defined symptomatology in terms of level of severity, frequency of occurrence, or symptom type. In the present study, the relationship of maternal perceptions of these dimensions, along with a fourth, symptom diversity, and negative and positive indices of…

  4. Neuropsychological heterogeneity in executive functioning in autism spectrum disorders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geurts, H.; Sinzig, J.; Booth, R.; Happé, F.

    2014-01-01

    In most research it is common to report results on a group level. For example, various studies report that children and adults with autism show executive function deficits. However, studies often differ in the pattern of findings. We believe this might be partly due to the heterogeneity of the

  5. Influence of autism traits and executive functioning on quality of life in children with an autism spectrum disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Vries, M.; Geurts, H.

    2015-01-01

    Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) often experience a low Quality of Life (QoL). We studied if IQ, early language development, current autism traits, and daily Executive Functions (EFs) are related to QoL in children (aged 8-12 years) with ASD (N = 120) and typically developing (TD)

  6. Can Automated Facial Expression Analysis Show Differences Between Autism and Typical Functioning?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borsos, Zsófia; Gyori, Miklos

    2017-01-01

    Exploratory analyses of emotional expressions using a commercially available facial expression recognition software are reported, from the context of a serious game for screening purposes. Our results are based on a comparative analysis of two matched groups of kindergarten-age children (high-functioning children with autism spectrum condition: n=13; typically developing children: n=13). Results indicate that this technology has the potential to identify autism-specific emotion expression features, and may play a role in affective diagnostic and assistive technologies.

  7. Left Global Hemineglect in High Autism-Spectrum Quotient Individuals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Paul Crewther

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Autism remains as a significant issue for many individuals due to the social impairment accompanying the disorder. Recent theories present potential relationships between autistic tendency and visual perceptual differences to explore differences in underlying visual pathways. These differences have been explored though the use of global and local stimuli to show difference in perception. This study compared the balance of global versus local perception between sub-groups from the normal population both high and low on the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ. A diamond illusion task containing rivaling global and local percepts was used to explore the effects of changing the occluder contrast and peripheral viewing upon global/local percept. An increase in global perception relative to increasing eccentricity of the stimulus from a fixation point was also seen in both groups. However, with increasing contrast of the occluding stripes both groups showed an increase in the percentage of global perception. When comparing between groups the high AQ showed a significant reduction in global perception compared to the low AQ group when the stimulus was presented in left hemifield. This difference wasn't present within right hemifield. We discuss how global perceptual hemineglect may suggest abnormal parietal function in individuals with high AQ.

  8. Altered Immune Function Associated with Disordered Neural Connectivity and Executive Dysfunctions: A Neurophysiological Study on Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Yvonne M. Y.; Chan, Agnes S.; Sze, Sophia L.; Cheung, Mei-Chun; Wong, Chun-kwok; Lam, Joseph M. K.; Poon, Priscilla M. K.

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have impaired executive function, disordered neural connectivity, and abnormal immunologic function. The present study examined whether these abnormalities were associated. Seventeen high-functioning (HFA) and 17 low-functioning (LFA) children with ASD, aged 8-17…

  9. Linked alterations in gray and white matter morphology in adults with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder: A multimodal brain imaging study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takashi Itahashi

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Growing evidence suggests that a broad range of behavioral anomalies in people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD can be linked with morphological and functional alterations in the brain. However, the neuroanatomical underpinnings of ASD have been investigated using either structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI or diffusion tensor imaging (DTI, and the relationships between abnormalities revealed by these two modalities remain unclear. This study applied a multimodal data-fusion method, known as linked independent component analysis (ICA, to a set of structural MRI and DTI data acquired from 46 adult males with ASD and 46 matched controls in order to elucidate associations between different aspects of atypical neuroanatomy of ASD. Linked ICA identified two composite components that showed significant between-group differences, one of which was significantly correlated with age. In the other component, participants with ASD showed decreased gray matter (GM volumes in multiple regions, including the bilateral fusiform gyri, bilateral orbitofrontal cortices, and bilateral pre- and post-central gyri. These GM changes were linked with a pattern of decreased fractional anisotropy (FA in several white matter tracts, such as the bilateral inferior longitudinal fasciculi, bilateral inferior fronto-occipital fasciculi, and bilateral corticospinal tracts. Furthermore, unimodal analysis for DTI data revealed significant reductions of FA along with increased mean diffusivity in those tracts for ASD, providing further evidence of disrupted anatomical connectivity. Taken together, our findings suggest that, in ASD, alterations in different aspects of brain morphology may co-occur in specific brain networks, providing a comprehensive view for understanding the neuroanatomy of this disorder.

  10. The group-based social skills training SOSTA-FRA in children and adolescents with high functioning autism spectrum disorder--study protocol of the randomised, multi-centre controlled SOSTA--net trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freitag, Christine M; Cholemkery, Hannah; Elsuni, Leyla; Kroeger, Anne K; Bender, Stephan; Kunz, Cornelia Ursula; Kieser, Meinhard

    2013-01-07

    Group-based social skills training (SST) has repeatedly been recommended as treatment of choice in high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (HFASD). To date, no sufficiently powered randomised controlled trial has been performed to establish efficacy and safety of SST in children and adolescents with HFASD. In this randomised, multi-centre, controlled trial with 220 children and adolescents with HFASD it is hypothesized, that add-on group-based SST using the 12 weeks manualised SOSTA-FRA program will result in improved social responsiveness (measured by the parent rated social responsiveness scale, SRS) compared to treatment as usual (TAU). It is further expected, that parent and self reported anxiety and depressive symptoms will decline and pro-social behaviour will increase in the treatment group. A neurophysiological study in the Frankfurt HFASD subgroup will be performed pre- and post treatment to assess changes in neural function induced by SST versus TAU. The SOSTA - net trial is designed as a prospective, randomised, multi-centre, controlled trial with two parallel groups. The primary outcome is change in SRS score directly after the intervention and at 3 months follow-up. Several secondary outcome measures are also obtained. The target sample consists of 220 individuals with ASD, included at the six study centres. This study is currently one of the largest trials on SST in children and adolescents with HFASD worldwide. Compared to recent randomised controlled studies, our study shows several advantages with regard to in- and exclusion criteria, study methods, and the therapeutic approach chosen, which can be easily implemented in non-university-based clinical settings. ISRCTN94863788--SOSTA--net: Group-based social skills training in children and adolescents with high functioning autism spectrum disorder.

  11. The group-based social skills training SOSTA-FRA in children and adolescents with high functioning autism spectrum disorder - study protocol of the randomised, multi-centre controlled SOSTA - net trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Freitag Christine M

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Group-based social skills training (SST has repeatedly been recommended as treatment of choice in high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (HFASD. To date, no sufficiently powered randomised controlled trial has been performed to establish efficacy and safety of SST in children and adolescents with HFASD. In this randomised, multi-centre, controlled trial with 220 children and adolescents with HFASD it is hypothesized, that add-on group-based SST using the 12 weeks manualised SOSTA–FRA program will result in improved social responsiveness (measured by the parent rated social responsiveness scale, SRS compared to treatment as usual (TAU. It is further expected, that parent and self reported anxiety and depressive symptoms will decline and pro-social behaviour will increase in the treatment group. A neurophysiological study in the Frankfurt HFASD subgroup will be performed pre- and post treatment to assess changes in neural function induced by SST versus TAU. Methods/design The SOSTA – net trial is designed as a prospective, randomised, multi-centre, controlled trial with two parallel groups. The primary outcome is change in SRS score directly after the intervention and at 3 months follow-up. Several secondary outcome measures are also obtained. The target sample consists of 220 individuals with ASD, included at the six study centres. Discussion This study is currently one of the largest trials on SST in children and adolescents with HFASD worldwide. Compared to recent randomised controlled studies, our study shows several advantages with regard to in- and exclusion criteria, study methods, and the therapeutic approach chosen, which can be easily implemented in non-university-based clinical settings. Trial registration ISRCTN94863788 – SOSTA – net: Group-based social skills training in children and adolescents with high functioning autism spectrum disorder.

  12. Association of Rigid-Compulsive Behavior with Functional Constipation in Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marler, Sarah; Ferguson, Bradley J.; Lee, Evon Batey; Peters, Brittany; Williams, Kent C.; McDonnell, Erin; Macklin, Eric A.; Levitt, Pat; Margolis, Kara Gross; Beversdorf, David Q.; Veenstra-VanderWeele, Jeremy

    2017-01-01

    Based upon checklist data from the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network, we hypothesized that functional constipation (FC) would be associated with rigid-compulsive behavior in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We used the Questionnaire on Pediatric Gastrointestinal Symptoms-Rome III to assess FC symptoms in 108 children with ASD. As…

  13. Do blood plasma levels of oxytocin moderate the effect of nasally administered oxytocin on social orienting in high-functioning male adults with autism spectrum disorder?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Althaus, Monika; Groen, Yvonne; Wijers, Albertus A.; Noltes, Henriette; Tucha, Oliver; Sweep, Fred C.; Calcagnoli, Federica; Hoekstra, Pieter J.

    The study investigated whether baseline plasma oxytocin (OXT) concentrations might moderate the effects of nasally administered OXT on social orienting. Thirty-one males with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and thirty healthy males participated in a double-blind placebo-controlled crossover trial.

  14. Making Inferences: Comprehension of Physical Causality, Intentionality, and Emotions in Discourse by High-Functioning Older Children, Adolescents, and Adults with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodner, Kimberly E.; Engelhardt, Christopher R.; Minshew, Nancy J.; Williams, Diane L.

    2015-01-01

    Studies investigating inferential reasoning in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have focused on the ability to make socially-related inferences or inferences more generally. Important variables for intervention planning such as whether inferences depend on physical experiences or the nature of social information have received less consideration. A…

  15. iSocial: Delivering the Social Competence Intervention for Adolescents (SCI-A) in a 3D Virtual Learning Environment for Youth with High Functioning Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stichter, Janine P.; Laffey, James; Galyen, Krista; Herzog, Melissa

    2014-01-01

    One consistent area of need for students with autism spectrum disorders is in the area of social competence. However, the increasing need to provide qualified teachers to deliver evidence-based practices in areas like social competence leave schools, such as those found in rural areas, in need of support. Distance education and in particular, 3D…

  16. Efficacy of Cognitive Processes in Young People with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder Using a Novel Visual Information-Processing Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speirs, Samantha J.; Rinehart, Nicole J.; Robinson, Stephen R.; Tonge, Bruce J.; Yelland, Gregory W.

    2014-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are characterised by a unique pattern of preserved abilities and deficits within and across cognitive domains. The Complex Information Processing Theory proposes this pattern reflects an altered capacity to respond to cognitive demands. This study compared how complexity induced by time constraints on processing…

  17. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy versus a Counselling Intervention for Anxiety in Young People with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Pilot Randomised Controlled Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Suzanne M.; Chowdhury, Uttom; White, Susan W.; Reynolds, Laura; Donald, Louisa; Gahan, Hilary; Iqbal, Zeinab; Kulkarni, Mahesh; Scrivener, Louise; Shaker-Naeeni, Hadi; Press, Dee A.

    2017-01-01

    The use of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) as a treatment for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been explored in a number of trials. Whilst CBT appears superior to no treatment or treatment as usual, few studies have assessed CBT against a control group receiving an alternative therapy. Our randomised controlled…

  18. Development of a Cognitive-Behavioral Intervention Program to Treat Anxiety and Social Deficits in Teens with High-Functioning Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Susan W.; Albano, Anne Marie; Johnson, Cynthia R.; Kasari, Connie; Ollendick, Thomas; Klin, Ami; Oswald, Donald; Scahill, Lawrence

    2010-01-01

    Anxiety is a common co-occurring problem among young people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Characterized by deficits in social interaction, communication problems, and stereotyped behavior and restricted interests, this group of disorders is more prevalent than previously realized. When present, anxiety may compound the social deficits of…

  19. Development of a Cognitive-Behavioral Intervention Program to Treat Anxiety and Social Deficits in Teens with High-Functioning Autism

    OpenAIRE

    White, Susan W.; Albano, Anne Marie; Johnson, Cynthia R.; Kasari, Connie; Ollendick, Thomas; Klin, Ami; Oswald, Donald; Scahill, Lawrence

    2010-01-01

    Anxiety is a common co-occurring problem among young people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Characterized by deficits in social interaction, communication problems, and stereotyped behavior and restricted interests, this group of disorders is more prevalent than previously realized. When present, anxiety may compound the social deficits of young people with ASD. Given the additional disability and common co-occurrence of anxiety in ASD, we developed a manual-based cognitive-behavioral t...

  20. ASD, a Psychiatric Disorder, or Both? Psychiatric Diagnoses in Adolescents with High-Functioning ASD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazefsky, Carla A.; Oswald, Donald P.; Day, Taylor N.; Eack, Shaun M.; Minshew, Nancy J.; Lainhart, Janet E.

    2012-01-01

    Varied presentations of emotion dysregulation in autism complicate diagnostic decision making and may lead to inaccurate psychiatric diagnoses or delayed autism diagnosis for high-functioning children. This pilot study aimed to determine the concordance between prior psychiatric diagnoses and the results of an autism-specific psychiatric interview…

  1. [An approach to the executive functions in autism spectrum disorder].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martos-Pérez, Juan; Paula-Pérez, Isabel

    2011-03-01

    The psychological hypothesis of executive dysfunction plays a crucial role in explaining the behavioural phenotype of persons with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), along with other hypotheses such as the deficit in the theory of mind or the weak central coherence hypothesis. Yet, none of these hypotheses are mutually exclusive and behaviours that have their origins in one of these three hypotheses are also shaped and upheld by other processes and factors. This article reviews the behavioural manifestation and current state of research on the executive functions in persons with ASD. It also examines its impact on planning, mental flexibility and cognitive skills, generativity, response inhibition, mentalist skills and sense of activity. Although executive dysfunction has become more significant as a hypothesis explaining persons with ASD, there remain some important difficulties in need of further, more detailed research. Moreover, very few intervention programmes have been proved to be effective in minimising the effects of executive dysfunction in autism.

  2. Attribution of emotions to body postures: an independent component analysis study of functional connectivity in autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Libero, Lauren E; Stevens, Carl E; Kana, Rajesh K

    2014-10-01

    The ability to interpret others' body language is a vital skill that helps us infer their thoughts and emotions. However, individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have been found to have difficulty in understanding the meaning of people's body language, perhaps leading to an overarching deficit in processing emotions. The current fMRI study investigates the functional connectivity underlying emotion and action judgment in the context of processing body language in high-functioning adolescents and young adults with autism, using an independent components analysis (ICA) of the fMRI time series. While there were no reliable group differences in brain activity, the ICA revealed significant involvement of occipital and parietal regions in processing body actions; and inferior frontal gyrus, superior medial prefrontal cortex, and occipital cortex in body expressions of emotions. In a between-group analysis, participants with autism, relative to typical controls, demonstrated significantly reduced temporal coherence in left ventral premotor cortex and right superior parietal lobule while processing emotions. Participants with ASD, on the other hand, showed increased temporal coherence in left fusiform gyrus while inferring emotions from body postures. Finally, a positive predictive relationship was found between empathizing ability and the brain areas underlying emotion processing in ASD participants. These results underscore the differential role of frontal and parietal brain regions in processing emotional body language in autism. Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Influence of Autism Traits and Executive Functioning on Quality of Life in Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vries, Marieke; Geurts, Hilde

    2015-01-01

    Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) often experience a low Quality of Life (QoL). We studied if IQ, early language development, current autism traits, and daily Executive Functions (EFs) are related to QoL in children (aged 8-12 years) with ASD (N = 120) and typically developing (TD) children (N = 76). Children with ASD showed a lower…

  4. Can You Tell Me Something about Yourself?: Self-Presentation in Children and Adolescents with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder in Hypothetical and Real Life Situations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheeren, Anke M.; Begeer, Sander; Banerjee, Robin; Terwogt, Mark Meerum; Koot, Hans M.

    2010-01-01

    The self-presentation skills of children and adolescents with high-functioning autistic spectrum disorder (HFASD) and typically developing (TD) controls were compared, in response to both hypothetical and real life situations. In both situations, 26 HFASD and 26 TD participants were prompted to describe themselves twice, first in a baseline…

  5. A cost of illness study of children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders and comorbid anxiety disorders as compared to clinically anxious and typically developing children

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Steensel, F.J.A.; Dirksen, C.D.; Bögels, S.M.

    2013-01-01

    The study’s aim was to estimate the societal costs of children with high-functioning ASD and comorbid anxiety disorder(s) (ASD + AD-group; n = 73), and to compare these costs to children with anxiety disorders (AD-group; n = 34), and typically developing children (controls; n = 87). Mean total costs

  6. Bridging from Cells to Cognition in Autism Pathophysiology: Biological Pathways to Defective Brain Function and Plasticity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anderson, Matthew; Hooker, Brian S.; Herbert, Martha

    2008-01-01

    We review evidence to support the model that autism may begin when a maternal environmental, infectious, or autoantibody insult causes inflammation which increases reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in the fetus, leading to fetal DNA damage (nuclear and mitochondrial), and that these inflammatory and oxidative stressors persist beyond early development (with potential further exacerbations), producing ongoing functional consequences. In organs with a high metabolic demand such as the central nervous system, the continued use of mitochondria with DNA damage may generate additional ROS which will activate the innate immune system leading to more ROS production. Such a mechanism would self-sustain and possibly progressively worsen. The mitochondrial dysfunction and altered redox signal transduction pathways found in autism would conspire to activate both astroglia and microglia. These activated cells can then initiate a broad-spectrum proinflammatory gene response. Neurons may have acquired receptors for these inflammatory signals to inhibit neuronal signaling as a protection from excitotoxic damage during various pathologic insults (e.g., infection). In autism, over-zealous neuroinflammatory responses could not only influence neural developmental processes, but may more significantly impair neural signaling involved in cognition in an ongoing fashion. This model makes specific predictions in patients and experimental animal models and suggests a number of targets sites of intervention. Our model of potentially reversible pathophysiological mechanisms in autism motivates our hope that effective therapies may soon appear on the horizon.

  7. A Cost of Illness Study of Children with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders and Comorbid Anxiety Disorders as Compared to Clinically Anxious and Typically Developing Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steensel, Francisca J.; Dirksen, Carmen D.; Bögels, Susan M.

    2013-01-01

    The study's aim was to estimate the societal costs of children with high-functioning ASD and comorbid anxiety disorder(s) (ASD + AD-group; n = 73), and to compare these costs to children with anxiety disorders (AD-group; n = 34), and typically developing children (controls; n = 87). Mean total costs for the ASD + AD-group amounted €17,380 per…

  8. NORADRENERGIC AND ADRENERGIC FUNCTIONING IN AUTISM

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    MINDERAA, RB; ANDERSON, GM; VOLKMAR, FR; AKKERHUIS, GW; COHEN, DJ

    1994-01-01

    A neurochemical assessment of noradrenergic and adrenergic functioning was carried out with autistic patients and normal control individuals. Norepinephrine and related compounds were measured in autistic (n = 17 unmedicated, 23 medicated; age range 9-29 years old) and normal controls (n = 27; age

  9. iSocial: delivering the Social Competence Intervention for Adolescents (SCI-A) in a 3D virtual learning environment for youth with high functioning autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stichter, Janine P; Laffey, James; Galyen, Krista; Herzog, Melissa

    2014-02-01

    One consistent area of need for students with autism spectrum disorders is in the area of social competence. However, the increasing need to provide qualified teachers to deliver evidence-based practices in areas like social competence leave schools, such as those found in rural areas, in need of support. Distance education and in particular, 3D Virtual Learning, holds great promise for supporting schools and youth to gain social competence through knowledge and social practice in context. iSocial, a distance education, 3D virtual learning environment implemented the 31-lesson social competence intervention for adolescents across three small cohorts totaling 11 students over a period of 4 months. Results demonstrated that the social competence curriculum was delivered with fidelity in the 3D virtual learning environment. Moreover, learning outcomes suggest that the iSocial approach shows promise for social competence benefits for youth.

  10. Autism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aggernaes, Bodil

    2018-01-01

    The concept of autism has changed across time, from the Bleulerian concept, which defined it as one of several symptoms of dementia praecox, to the present-day concept representing a pervasive development disorder. The present theoretical contribution to this special issue of EJN on autism...... introduces new theoretical ideas and discusses them in light of selected prior theories, clinical examples, and recent empirical evidence. The overall aim is to identify some present challenges of diagnostic practice and autism research and to suggest new pathways that may help direct future research. Future...

  11. [Autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: similarities and differences in executive functioning and theory of mind].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miranda-Casas, Ana; Baixauli-Fortea, Immaculada; Colomer-Diago, Carla; Roselló-Miranda, Belén

    2013-09-06

    Although the DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria do not overlap, the presence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in individuals with a clinical diagnosis of autism is quite high. At the same time, children with ADHD can have autistic traits, the most prevalent being social and communication difficulties. The analysis of the combination of executive functions and theory of mind (ToM) deficits could help to explain the overlap and differentiation between the two disorders. To review the findings of empirical studies in which children with ADHD and autism have been compared on indicators of executive functions and ToM. The literature review suggests the existence of distinct patterns in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and ADHD when the executive functioning is segmented by components. Children with ADHD experience deficits in inhibitory control, while children with ASD have problems with cognitive flexibility and planning. Regarding the domain of the mentalist skills, there are developmental differences, as well as differences in their severity. Younger children with ASD have greater deficiencies in the ToM compared to children with ADHD, and a primary deficit in social orientation. Although important progress has been made, some issues remain to be clarified, among which we can highlight the analysis of how ToM development affects poor executive functions development, using longitudinal studies that analyze the developmental paths of children with ASD and children with ADHD.

  12. Reduced cortico-motor facilitation in a normal sample with high traits of autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puzzo, Ignazio; Cooper, Nicholas R; Vetter, Petra; Russo, Riccardo; Fitzgerald, Paul B

    2009-12-25

    Recent research in social neuroscience proposes a link between mirror neuron system (MNS) and social cognition. The MNS has been proposed to be the neural mechanism underlying action recognition and intention understanding and more broadly social cognition. Pre-motor MNS has been suggested to modulate the motor cortex during action observation. This modulation results in an enhanced cortico-motor excitability reflected in increased motor evoked potentials (MEPs) at the muscle of interest during action observation. Anomalous MNS activity has been reported in the autistic population whose social skills are notably impaired. It is still an open question whether traits of autism in the normal population are linked to the MNS functioning. We measured TMS-induced MEPs in normal individuals with high and low traits of autism as measured by the autistic quotient (AQ), while observing videos of hand or mouth actions, static images of a hand or mouth or a blank screen. No differences were observed between the two while they observed a blank screen. However participants with low traits of autism showed significantly greater MEP amplitudes during observation of hand/mouth actions relative to static hand/mouth stimuli. In contrast, participants with high traits of autism did not show such a MEP amplitude difference between observation of actions and static stimuli. These results are discussed with reference to MNS functioning.

  13. Determining Studies Conducted upon Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder Using High-Tech Devices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eliçin, Özge; Kaya, Ali

    2017-01-01

    This study explores 67 experimental research articles written about children with Autism Spectrum Disorder using high-tech devices. The studies in this research were accessed through EBSCO, Academic Search Complete, ERIC, and Uludag University online search engines using keywords such as "autism and technology", "autism and…

  14. Shared atypical default mode and salience network functional connectivity between autism and schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Heng; Uddin, Lucina Q; Duan, Xujun; Zheng, Junjie; Long, Zhiliang; Zhang, Youxue; Guo, Xiaonan; Zhang, Yan; Zhao, Jingping; Chen, Huafu

    2017-11-01

    Schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are two prevalent neurodevelopmental disorders sharing some similar genetic basis and clinical features. The extent to which they share common neural substrates remains unclear. Resting-state fMRI data were collected from 35 drug-naïve adolescent participants with first-episode schizophrenia (15.6 ± 1.8 years old) and 31 healthy controls (15.4 ± 1.6 years old). Data from 22 participants with ASD (13.1 ± 3.1 years old) and 21 healthy controls (12.9 ± 2.9 years old) were downloaded from the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange. Resting-state functional networks were constructed using predefined regions of interest. Multivariate pattern analysis combined with multi-task regression feature selection methods were conducted in two datasets separately. Classification between individuals with disorders and controls was achieved with high accuracy (schizophrenia dataset: accuracy = 83%; ASD dataset: accuracy = 80%). Shared atypical brain connections contributing to classification were mostly present in the default mode network (DMN) and salience network (SN). These functional connections were further related to severity of social deficits in ASD (p = 0.002). Distinct atypical connections were also more related to the DMN and SN, but showed different atypical connectivity patterns between the two disorders. These results suggest some common neural mechanisms contributing to schizophrenia and ASD, and may aid in understanding the pathology of these two neurodevelopmental disorders. Autism Res 2017, 10: 1776-1786. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and schizophrenia are two common neurodevelopmental disorders which share several genetic and behavioral features. The present study identified common neural mechanisms contributing to ASD and schizophrenia using resting-state functional MRI data. The results may help to understand

  15. Mood Disorders in Mothers of Children on the Autism Spectrum Are Associated with Higher Functioning Autism

    OpenAIRE

    Vasa, Roma A.; Anderson, Connie; Marvin, Alison R.; Rosenberg, Rebecca E.; Law, J. Kiely; Thorn, Julia; Sarphare, Geeta; Law, Paul A.

    2012-01-01

    Mood disorders occur more frequently in family members of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) than in the general population. There may be associations between maternal mood disorder history patterns and specific ASD phenotypes. We therefore examined the relationship between maternal mood disorders and child autism spectrum disorders in 998 mother-child dyads enrolled in a national online autism registry and database. Mothers of children with ASD completed online questionnaires a...

  16. An eye-tracking method to reveal the link between gazing patterns and pragmatic abilities in high functioning autism spectrum disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ouriel eGrynszpan

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The present study illustrates the potential advantages of an eye-tracking method for exploring the association between visual scanning of faces and inferences of mental states. Participants watched short videos involving social interactions and had to explain what they had seen. The number of cognition verbs (e.g. think, believe, know in their answers were counted. Given the possible use of peripheral vision that could confound eye-tracking measures, we added a condition using a gaze-contingent viewing window: the entire visual display is blurred, expect for an area that moves with the participant’s gaze. Eleven typical adults and eleven high functioning adults with ASD were recruited. The condition employing the viewing window yielded strong correlations between the average duration of fixations, the ratio of cognition verbs and standard measures of social disabilities.

  17. Autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parr, Jeremy

    2010-01-07

    Evidence for the efficacy of treatments for autism has improved in recent years. In this systematic review the evidence for both drug and non-drug treatments is appraised and clinical guidance is provided for their use. We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of early intensive multidisciplinary intervention programmes in children with autism? What are the effects of dietary interventions in children with autism? What are the effects of drug treatments in children with autism? What are the effects of non-drug treatments in children with autism? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to May 2009 (Clinical evidence reviews are updated periodically; please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). We found 30 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions. In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: applied behavioural analysis; auditory integration training; Autism Preschool Programme; casein-free diet; chelation; Child's Talk programme; cognitive behavioural therapy; digestive enzymes; EarlyBird programme; facilitated communication; Floortime therapy; gluten-free diet; immunoglobulins; melatonin; memantine; methylphenidate; More Than Words programme; music therapy; olanzapine; omega-3 fish oil; picture exchange communication system; Portage scheme; probiotics; relationship development interventions; risperidone; secretin; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs); sensory integration training; social stories; social skills training; Son-Rise programme; TEACCH

  18. Dopaminergic variants in siblings at high risk for autism: Associations with initiating joint attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gangi, Devon N; Messinger, Daniel S; Martin, Eden R; Cuccaro, Michael L

    2016-11-01

    Younger siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD; high-risk siblings) exhibit lower levels of initiating joint attention (IJA; sharing an object or experience with a social partner through gaze and/or gesture) than low-risk siblings of children without ASD. However, high-risk siblings also exhibit substantial variability in this domain. The neurotransmitter dopamine is linked to brain areas associated with reward, motivation, and attention, and common dopaminergic variants have been associated with attention difficulties. We examined whether these common dopaminergic variants, DRD4 and DRD2, explain variability in IJA in high-risk (n = 55) and low-risk (n = 38) siblings. IJA was assessed in the first year during a semi-structured interaction with an examiner. DRD4 and DRD2 genotypes were coded according to associated dopaminergic functioning to create a gene score, with higher scores indicating more genotypes associated with less efficient dopaminergic functioning. Higher dopamine gene scores (indicative of less efficient dopaminergic functioning) were associated with lower levels of IJA in the first year for high-risk siblings, while the opposite pattern emerged in low-risk siblings. Findings suggest differential susceptibility-IJA was differentially associated with dopaminergic functioning depending on familial ASD risk. Understanding genes linked to ASD-relevant behaviors in high-risk siblings will aid in early identification of children at greatest risk for difficulties in these behavioral domains, facilitating targeted prevention and intervention. Autism Res 2016, 9: 1142-1150. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Brain function differences in language processing in children and adults with autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Diane L; Cherkassky, Vladimir L; Mason, Robert A; Keller, Timothy A; Minshew, Nancy J; Just, Marcel Adam

    2013-08-01

    Comparison of brain function between children and adults with autism provides an understanding of the effects of the disorder and associated maturational differences on language processing. Functional imaging (functional magnetic resonance imaging) was used to examine brain activation and cortical synchronization during the processing of literal and ironic texts in 15 children with autism, 14 children with typical development, 13 adults with autism, and 12 adult controls. Both the children and adults with autism had lower functional connectivity (synchronization of brain activity among activated areas) than their age and ability comparison group in the left hemisphere language network during irony processing, and neither autism group had an increase in functional connectivity in response to increased task demands. Activation differences for the literal and irony conditions occurred in key language-processing regions (left middle temporal, left pars triangularis, left pars opercularis, left medial frontal, and right middle temporal). The children and adults with autism differed from each other in the use of some brain regions during the irony task, with the adults with autism having activation levels similar to those of the control groups. Overall, the children and adults with autism differed from the adult and child controls in (a) the degree of network coordination, (b) the distribution of the workload among member nodes, and (3) the dynamic recruitment of regions in response to text content. Moreover, the differences between the two autism age groups may be indicative of positive changes in the neural function related to language processing associated with maturation and/or educational experience. © 2013 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Autism Spectrum Disorder and High Confidence Gene Factors

    OpenAIRE

    Mai, MOCHIZUKI

    2017-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurological developmental disorder whose mechanism isyet unclear. However, recent ASD studies, which employ exome- and genome-wide sequencing,have identified some high-confidence ASD genes. Those ASD studies have revealed that CHD8is likely associated with ASD. In this article, we highlight that CHD8 may regulate othercandidate ASD risk genes. Current research indicates that there exist some thousand autismsusceptibility candidate genes. Moreover, we sugge...

  1. Analyzing the multiple functions of stereotypical behavior for students with autism: implications for assessment and treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, C H; Meyer, K A; Knowles, T; Shukla, S

    2000-01-01

    We studied behavioral functions associated with stereotypical responses for students with autism. In Study 1, analogue functional analyses (attention, demand, no-attention, and recreation conditions) were conducted for 5 students. Results suggested that stereotypy was multiply determined or occurred across all assessment conditions. For 2 students, stereotypy was associated with positive and negative reinforcement and the absence of environmental stimulation. For 2 other students, stereotypy occurred at high levels across all experimental conditions. For the 5th student, stereotypy was associated with negative reinforcement and the absence of environmental stimulation. In Study 2, the stereotypy of 1 student was further analyzed on a function-by-function basis. Within a concurrent-schedules procedure, alternative responses were taught to the student using functional communication training. The results of Study 2 showed that similar topographies of stereotypy, based on qualitatively different reinforcers, were reduced only when differential reinforcement contingencies for alternative forms of communication were implemented for specific response-reinforcer relations. Our results suggest that the causes of stereotypy for students with autism are complex and that the presumed association between response topography and behavioral function may be less important than previously realized.

  2. Episodic Memory and Episodic Future Thinking Impairments in High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder: An Underlying Difficulty With Scene Construction or Self-Projection?

    OpenAIRE

    Lind, Sophie E.; Williams, David M.; Bowler, Dermot M.; Peel, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Objective: There appears to be a common network of brain regions that underlie the ability to recall\\ud past personal experiences (episodic memory) and the ability to imagine possible future personal\\ud experiences (episodic future thinking). At the cognitive level, these abilities are thought to rely on\\ud “scene construction” (the ability to bind together multimodal elements of a scene in mind—\\ud dependent on hippocampal functioning) and temporal “self-projection” (the ability to mentally\\...

  3. Reward Circuitry Function in Autism during Face Anticipation and Outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dichter, Gabriel S.; Richey, J. Anthony; Rittenberg, Alison M.; Sabatino, Antoinette; Bodfish, James W.

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate reward circuitry responses in autism during reward anticipation and outcomes for monetary and social rewards. During monetary anticipation, participants with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) showed hypoactivation in right nucleus accumbens and hyperactivation in right hippocampus, whereas during monetary…

  4. Using Functional or Structural Magnetic Resonance Images and Personal Characteristic Data to Identify ADHD and Autism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sina Ghiassian

    Full Text Available A clinical tool that can diagnose psychiatric illness using functional or structural magnetic resonance (MR brain images has the potential to greatly assist physicians and improve treatment efficacy. Working toward the goal of automated diagnosis, we propose an approach for automated classification of ADHD and autism based on histogram of oriented gradients (HOG features extracted from MR brain images, as well as personal characteristic data features. We describe a learning algorithm that can produce effective classifiers for ADHD and autism when run on two large public datasets. The algorithm is able to distinguish ADHD from control with hold-out accuracy of 69.6% (over baseline 55.0% using personal characteristics and structural brain scan features when trained on the ADHD-200 dataset (769 participants in training set, 171 in test set. It is able to distinguish autism from control with hold-out accuracy of 65.0% (over baseline 51.6% using functional images with personal characteristic data when trained on the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange (ABIDE dataset (889 participants in training set, 222 in test set. These results outperform all previously presented methods on both datasets. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a single automated learning process that can produce classifiers for distinguishing patients vs. controls from brain imaging data with above-chance accuracy on large datasets for two different psychiatric illnesses (ADHD and autism. Working toward clinical applications requires robustness against real-world conditions, including the substantial variability that often exists among data collected at different institutions. It is therefore important that our algorithm was successful with the large ADHD-200 and ABIDE datasets, which include data from hundreds of participants collected at multiple institutions. While the resulting classifiers are not yet clinically relevant, this work shows that there is a signal in

  5. Functional magnetic resonance imaging of autism spectrum disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dichter, Gabriel S.

    2012-01-01

    This review presents an overview of functional magnetic resonance imaging findings in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), Although there is considerable heterogeneity with respect to results across studies, common themes have emerged, including: (i) hypoactivation in nodes of the “social brain” during social processing tasks, including regions within the prefrontal cortex, the posterior superior temporal sulcus, the amygdala, and the fusiform gyrus; (ii) aberrant frontostriatal activation during cognitive control tasks relevant to restricted and repetitive behaviors and interests, including regions within the dorsal prefrontal cortex and the basal ganglia; (iii) differential lateralization and activation of language processing and production regions during communication tasks; (iv) anomalous mesolimbic responses to social and nonsocial rewards; (v) task-based long-range functional hypoconnectivity and short-range hyper-connectivity; and (vi) decreased anterior-posterior functional connectivity during resting states. These findings provide mechanistic accounts of ASD pathophysiology and suggest directions for future research aimed at elucidating etiologic models and developing rationally derived and targeted treatments. PMID:23226956

  6. THE TEACHING OF FUNCTIONAL LANGUAGE SKILLS IN A SECOND LANGUAGE TO A CHILD WITH AUTISM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renee Chong

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available This article examined the rate of self-initiated communication acquisition, in a second language, of a child with autism. The language treatment objective was to teach functional communication skills in English through the use of Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS. The findings of this study show that it is possible for a child with autism to acquire functional communication skills in his second language even though he did not possess such communication skills in his first language.

  7. Atypical brain lateralisation in the auditory cortex and language performance in 3- to 7-year-old children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder: a child-customised magnetoencephalography (MEG) study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshimura, Yuko; Kikuchi, Mitsuru; Shitamichi, Kiyomi; Ueno, Sanae; Munesue, Toshio; Ono, Yasuki; Tsubokawa, Tsunehisa; Haruta, Yasuhiro; Oi, Manabu; Niida, Yo; Remijn, Gerard B; Takahashi, Tsutomu; Suzuki, Michio; Higashida, Haruhiro; Minabe, Yoshio

    2013-10-08

    Magnetoencephalography (MEG) is used to measure the auditory evoked magnetic field (AEF), which reflects language-related performance. In young children, however, the simultaneous quantification of the bilateral auditory-evoked response during binaural hearing is difficult using conventional adult-sized MEG systems. Recently, a child-customised MEG device has facilitated the acquisition of bi-hemispheric recordings, even in young children. Using the child-customised MEG device, we previously reported that language-related performance was reflected in the strength of the early component (P50m) of the auditory evoked magnetic field (AEF) in typically developing (TD) young children (2 to 5 years old) [Eur J Neurosci 2012, 35:644-650]. The aim of this study was to investigate how this neurophysiological index in each hemisphere is correlated with language performance in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and TD children. We used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to measure the auditory evoked magnetic field (AEF), which reflects language-related performance. We investigated the P50m that is evoked by voice stimuli (/ne/) bilaterally in 33 young children (3 to 7 years old) with ASD and in 30 young children who were typically developing (TD). The children were matched according to their age (in months) and gender. Most of the children with ASD were high-functioning subjects. The results showed that the children with ASD exhibited significantly less leftward lateralisation in their P50m intensity compared with the TD children. Furthermore, the results of a multiple regression analysis indicated that a shorter P50m latency in both hemispheres was specifically correlated with higher language-related performance in the TD children, whereas this latency was not correlated with non-verbal cognitive performance or chronological age. The children with ASD did not show any correlation between P50m latency and language-related performance; instead, increasing chronological age was a

  8. Aberrant functioning of the theory-of-mind network in children and adolescents with autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kana, Rajesh K; Maximo, Jose O; Williams, Diane L; Keller, Timothy A; Schipul, Sarah E; Cherkassky, Vladimir L; Minshew, Nancy J; Just, Marcel Adam

    2015-01-01

    Theory-of-mind (ToM), the ability to infer people's thoughts and feelings, is a pivotal skill in effective social interactions. Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have been found to have altered ToM skills, which significantly impacts the quality of their social interactions. Neuroimaging studies have reported altered activation of the ToM cortical network, especially in adults with autism, yet little is known about the brain responses underlying ToM in younger individuals with ASD. This functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study investigated the neural mechanisms underlying ToM in high-functioning children and adolescents with ASD and matched typically developing (TD) peers. fMRI data were acquired from 13 participants with ASD and 13 TD control participants while they watched animations involving two "interacting" geometrical shapes. Participants with ASD showed significantly reduced activation, relative to TD controls, in regions considered part of the ToM network, the mirror network, and the cerebellum. Functional connectivity analyses revealed underconnectivity between frontal and posterior regions during task performance in the ASD participants. Overall, the findings of this study reveal disruptions in the brain circuitry underlying ToM in ASD at multiple levels, including decreased activation and decreased functional connectivity.

  9. From the lab - Predicting Autism in High-Risk Infants | NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... High-Risk Infants Follow us Photo: iStock Predicting Autism in High-Risk Infants AN NIH-SUPPORTED STUDY ... high-risk, 6-month-old infants will develop autism spectrum disorder by age 2. Such a tool ...

  10. Differences in Neural Correlates of Speech Perception in 3 Month Olds at High and Low Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Laura A.; Wagner, Jennifer B.; Tager-Flusberg, Helen; Nelson, Charles A.

    2017-01-01

    In this study, we investigated neural precursors of language acquisition as potential endophenotypes of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in 3-month-old infants at high and low familial ASD risk. Infants were imaged using functional near-infrared spectroscopy while they listened to auditory stimuli containing syllable repetitions; their neural…

  11. Functional connectivity in the first year of life in infants at risk for autism spectrum disorder: an EEG study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giulia Righi

    Full Text Available In the field of autism research, recent work has been devoted to studying both behavioral and neural markers that may aide in early identification of autism spectrum disorder (ASD. These studies have often tested infants who have a significant family history of autism spectrum disorder, given the increased prevalence observed among such infants. In the present study we tested infants at high- and low-risk for ASD (based on having an older sibling diagnosed with the disorder or not at 6- and 12-months-of-age. We computed intrahemispheric linear coherence between anterior and posterior sites as a measure of neural functional connectivity derived from electroencephalography while the infants were listening to speech sounds. We found that by 12-months-of-age infants at risk for ASD showed reduced functional connectivity compared to low risk infants. Moreover, by 12-months-of-age infants later diagnosed with ASD showed reduced functional connectivity, compared to both infants at low risk for the disorder and infants at high risk who were not later diagnosed with ASD. Significant differences in functional connectivity were also found between low-risk infants and high-risk infants who did not go onto develop ASD. These results demonstrate that reduced functional connectivity appears to be related to genetic vulnerability for ASD. Moreover, they provide further evidence that ASD is broadly characterized by differences in neural integration that emerge during the first year of life.

  12. Functional connectivity in the first year of life in infants at risk for autism spectrum disorder: an EEG study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Righi, Giulia; Tierney, Adrienne L; Tager-Flusberg, Helen; Nelson, Charles A

    2014-01-01

    In the field of autism research, recent work has been devoted to studying both behavioral and neural markers that may aide in early identification of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These studies have often tested infants who have a significant family history of autism spectrum disorder, given the increased prevalence observed among such infants. In the present study we tested infants at high- and low-risk for ASD (based on having an older sibling diagnosed with the disorder or not) at 6- and 12-months-of-age. We computed intrahemispheric linear coherence between anterior and posterior sites as a measure of neural functional connectivity derived from electroencephalography while the infants were listening to speech sounds. We found that by 12-months-of-age infants at risk for ASD showed reduced functional connectivity compared to low risk infants. Moreover, by 12-months-of-age infants later diagnosed with ASD showed reduced functional connectivity, compared to both infants at low risk for the disorder and infants at high risk who were not later diagnosed with ASD. Significant differences in functional connectivity were also found between low-risk infants and high-risk infants who did not go onto develop ASD. These results demonstrate that reduced functional connectivity appears to be related to genetic vulnerability for ASD. Moreover, they provide further evidence that ASD is broadly characterized by differences in neural integration that emerge during the first year of life.

  13. A functional polymorphism in the reduced folate carrier gene and DNA hypomethylation in mothers of children with autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, S Jill; Melnyk, Stepan; Jernigan, Stefanie; Pavliv, Oleksandra; Trusty, Timothy; Lehman, Sara; Seidel, Lisa; Gaylor, David W; Cleves, Mario A

    2010-09-01

    The biologic basis of autism is complex and is thought to involve multiple and variable gene-environment interactions. While the logical focus has been on the affected child, the impact of maternal genetics on intrauterine microenvironment during pivotal developmental windows could be substantial. Folate-dependent one carbon metabolism is a highly polymorphic pathway that regulates the distribution of one-carbon derivatives between DNA synthesis (proliferation) and DNA methylation (cell-specific gene expression and differentiation). These pathways are essential to support the programmed shifts between proliferation and differentiation during embryogenesis and organogenesis. Maternal genetic variants that compromise intrauterine availability of folate derivatives could alter fetal cell trajectories and disrupt normal neurodevelopment. In this investigation, the frequency of common functional polymorphisms in the folate pathway was investigated in a large population-based sample of autism case-parent triads. In case-control analysis, a significant increase in the reduced folate carrier (RFC1) G allele frequency was found among case mothers, but not among fathers or affected children. Subsequent log linear analysis of the RFC1 A80G genotype within family trios revealed that the maternal G allele was associated with a significant increase in risk of autism whereas the inherited genotype of the child was not. Further, maternal DNA from the autism mothers was found to be significantly hypomethylated relative to reference control DNA. Metabolic profiling indicated that plasma homocysteine, adenosine, and S-adenosylhomocyteine were significantly elevated among autism mothers consistent with reduced methylation capacity and DNA hypomethylation. Together, these results suggest that the maternal genetics/epigenetics may influence fetal predisposition to autism. (c) 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  14. Atypical functional connectivity in autism spectrum disorder is associated with disrupted white matter microstructural organisation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jane eMcGrath

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Disruption of structural and functional neural connectivity has been widely reported in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD but there is a striking lack of research attempting to integrate analysis of functional and structural connectivity in the same study population, an approach that may provide key insights into the specific neurobiological underpinnings of altered functional connectivity in autism. The aims of this study were 1. to determine whether functional connectivity abnormalities were associated with structural abnormalities of white matter (WM in ASD and 2. to examine the relationships between aberrant neural connectivity and behaviour in ASD. 22 individuals with ASD and 22 age, IQ-matched controls completed a high-angular-resolution diffusion MRI scan. Structural connectivity was analysed using constrained spherical deconvolution based tractography. Regions for tractography were generated from the results of a previous study, in which 10 pairs of brain regions showed abnormal functional connectivity during visuospatial processing in ASD. WM tracts directly connected 5 of the 10 region pairs that showed abnormal functional connectivity; linking a region in the left occipital lobe (left BA19 and five paired regions: left caudate head, left caudate body, left uncus, left thalamus and left cuneus. Measures of WM microstructural organisation were extracted from these tracts. Fractional anisotropy reductions in the ASD group relative to controls were significant for WM connecting left BA19 to left caudate head and left BA19 to left thalamus. Using a multimodal imaging approach, this study has revealed aberrant white matter microstructure in tracts that directly connect brain regions that are abnormally functionally connected in ASD. These results provide novel evidence to suggest that structural brain pathology may contribute 1. to abnormal functional connectivity and 2. to atypical visuospatial processing in ASD.

  15. Functional significance of rare neuroligin 1 variants found in autism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moe Nakanishi

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Genetic mutations contribute to the etiology of autism spectrum disorder (ASD, a common, heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impairments in social interaction, communication, and repetitive and restricted patterns of behavior. Since neuroligin3 (NLGN3, a cell adhesion molecule at the neuronal synapse, was first identified as a risk gene for ASD, several additional variants in NLGN3 and NLGN4 were found in ASD patients. Moreover, synaptopathies are now known to cause several neuropsychiatric disorders including ASD. In humans, NLGNs consist of five family members, and neuroligin1 (NLGN1 is a major component forming a complex on excitatory glutamatergic synapses. However, the significance of NLGN1 in neuropsychiatric disorders remains unknown. Here, we systematically examine five missense variants of NLGN1 that were detected in ASD patients, and show molecular and cellular alterations caused by these variants. We show that a novel NLGN1 Pro89Leu (P89L missense variant found in two ASD siblings leads to changes in cellular localization, protein degradation, and to the impairment of spine formation. Furthermore, we generated the knock-in P89L mice, and we show that the P89L heterozygote mice display abnormal social behavior, a core feature of ASD. These results, for the first time, implicate rare variants in NLGN1 as functionally significant and support that the NLGN synaptic pathway is of importance in the etiology of neuropsychiatric disorders.

  16. A Peer-Delivered Social Interaction Intervention for High School Students with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Carolyn; Harvey, Michelle; Cosgriff, Joseph; Reilly, Caitlin; Heilingoetter, Jamie; Brigham, Nicolette; Kaplan, Lauren; Bernstein, Rebekah

    2013-01-01

    Limited social interaction typically occurs between high school students with autism and their general education peers unless programming is introduced to promote interaction. However, few published social interaction interventions have been conducted among high school students with autism and their general education classmates. Such studies…

  17. Mood Disorders in Mothers of Children on the Autism Spectrum Are Associated with Higher Functioning Autism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roma A. Vasa

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Mood disorders occur more frequently in family members of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD than in the general population. There may be associations between maternal mood disorder history patterns and specific ASD phenotypes. We therefore examined the relationship between maternal mood disorders and child autism spectrum disorders in 998 mother-child dyads enrolled in a national online autism registry and database. Mothers of children with ASD completed online questionnaires addressing their child’s ASD as well as their own mood disorder history. In multivariate logistic regression models of ASD diagnoses, the odds of an Asperger disorder versus autistic disorder diagnosis were higher among those children whose mothers had a lifetime history of bipolar disorder (OR 2.11, CI 1.20, 3.69 or depression (OR 1.62, CI 1.19, 2.19. Further, maternal mood disorder onset before first pregnancy was associated with higher odds (OR 2.35, CI 1.48, 3.73 of an Asperger versus autism diagnosis among this sample of children with ASD. These data suggest that differences in maternal mood disorder history may be associated with ASD phenotype in offspring.

  18. Biological sex affects the neurobiology of autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombardo, Michael V.; Suckling, John; Ruigrok, Amber N. V.; Chakrabarti, Bhismadev; Ecker, Christine; Deoni, Sean C. L.; Craig, Michael C.; Murphy, Declan G. M.; Bullmore, Edward T.; Baron-Cohen, Simon

    2013-01-01

    In autism, heterogeneity is the rule rather than the exception. One obvious source of heterogeneity is biological sex. Since autism was first recognized, males with autism have disproportionately skewed research. Females with autism have thus been relatively overlooked, and have generally been assumed to have the same underlying neurobiology as males with autism. Growing evidence, however, suggests that this is an oversimplification that risks obscuring the biological base of autism. This study seeks to answer two questions about how autism is modulated by biological sex at the level of the brain: (i) is the neuroanatomy of autism different in males and females? and (ii) does the neuroanatomy of autism fit predictions from the ‘extreme male brain’ theory of autism, in males and/or in females? Neuroanatomical features derived from voxel-based morphometry were compared in a sample of equal-sized high-functioning male and female adults with and without autism (n = 120, n = 30/group). The first question was investigated using a 2 × 2 factorial design, and by spatial overlap analyses of the neuroanatomy of autism in males and females. The second question was tested through spatial overlap analyses of specific patterns predicted by the extreme male brain theory. We found that the neuroanatomy of autism differed between adult males and females, evidenced by minimal spatial overlap (not different from that occurred under random condition) in both grey and white matter, and substantially large white matter regions showing significant sex × diagnosis interactions in the 2 × 2 factorial design. These suggest that autism manifests differently by biological sex. Furthermore, atypical brain areas in females with autism substantially and non-randomly (P males with autism. How differences in neuroanatomy relate to the similarities in cognition between males and females with autism remains to be understood. Future research should stratify by biological sex to reduce

  19. Identifying High Ability Children with DSM-5 Autism Spectrum or Social Communication Disorder: Performance on Autism Diagnostic Instruments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foley-Nicpon, Megan; Fosenburg, Staci L.; Wurster, Kristin G.; Assouline, Susan G.

    2017-01-01

    This study was a replication of Mazefsky et al.'s ("Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities" 43:1236-1242, 2013) investigation among a sample of 45 high ability children and adolescents diagnosed with ASD under DSM-IV-TR. Items from the ADOS and ADI-R were mapped onto DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for ASD and SCD to determine…

  20. Peak alpha frequency is a neural marker of cognitive function across the autism spectrum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickinson, Abigail; DiStefano, Charlotte; Senturk, Damla; Jeste, Shafali Spurling

    2018-03-01

    Cognitive function varies substantially and serves as a key predictor of outcome and response to intervention in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), yet we know little about the neurobiological mechanisms that underlie cognitive function in children with ASD. The dynamics of neuronal oscillations in the alpha range (6-12 Hz) are associated with cognition in typical development. Peak alpha frequency is also highly sensitive to developmental changes in neural networks, which underlie cognitive function, and therefore, it holds promise as a developmentally sensitive neural marker of cognitive function in ASD. Here, we measured peak alpha band frequency under a task-free condition in a heterogeneous sample of children with ASD (N = 59) and age-matched typically developing (TD) children (N = 38). At a group level, peak alpha frequency was decreased in ASD compared to TD children. Moreover, within the ASD group, peak alpha frequency correlated strongly with non-verbal cognition. As peak alpha frequency reflects the integrity of neural networks, our results suggest that deviations in network development may underlie cognitive function in individuals with ASD. By shedding light on the neurobiological correlates of cognitive function in ASD, our findings lay the groundwork for considering peak alpha frequency as a useful biomarker of cognitive function within this population which, in turn, will facilitate investigations of early markers of cognitive impairment and predictors of outcome in high risk infants. © 2017 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Travel Advice for Higher Functioning Individuals on the Autism Spectrum

    Science.gov (United States)

    VanBergeijk, Ernst

    2009-01-01

    While travel training on local mass transit makes intuitive sense, the thought of larger scale travel training does not occur to most people. Possible benefits that could be gained from long distance or more involved traveling with individuals on the autism spectrum are vast. In this article, the author presents 11 essential skills that are a…

  2. Neurofeedback Improves Executive Functioning in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kouijzer, Mirjam E. J.; de Moor, Jan M. H.; Gerrits, Berrie J. L.; Congedo, Marco; van Schie, Hein T.

    2009-01-01

    Seven autistic children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) received a neurofeedback treatment that aimed to improve their level of executive control. Neurofeedback successfully reduced children's heightened theta/beta ratio by inhibiting theta activation and enhancing beta activation over sessions. Following treatment, children's…

  3. Reading. Functional Programming for People with Autism: Revised. A Series.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porco, Barbara

    This booklet describes techniques for teaching reading with teacher-made materials to students with autism. A modified language experience approach built around the Dolch Basic Sight Word List is used, incorporating familiar names and words of importance for each child. Readiness skills are incorporated into the approach as well as an emphasis on…

  4. Toileting. Functional Programming for People with Autism: Revised. A Series.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalrymple, Nancy; Boarman, Margaret

    Self-care in toileting is one of the areas that persons with autism frequently have difficulty managing and are often confused by training. In developing a toilet training plan, critical factors include teaching the skill where it will be used, considering modesty concerns, communicating clear expectations, ruling out medical problems, and…

  5. Association between Air Pollution Exposure, Cognitive and Adaptive Function, and ASD Severity among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerin, Tara; Volk, Heather; Li, Weiyan; Lurmann, Fred; Eckel, Sandrah; McConnell, Rob; Hertz-Picciotto, Irva

    2018-01-01

    Prenatal exposure to air pollution has been associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) risk but no study has examined associations with ASD severity or functioning. Cognitive ability, adaptive functioning, and ASD severity were assessed in 327 children with ASD from the Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and the Environment study using the…

  6. State-Dependent Changes of Connectivity Patterns and Functional Brain Network Topology in Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barttfeld, Pablo; Wicker, Bruno; Cukier, Sebastian; Navarta, Silvana; Lew, Sergio; Leiguarda, Ramon; Sigman, Mariano

    2012-01-01

    Anatomical and functional brain studies have converged to the hypothesis that autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are associated with atypical connectivity. Using a modified resting-state paradigm to drive subjects' attention, we provide evidence of a very marked interaction between ASD brain functional connectivity and cognitive state. We show that…

  7. Functional Living Skills and Adolescents and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Meta-Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Ee Rea; Davis, John L.; Neely, Leslie; Ganz, Jennifer B.; Morin, Kristi; Ninci, Jennifer; Boles, Margot B.

    2017-01-01

    Functional living skills are skills needed for being an independent individual in society. As individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) get older, the discrepancy between functional living skills of themselves and their peers increases. However, it is not known which type of intervention is more or less effective specifically for adolescent-…

  8. Executive Functioning in Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roelofs, R. L.; Visser, E. M.; Berger, H. J. C.; Prins, J. B.; Van Schrojenstein Lantman-De Valk, H. M. J.; Teunisse, J. P.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Executive functioning (EF) is important for adequate behavioural functioning and crucial for explaining symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in individuals with normal intelligence, but is scarcely studied in individuals with ASD and intellectual disabilities (ID). We therefore study EF in an ID population by comparing…

  9. High-Resolution Chromosome Ideogram Representation of Currently Recognized Genes for Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Merlin G. Butler

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Recently, autism-related research has focused on the identification of various genes and disturbed pathways causing the genetically heterogeneous group of autism spectrum disorders (ASD. The list of autism-related genes has significantly increased due to better awareness with advances in genetic technology and expanding searchable genomic databases. We compiled a master list of known and clinically relevant autism spectrum disorder genes identified with supporting evidence from peer-reviewed medical literature sources by searching key words related to autism and genetics and from authoritative autism-related public access websites, such as the Simons Foundation Autism Research Institute autism genomic database dedicated to gene discovery and characterization. Our list consists of 792 genes arranged in alphabetical order in tabular form with gene symbols placed on high-resolution human chromosome ideograms, thereby enabling clinical and laboratory geneticists and genetic counsellors to access convenient visual images of the location and distribution of ASD genes. Meaningful correlations of the observed phenotype in patients with suspected/confirmed ASD gene(s at the chromosome region or breakpoint band site can be made to inform diagnosis and gene-based personalized care and provide genetic counselling for families.

  10. Idiom understanding in people with Asperger syndrome/high functioning autism Compreensão de expressões idiomáticas em pessoas com síndrome de Asperger/autismo de alto funcionamento

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ioannis Vogindroukas

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available PURPOSE: To extend previous research in the development of idiom comprehension by investigating this ability in children with Asperger Syndrome (AS or with High Functioning Autism (HFA. METHODS: Three groups participated in the study. The first group consisted of 27 children with AS/HFA (mean age 11.3 years and the other two consisted of typically developing children and adults, respectively. The Comprehension Test of Idiomatic Phrases (CTIP was administered to all participants. RESULTS: Children with AS/HFA had lower performance compared to the other two groups. No difference was found in the performance between the two typically developing groups. Also, there was no significant correlation between the IQ and the performance for the children with AS/HFA, while positive correlations were revealed between performance and age for the two groups of children. CONCLUSION: The results provide further evidence that children with AS/HFA have difficulties in understanding idioms and they confirm their tendency to make literal interpretations. These impairments are irrelevant to their intelligence and they affect their communication with others. The understanding of these difficulties is important in order to find ways to limit the confusion and the misinterpretations which are observed during the communicative acts with this clinic group.OBJETIVO: Ampliar pesquisas anteriores a respeito do desenvolvimento da compreensão de expressões idiomáticas por meio da investigação dessa habilidade em crianças com síndrome de Asperger (AS ou com autismo de alto funcionamento (HFA. MÉTODOS: Três grupos participaram do estudo. O primeiro grupo era composto por 27 crianças com AS/HFA (média de idade 11 anos e 3 meses e os outros dois eram constituídos, respectivamente, por crianças em desenvolvimento típico e adultos. O Teste de Compreensão de Expressões Idiomáticas (CTIP foi aplicado a todos os participantes. RESULTADOS: Crianças com AS/HFA tiveram

  11. Impairments in real-world executive function increase from childhood to adolescence in autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenthal, Michael; Wallace, Gregory L; Lawson, Rachel; Wills, Meagan C; Dixon, Eunice; Yerys, Benjamin E; Kenworthy, Lauren

    2013-01-01

    Although several studies have investigated developmental trajectories of executive functioning (EF) in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) using lab-based tasks, no study to date has directly measured how EF skills in everyday settings vary at different ages. The current study seeks to extend prior work by evaluating age-related differences in parent-reported EF problems during childhood and adolescence in a large cross-sectional cohort of children with ASD. Children (N = 185) with an ASD without intellectual disability participated in the study. Participants were divided into four groups based on age (5-7, 8-10, 11-13, and 14-18-year-olds). The four age groups did not differ in IQ, sex ratio, or autism symptoms. There were significant age effects (i.e., worsening scores with increasing age) in three of G. A. Gioia, P. K. Isquith, S. Guy, and L. Kenworthy's (2000) BRIEF: Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, Odessa, FL, Psychological Assessment Resources scale scores: Initiate (p = .007), working memory (p = .003), and organization of materials (p = .023). In addition, analysis of the BRIEF scale profile revealed that, although multiple scales were elevated, the shift scale showed the greatest problems in both the youngest and oldest age cohorts. Older children with ASD show greater EF problems compared with the normative sample than younger children with ASD. Specifically, there is a widening divergence from the normative sample in metacognitive executive abilities in children with ASD as they age. This, in combination with significant, albeit more stable, impairments in flexibility, has implications for the challenges faced by high-functioning individuals with ASD as they attempt to enter mainstream work and social environments.

  12. Endogenous spatial attention: evidence for intact functioning in adults with autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grubb, Michael A.; Behrmann, Marlene; Egan, Ryan; Minshew, Nancy J.; Carrasco, Marisa; Heeger, David J.

    2012-01-01

    Lay Abstract Attention allows us to selectively process the vast amount of information with which we are confronted. Focusing on a certain location of the visual scene (visual spatial attention) enables the prioritization of some aspects of information while ignoring others. Rapid manipulation of the attention field (i.e., the location and spread of visual spatial attention) is a critical aspect of human cognition, and previous research on spatial attention in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has produced inconsistent results. In a series of three experiments, we evaluated claims in the literature that individuals with ASD exhibit a deficit in voluntarily controlling the deployment and size of the spatial attention field. We measured how well participants perform a visual discrimination task (accuracy) and how quickly they do so (reaction time), with and without spatial uncertainty (i.e., the lack of predictability concerning the spatial position of the upcoming stimulus). We found that high–functioning adults with autism exhibited slower reactions times overall with spatial uncertainty, but the effects of attention on performance accuracies and reaction times were indistinguishable between individuals with autism and typically developing individuals, in all three experiments. These results provide evidence of intact endogenous spatial attention function in high–functioning adults with ASD, suggesting that atypical endogenous spatial attention cannot be a latent characteristic of autism in general. Scientific Abstract Rapid manipulation of the attention field (i.e., the location and spread of visual spatial attention) is a critical aspect of human cognition, and previous research on spatial attention in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has produced inconsistent results. In a series of three psychophysical experiments, we evaluated claims in the literature that individuals with ASD exhibit a deficit in voluntarily controlling the

  13. Executive functioning in pre-school children with autism spectrum disorders: The relationship between executive functioning and language

    OpenAIRE

    Linnerud, Ida Cathrine Wang

    2014-01-01

    Background: Executive function difficulties are prevalent in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and there are several indications of a modifying relationship between executive functions and language in children. However, there is limited research on the relationship between executive functioning and language in young children with ASD. The current study compared real-world executive functioning between groups of children with ASD, language disorders (LD), and typical development (T...

  14. Comparative analysis of three screening instruments for autism spectrum disorder in toddlers at high risk.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oosterling, I.J.; Swinkels, S.H.N.; Gaag, R.J. van der; Visser, J.C.; Dietz, C.; Buitelaar, J.K.

    2009-01-01

    Several instruments have been developed to screen for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in high-risk populations. However, few studies compare different instruments in one sample. Data were gathered from the Early Screening of Autistic Traits Questionnaire, Social Communication Questionnaire,

  15. [Neuropsychological models of autism spectrum disorders - behavioral evidence and functional imaging].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dziobek, Isabel; Bölte, Sven

    2011-03-01

    To review neuropsychological models of theory of mind (ToM), executive functions (EF), and central coherence (CC) as framework for cognitive abnormalities in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Behavioral and functional imaging studies are described that assess social-cognitive, emotional, and executive functions as well as locally oriented perception in ASD. Impairments in ToM and EF as well as alterations in CC are frequently replicated phenomena in ASD. Especially problems concerning social perception and ToM have high explanatory value for clinical symptomatology. Brain activation patterns differ between individuals with and without ASD for ToM, EF, und CC functions. An approach focussing on reduced cortical connectivity seems to be increasingly favored over explanations focussing on single affected brain sites. A better understanding of the complexities of ASD in future research demands the integration of clinical, neuropsychological, functional imaging, and molecular genetics evidence. Weaknesses in ToM and EF as well as strengths in detail-focussed perception should be used for individual intervention planning.

  16. Effects of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Performing Eye-Hand Integration Tasks: Four Preliminary Studies with Children Showing Low-Functioning Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panerai, Simonetta; Tasca, Domenica; Lanuzza, Bartolo; Trubia, Grazia; Ferri, Raffaele; Musso, Sabrina; Alagona, Giovanna; Di Guardo, Giuseppe; Barone, Concetta; Gaglione, Maria P.; Elia, Maurizio

    2014-01-01

    This report, based on four studies with children with low-functioning autism, aimed at evaluating the effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation delivered on the left and right premotor cortices on eye-hand integration tasks; defining the long-lasting effects of high-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation; and…

  17. The Effects of a Multi-Component Higher-Functioning Autism Anti-Stigma Program on Adolescent Boys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staniland, Jessica J.; Byrne, Mitchell K.

    2013-01-01

    A six-session higher-functioning autism anti-stigma program incorporating descriptive, explanatory and directive information was delivered to adolescent boys and the impact upon knowledge, attitudes and behavioural intentions towards peers with autism was evaluated. Participants were seventh-, eighth- and ninth-grade students (N = 395) from…

  18. Individual Differences in Executive Function and Central Coherence Predict Developmental Changes in Theory of Mind in Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellicano, Elizabeth

    2010-01-01

    There is strong evidence to suggest that individuals with autism show atypicalities in multiple cognitive domains, including theory of mind (ToM), executive function (EF), and central coherence (CC). In this study, the longitudinal relationships among these 3 aspects of cognition in autism were investigated. Thirty-seven cognitively able children…

  19. Parental Adjustment, Marital Relationship, and Family Function in Families of Children with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gau, Susan Shur-Fen; Chou, Miao-Churn; Chiang, Huey-Ling; Lee, Ju-Chin; Wong, Ching-Ching; Chou, Wen-Jiun; Wu, Yu-Yu

    2012-01-01

    This study aimed to investigate the psychopathology, marital relationship, and family function in parents of children with autistic disorder (autism) as compared to parents of typically developing children. We also compared these measures between the mothers and the fathers. We assessed 151 families with at least one child with autistic disorder…

  20. Executive Functions in Older Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder : Objective Performance and Subjective Complaints

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Davids, Roeliena C. D.; Groen, Yvonne; Berg, Ina J.; Tucha, Oliver M.; van Balkom, Ingrid D. C.

    Although deficits in Executive Functioning (EF) are reported frequently in young individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), they remain relatively unexplored later in life (> 50 years). We studied objective performance on EF measures (Tower of London, Zoo map, phonetic/semantic fluency) as

  1. Individual differences in executive functions, training effects & quality of life of children with autism spectrum disorders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Vries, M.

    2015-01-01

    Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) appear to experience executive functioning (EF) problems, but there are large individual differences in EF-profiles in ASD. In the current study the majority of children with ASD (8-12 years) actually experienced no cognitive flexibility deficits.

  2. Brief Report: Effect of a Focused Imitation Intervention on Social Functioning in Children with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingersoll, Brooke

    2012-01-01

    Imitation is an early skill thought to play a role in social development, leading some to suggest that teaching imitation to children with autism should lead to improvements in social functioning. This study used a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effect of a focused imitation intervention on initiation of joint attention and…

  3. The Role of Emotion Perception in Adaptive Functioning of People with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudepohl, Margaret B.; Robins, Diana L.; King, Tricia Z.; Henrich, Christopher C.

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive functioning has historically been used to predict adaptive outcomes of people with autism spectrum disorders; however, research shows that it is not a complete predictor. The current study explored whether emotion perception was a predictor of adaptive outcomes, and more specifically, hypothesized that emotion perception (Diagnostic…

  4. Toilet training in children with a functional defecation disorder and concomitant symptoms of autism spectrum disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peeters, Babette; Noens, Ilse; Kuppens, Sofie; Benninga, Marc A.

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the association between the presence of symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the time of completion of toilet training in pediatric patients with a Functional Defecation Disorder (FDD). Consecutive children (4-12 yrs) presenting with FDD according

  5. Effects of a Computer-Based Intervention Program on the Communicative Functions of Children with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hetzroni, Orit E.; Tannous, Juman

    2004-01-01

    This study investigated the use of computer-based intervention for enhancing communication functions of children with autism. The software program was developed based on daily life activities in the areas of play, food, and hygiene. The following variables were investigated: delayed echolalia, immediate echolalia, irrelevant speech, relevant…

  6. Relations between moral reasoning, theory of mind and executive functions in children with autism spectrum disorders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kretschmer, A.; Lampmann, S.A.; Altgassen, A.M.

    2014-01-01

    The aims of the present study were to investigate relations between moral reasoning, executive functioning and Theory of Mind in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) compared to typically developing children and to apply the dual aspect theory of Lind (1978, 2008) to moral reasoning in

  7. The Relationship of Everyday Executive Function and Autism Spectrum Disorder Symptoms in Preschoolers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etemad, Pontea

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between executive functioning (EF), as manifested in everyday behavior, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms, and adaptive behaviors in a sample of preschoolers with ASD. Quantitative data from a clinical database were analyzed for this study. Participants in the ASD group (n=52) were a…

  8. Brief Report: Joint Attention and Information Processing in Children with Higher Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mundy, Peter; Kim, Kwnanguk; McIntyre, Nancy; Lerro, Lindsay; Jarrold, William

    2016-01-01

    Theory suggests that information processing during joint attention may be atypical in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This hypothesis was tested in a study of school-aged children with higher functioning ASD and groups of children with symptoms of ADHD or typical development. The results indicated that the control groups displayed…

  9. Brief Report: Joint Attention and Information Processing in Children with Higher Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mundy, Peter; Kim, Kwanguk; McIntyre, Nancy; Lerro, Lindsay; Jarrold, William

    2016-01-01

    Theory suggests that information processing during joint attention may be atypical in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This hypothesis was tested in a study of school-aged children with higher functioning ASD and groups of children with symptoms of ADHD or typical development. The results indicated that the control groups displayed…

  10. Diagnosis, Disclosure, and Having Autism: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of the Perceptions of Young People with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huws, Jaci C.; Jones, Robert S. P.

    2008-01-01

    Background: Although there is extensive research examining parental experiences of assessment and diagnosis of autism, there is a paucity of research from the perspective of individuals with autism. Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine young people with high functioning autism who were capable of providing a verbal account…

  11. The Gestalt of functioning in autism spectrum disorder: Results of the international conference to develop final consensus International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health core sets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bölte, Sven; Mahdi, Soheil; de Vries, Petrus J; Granlund, Mats; Robison, John E; Shulman, Cory; Swedo, Susan; Tonge, Bruce; Wong, Virginia; Zwaigenbaum, Lonnie; Segerer, Wolfgang; Selb, Melissa

    2018-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorder is associated with diverse social, educational, and occupational challenges. To date, no standardized, internationally accepted tools exist to assess autism spectrum disorder-related functioning. World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health can serve as foundation for developing such tools. This study aimed to identify a comprehensive, a common brief, and three age-appropriate brief autism spectrum disorder Core Sets. Four international preparatory studies yielded in total 164 second-level International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health candidate categories. Based on this evidence, 20 international autism spectrum disorder experts applied an established iterative decision-making consensus process to select from the candidate categories the most relevant ones to constitute the autism spectrum disorder Core Sets. The consensus process generated 111 second-level International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health categories in the Comprehensive Core Set for autism spectrum disorder-one body structure, 20 body functions, 59 activities and participation categories, and 31 environmental factors. The Common Brief Core Set comprised 60 categories, while the age-appropriate core sets included 73 categories in the preschool version (0- to 5-year-old children), 81 in the school-age version (6- to 16-year-old children and adolescents), and 79 in the older adolescent and adult version (⩾17-year-old individuals). The autism spectrum disorder Core Sets mark a milestone toward the standardized assessment of autism spectrum disorder-related functioning in educational, administrative, clinical, and research settings.

  12. Executive Functions and Adaptive Behaviour in Autism Spectrum Disorders with and without Intellectual Disability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panerai, Simonetta; Tasca, Domenica; Ferri, Raffaele; Genitori D'Arrigo, Valentina; Elia, Maurizio

    2014-01-01

    Executive functions (EF) in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have been often investigated, although results seem to be rather inconsistent. The first aim of this study was to detect which EF components are common to the ASD continuum (from high- to low-functioning ASD) and identify a possible EF profile for ASD people. Planning, mental flexibility, inhibition of response, generativity, and ecologic EF were investigated. This study was extended not only to high-functioning ASD, but also to ASD with intellectual disability (ID). The second aim was to find EF aspects correlating with adaptive skills in ASD. A total of 61 children participated in the study (27 ASD with and without ID and 34 controls). Results highlight an executive profile characterised by impaired flexibility and deficient planning; these deficits are associated with decreased adaptive ability, particularly socialization, and a deficient shifting in ecologic conditions. These features are present in all ASD subgroups with and without ID; for this reason, they might be assumed as being specific features in ASD. PMID:24829905

  13. The Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ)-Adolescent Version

    OpenAIRE

    Baron-Cohen, Simon; Hoekstra, Rosa A.; Knickmeyer, Rebecca; Wheelwright, Sally

    2006-01-01

    The Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) quantifies autistic traits in adults. This paper adapted the AQ for children (age 9.8-15.4 years). Three groups of participants were assessed: Group 1: n=52 adolescents with Asperger Syndrome (AS) or high-functioning autism (HFA); Group 2: n=79 adolescents with classic autism; and Group 3, n=50 controls. The adolescents with AS/ HFA did not differ significantly from the adolescents with autism but both clinical groups scored higher than controls. Approximatel...

  14. Social communication in children with autism spectrum disorder (asd): Correlation between DSM-5 and autism classification system of functioning-social communication (ACSF:SC).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craig, Francesco; Fanizza, Isabella; Russo, Luigi; Lucarelli, Elisabetta; Alessandro, Lorenzo; Pasca, Maria Grazia; Trabacca, Antonio

    2017-07-01

    The aim of this study was to classify children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) according to Autism Classification System of Functioning: Social Communication (ACSF:SC) criteria, in order to investigate the association between social communication ability, ASD severity, adaptive functioning, cognitive abilities and psychoeducational profile. The severity of social communication impairment was specified through Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5th edition (DSM-5) and ACSF:SC tool. The ADOS-2, Vineland-II and PEP-3 were administered to all participants. We found a positive correlation between DSM-5 levels and ACSF:SC-Typical Performance (r = 0.35; P = 0.007) and ACSF:SC-Capacity (r = 0.31; P = 0.01) levels. Children included in the five levels of ACSF:SC (Typical Performance and Capacity) showed statistically significant differences in ADOS-2 (Social Affect), Vineland-II (Communication and Socialization), and PEP-3 (Communication, motor skills, maladaptive behavior) scores. The results of this study indicate that ACSF:SC provide a better understanding of functional profile of children with ASD based on the social communication abilities. Children with greater severity of social communication showed more difficulty in adaptive behavior and psychoeducational profiles. In conclusion, the ACSF:SC could help clinicians and therapists not only to understand the strength and weakness of preschool children with ASD but also to devise specific treatment in order to promote their social integration. Autism Res 2017. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Autism Res 2017, 10: 1249-1258. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disability, and Emotional Functioning: Relatedness and Particular Impact on Challenging Behavior

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sappok, Tanja; Sterkenburg, Paula; Bohm, Julia

    2017-01-01

    Aims: Persons with an intellectual disability (ID) show high rates of challenging behaviour (CB), especially in cases of co-occurring autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The aim of this retrospective study was to examine the relatedness and impact of ASD, the severity of ID, and the level of emotional

  16. Network organization is globally atypical in autism: A graph theory study of intrinsic functional connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keown, Christopher L; Datko, Michael C; Chen, Colleen P; Maximo, José Omar; Jahedi, Afrooz; Müller, Ralph-Axel

    2017-01-01

    Despite abundant evidence of brain network anomalies in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), findings have varied from broad functional underconnectivity to broad overconnectivity. Rather than pursuing overly simplifying general hypotheses ('under' vs. 'over'), we tested the hypothesis of atypical network distribution in ASD (i.e., participation of unusual loci in distributed functional networks). We used a selective high-quality data subset from the ABIDE datashare (including 111 ASD and 174 typically developing [TD] participants) and several graph theory metrics. Resting state functional MRI data were preprocessed and analyzed for detection of low-frequency intrinsic signal correlations. Groups were tightly matched for available demographics and head motion. As hypothesized, the Rand Index (reflecting how similar network organization was to a normative set of networks) was significantly lower in ASD than TD participants. This was accounted for by globally reduced cohesion and density, but increased dispersion of networks. While differences in hub architecture did not survive correction, rich club connectivity (among the hubs) was increased in the ASD group. Our findings support the model of reduced network integration (connectivity with networks) and differentiation (or segregation; based on connectivity outside network boundaries) in ASD. While the findings applied at the global level, they were not equally robust across all networks and in one case (greater cohesion within ventral attention network in ASD) even reversed.

  17. Language and communication skills in preschool children with autism spectrum disorders: contribution of cognition, severity of autism symptoms, and adaptive functioning to the variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kjellmer, Liselotte; Hedvall, Åsa; Fernell, Elisabeth; Gillberg, Christopher; Norrelgen, Fritjof

    2012-01-01

    This study examined the contribution of cognitive function, severity of autism, and adaptive functioning to the variability in language and communication skills in 129 preschool children (aged 24-63 months) with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Participants were selected from a representative research cohort of 208 preschool children on the basis of caregiver completion of the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories (CDI). The children were classified into three cognitive groups: (a) Normal intelligence; (b) Developmental delay; and (c) Intellectual disability. Autism symptom severity was measured by the Autistic Behavior Checklist (ABC), and adaptive functioning by the Daily Living Skills (DLS) and Socialization (Soc) subscales from the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales. For each of five CDI variables (Phrases understood, Words understood, Words produced, Gestures and actions, and Language use), the contribution of cognition, severity of autism symptoms, and adaptive functioning to the variability was examined. Cognition and age explained about half or more of the variance in the four verbal language CDI variables, but only about one fourth of the variance in the non-verbal communication variable Gestures and actions. Severity of autism symptoms and the two adaptive measures (DLS and Soc) each only accounted for a few percent more of the variance in the four CDI language variables; however, for Gestures and actions, an additional 11-21% of the variance was accounted for. In conclusion, for children with ASD, receptive and expressive language is mainly related to cognitive level, whereas non-verbal communication skills seem to also be related to severity of autism symptoms and adaptive functioning. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Randomized Controlled Trial of "Mind Reading" and In Vivo Rehearsal for High-Functioning Children with ASD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomeer, Marcus L.; Smith, Rachael A.; Lopata, Christopher; Volker, Martin A.; Lipinski, Alanna M.; Rodgers, Jonathan D.; McDonald, Christin A.; Lee, Gloria K.

    2015-01-01

    This randomized controlled trial evaluated the efficacy of a computer software (i.e., "Mind Reading") and in vivo rehearsal treatment on the emotion decoding and encoding skills, autism symptoms, and social skills of 43 children, ages 7-12 years with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (HFASD). Children in treatment (n = 22)…

  19. The Associations among Motor Ability, Social-Communication Skills, and Participation in Daily Life Activities in Children with Low-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenberg, Limor; Moran, Adva; Bart, Orit

    2017-01-01

    Decreased motor ability is a common feature in autism, leading to the proposal of a motor-social link in autism. The purpose of the study was to assess the contribution of motor abilities and social-communication skills to children's participation in daily activities, among children with low-functioning autism spectrum disorder (LFASD).…

  20. Can They See It? The Functional Field of View Is Narrower in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Yongning; Hakoda, Yuji; Sanefuji, Wakako; Cheng, Chen

    2015-01-01

    Although social cognitive deficits have long been thought to underlie the characteristic and pervasive difficulties with social interaction observed in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), several recent behavioral and neuroimaging studies have indicated that visual perceptual impairments might also play a role. People with ASD show a robust bias towards detailed information at the expense of global information, although the mechanisms that underlie this phenomenon remain elusive. To address this issue, we investigated the functional field of view in a group of high-functioning children with autism (n = 13) and a paired non-ASD group (n = 13). Our results indicate that the ability to correctly detect and identify stimuli sharply decreases with greater eccentricity from the fovea in people with ASD. Accordingly, a probe analysis revealed that the functional field of view in the ASD group was only about 6.62° of retinal eccentricity, compared with 8.57° in typically developing children. Thus, children with ASD appear to have a narrower functional field of view. These results challenge the conventional hypothesis that the deficit in global processing in individuals with ASD is solely due to weak central coherence. Alternatively, our data suggest that a narrower functional field of view may also contribute to this bias.

  1. Can They See It? The Functional Field of View Is Narrower in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yongning Song

    Full Text Available Although social cognitive deficits have long been thought to underlie the characteristic and pervasive difficulties with social interaction observed in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD, several recent behavioral and neuroimaging studies have indicated that visual perceptual impairments might also play a role. People with ASD show a robust bias towards detailed information at the expense of global information, although the mechanisms that underlie this phenomenon remain elusive. To address this issue, we investigated the functional field of view in a group of high-functioning children with autism (n = 13 and a paired non-ASD group (n = 13. Our results indicate that the ability to correctly detect and identify stimuli sharply decreases with greater eccentricity from the fovea in people with ASD. Accordingly, a probe analysis revealed that the functional field of view in the ASD group was only about 6.62° of retinal eccentricity, compared with 8.57° in typically developing children. Thus, children with ASD appear to have a narrower functional field of view. These results challenge the conventional hypothesis that the deficit in global processing in individuals with ASD is solely due to weak central coherence. Alternatively, our data suggest that a narrower functional field of view may also contribute to this bias.

  2. Teaching Functional Play Skills to a Young Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder through Video Self-Modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sharon Y; Lo, Ya-Yu; Lo, Yafen

    2017-08-01

    The researchers used a single-case, multiple probe design across three sets of toys (i.e., farm toy, doctor's clinic toy, and rescue toy) to examine the effects of video self-modeling (VSM) on the functional play skills of a 5-year-old child with autism spectrum disorder. The findings showed a functional relation between VSM and increased percentages of functional play actions across the toy sets. The participant's percentages of the targeted functional play skills for the intervention toys remained high 1 week and 2 weeks after the intervention ceased. Additionally, preliminary generalization results showed slight improvement in the percentages of functional play actions with the generalization toys that were not directly taught. Limitations, practical implications, and directions for future research are discussed.

  3. Functionality and basic capabilities of preschool children with Down syndrome and Autism spectrum disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. M. Kazmin

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available We have examined and compared the status of functionality and basic capabilities (gross and fine motor, visual and auditory basic skills, basic capabilities to interaction, communication and education of preschoolers with Down syndrome (21 children, age 69 ± 20 months and Autism spectrum disorders (21 children, age 61 ± 14 months with the questionnaires F-07 and "Basic capabilities ". Have been revealed the expressed variability of the level of functionality and reduced patterns of the basic capabilities for both groups of children. Have been demonstrated a significant strong positive connections between the levels of functionality and basic capabilities, except for the motor capabilities, in both groups. The reduction structures of the basic capabilities of the children with Down syndrome and Autism spectrum disorders were found to be different: first were more successful in vision, hearing, the interaction and communication, and second in a fine motor skills.

  4. The association between theory of mind, executive function, and the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Catherine R G; Simonoff, Emily; Baird, Gillian; Pickles, Andrew; Marsden, Anita J S; Tregay, Jenifer; Happé, Francesca; Charman, Tony

    2018-01-01

    It has been strongly argued that atypical cognitive processes in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) contribute to the expression of behavioural symptoms. Comprehensive investigation of these claims has been limited by small and unrepresentative sample sizes and the absence of wide-ranging task batteries. The current study investigated the cognitive abilities of 100 adolescents with ASD (mean age = 15 years 6 months), using 10 tasks to measure the domains of theory of mind (ToM) and executive function (EF). We used structural equation modelling as a statistically robust way of exploring the associations between cognition and parent-reported measures of social communication and restricted and repetitive behaviours (RRBs). We found that ToM ability was associated with both social communication symptoms and RRBs. EF was a correlate of ToM but had no direct association with parent-reported symptom expression. Our data suggest that in adolescence ToM ability, but not EF, is directly related to autistic symptom expression. Autism Res 2018, 11: 95-109. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. The behaviours that are common to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have been linked to differences in thinking ability. We assessed autistic adolescents and found that social communication difficulties and the presence of restricted and repetitive behaviours related to difficulties in understanding other peoples' minds (theory of mind). In contrast, these behaviours were not associated with the general thinking abilities involved in planning and executing tasks (executive function). © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Using Videoconferencing to Conduct Functional Analysis of Challenging Behavior and Develop Classroom Behavioral Support Plans for Students with Autism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Machalicek, W.A.; O'Reilly, M.F.; Chan, J.M.; Lang, R.B.; Rispoli, M.; Davis, T.; Shogren, K.; Sigafoos, J.; Lancioni, G.E.; Antonuzzi, M.; Langthorne, P.; Andrews, A.; Didden, H.C.M.

    2009-01-01

    We conducted a functional analysis of challenging behavior for two students with autism using widely available videoconferencing equipment (laptop computers equipped with web cameras). Observers used the videoconferencing facilities to collect data on challenging behavior and to instruct the

  6. Sex differences and autism: brain function during verbal fluency and mental rotation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felix D C C Beacher

    Full Text Available Autism spectrum conditions (ASC affect more males than females. This suggests that the neurobiology of autism: 1 may overlap with mechanisms underlying typical sex-differentiation or 2 alternately reflect sex-specificity in how autism is expressed in males and females. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to test these alternate hypotheses. Fifteen men and fourteen women with Asperger syndrome (AS, and sixteen typically developing men and sixteen typically developing women underwent fMRI during performance of mental rotation and verbal fluency tasks. All groups performed the tasks equally well. On the verbal fluency task, despite equivalent task-performance, both males and females with AS showed enhanced activation of left occipitoparietal and inferior prefrontal activity compared to controls. During mental rotation, there was a significant diagnosis-by-sex interaction across occipital, temporal, parietal, middle frontal regions, with greater activation in AS males and typical females compared to AS females and typical males. These findings suggest a complex relationship between autism and sex that is differentially expressed in verbal and visuospatial domains.

  7. Sex differences and autism: brain function during verbal fluency and mental rotation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beacher, Felix D C C; Radulescu, Eugenia; Minati, Ludovico; Baron-Cohen, Simon; Lombardo, Michael V; Lai, Meng-Chuan; Walker, Anne; Howard, Dawn; Gray, Marcus A; Harrison, Neil A; Critchley, Hugo D

    2012-01-01

    Autism spectrum conditions (ASC) affect more males than females. This suggests that the neurobiology of autism: 1) may overlap with mechanisms underlying typical sex-differentiation or 2) alternately reflect sex-specificity in how autism is expressed in males and females. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to test these alternate hypotheses. Fifteen men and fourteen women with Asperger syndrome (AS), and sixteen typically developing men and sixteen typically developing women underwent fMRI during performance of mental rotation and verbal fluency tasks. All groups performed the tasks equally well. On the verbal fluency task, despite equivalent task-performance, both males and females with AS showed enhanced activation of left occipitoparietal and inferior prefrontal activity compared to controls. During mental rotation, there was a significant diagnosis-by-sex interaction across occipital, temporal, parietal, middle frontal regions, with greater activation in AS males and typical females compared to AS females and typical males. These findings suggest a complex relationship between autism and sex that is differentially expressed in verbal and visuospatial domains.

  8. Atypical Learning in Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study of Transitive Inference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomon, Marjorie; Ragland, J Daniel; Niendam, Tara A; Lesh, Tyler A; Beck, Jonathan S; Matter, John C; Frank, Michael J; Carter, Cameron S

    2015-11-01

    To investigate the neural mechanisms underlying impairments in generalizing learning shown by adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A total of 21 high-functioning individuals with ASD aged 12 to 18 years, and 23 gender-, IQ-, and age-matched adolescents with typical development (TYP), completed a transitive inference (TI) task implemented using rapid event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Participants were trained on overlapping pairs in a stimulus hierarchy of colored ovals where A>B>C>D>E>F and then tested on generalizing this training to new stimulus pairings (AF, BD, BE) in a "Big Game." Whole-brain univariate, region of interest, and functional connectivity analyses were used. During training, the TYP group exhibited increased recruitment of the prefrontal cortex (PFC), whereas the group with ASD showed greater functional connectivity between the PFC and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Both groups recruited the hippocampus and caudate comparably; however, functional connectivity between these regions was positively associated with TI performance for only the group with ASD. During the Big Game, the TYP group showed greater recruitment of the PFC, parietal cortex, and the ACC. Recruitment of these regions increased with age in the group with ASD. During TI, TYP individuals recruited cognitive control-related brain regions implicated in mature problem solving/reasoning including the PFC, parietal cortex, and ACC, whereas the group with ASD showed functional connectivity of the hippocampus and the caudate that was associated with task performance. Failure to reliably engage cognitive control-related brain regions may produce less integrated flexible learning in individuals with ASD unless they are provided with task support that, in essence, provides them with cognitive control; however, this pattern may normalize with age. Copyright © 2015 American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All

  9. Functional impact of global rare copy number variation in autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto, Dalila; Pagnamenta, Alistair T; Klei, Lambertus; Anney, Richard; Merico, Daniele; Regan, Regina; Conroy, Judith; Magalhaes, Tiago R; Correia, Catarina; Abrahams, Brett S; Almeida, Joana; Bacchelli, Elena; Bader, Gary D; Bailey, Anthony J; Baird, Gillian; Battaglia, Agatino; Berney, Tom; Bolshakova, Nadia; Bölte, Sven; Bolton, Patrick F; Bourgeron, Thomas; Brennan, Sean; Brian, Jessica; Bryson, Susan E; Carson, Andrew R; Casallo, Guillermo; Casey, Jillian; Chung, Brian H Y; Cochrane, Lynne; Corsello, Christina; Crawford, Emily L; Crossett, Andrew; Cytrynbaum, Cheryl; Dawson, Geraldine; de Jonge, Maretha; Delorme, Richard; Drmic, Irene; Duketis, Eftichia; Duque, Frederico; Estes, Annette; Farrar, Penny; Fernandez, Bridget A; Folstein, Susan E; Fombonne, Eric; Freitag, Christine M; Gilbert, John; Gillberg, Christopher; Glessner, Joseph T; Goldberg, Jeremy; Green, Andrew; Green, Jonathan; Guter, Stephen J; Hakonarson, Hakon; Heron, Elizabeth A; Hill, Matthew; Holt, Richard; Howe, Jennifer L; Hughes, Gillian; Hus, Vanessa; Igliozzi, Roberta; Kim, Cecilia; Klauck, Sabine M; Kolevzon, Alexander; Korvatska, Olena; Kustanovich, Vlad; Lajonchere, Clara M; Lamb, Janine A; Laskawiec, Magdalena; Leboyer, Marion; Le Couteur, Ann; Leventhal, Bennett L; Lionel, Anath C; Liu, Xiao-Qing; Lord, Catherine; Lotspeich, Linda; Lund, Sabata C; Maestrini, Elena; Mahoney, William; Mantoulan, Carine; Marshall, Christian R; McConachie, Helen; McDougle, Christopher J; McGrath, Jane; McMahon, William M; Merikangas, Alison; Migita, Ohsuke; Minshew, Nancy J; Mirza, Ghazala K; Munson, Jeff; Nelson, Stanley F; Noakes, Carolyn; Noor, Abdul; Nygren, Gudrun; Oliveira, Guiomar; Papanikolaou, Katerina; Parr, Jeremy R; Parrini, Barbara; Paton, Tara; Pickles, Andrew; Pilorge, Marion; Piven, Joseph; Ponting, Chris P; Posey, David J; Poustka, Annemarie; Poustka, Fritz; Prasad, Aparna; Ragoussis, Jiannis; Renshaw, Katy; Rickaby, Jessica; Roberts, Wendy; Roeder, Kathryn; Roge, Bernadette; Rutter, Michael L; Bierut, Laura J; Rice, John P; Salt, Jeff; Sansom, Katherine; Sato, Daisuke; Segurado, Ricardo; Sequeira, Ana F; Senman, Lili; Shah, Naisha; Sheffield, Val C; Soorya, Latha; Sousa, Inês; Stein, Olaf; Sykes, Nuala; Stoppioni, Vera; Strawbridge, Christina; Tancredi, Raffaella; Tansey, Katherine; Thiruvahindrapduram, Bhooma; Thompson, Ann P; Thomson, Susanne; Tryfon, Ana; Tsiantis, John; Van Engeland, Herman; Vincent, John B; Volkmar, Fred; Wallace, Simon; Wang, Kai; Wang, Zhouzhi; Wassink, Thomas H; Webber, Caleb; Weksberg, Rosanna; Wing, Kirsty; Wittemeyer, Kerstin; Wood, Shawn; Wu, Jing; Yaspan, Brian L; Zurawiecki, Danielle; Zwaigenbaum, Lonnie; Buxbaum, Joseph D; Cantor, Rita M; Cook, Edwin H; Coon, Hilary; Cuccaro, Michael L; Devlin, Bernie; Ennis, Sean; Gallagher, Louise; Geschwind, Daniel H; Gill, Michael; Haines, Jonathan L; Hallmayer, Joachim; Miller, Judith; Monaco, Anthony P; Nurnberger, John I; Paterson, Andrew D; Pericak-Vance, Margaret A; Schellenberg, Gerard D; Szatmari, Peter; Vicente, Astrid M; Vieland, Veronica J; Wijsman, Ellen M; Scherer, Stephen W; Sutcliffe, James S; Betancur, Catalina

    2010-07-15

    The autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of conditions characterized by impairments in reciprocal social interaction and communication, and the presence of restricted and repetitive behaviours. Individuals with an ASD vary greatly in cognitive development, which can range from above average to intellectual disability. Although ASDs are known to be highly heritable ( approximately 90%), the underlying genetic determinants are still largely unknown. Here we analysed the genome-wide characteristics of rare (variation in ASD using dense genotyping arrays. When comparing 996 ASD individuals of European ancestry to 1,287 matched controls, cases were found to carry a higher global burden of rare, genic copy number variants (CNVs) (1.19 fold, P = 0.012), especially so for loci previously implicated in either ASD and/or intellectual disability (1.69 fold, P = 3.4 x 10(-4)). Among the CNVs there were numerous de novo and inherited events, sometimes in combination in a given family, implicating many novel ASD genes such as SHANK2, SYNGAP1, DLGAP2 and the X-linked DDX53-PTCHD1 locus. We also discovered an enrichment of CNVs disrupting functional gene sets involved in cellular proliferation, projection and motility, and GTPase/Ras signalling. Our results reveal many new genetic and functional targets in ASD that may lead to final connected pathways.

  10. Social attention in a virtual public speaking task in higher functioning children with autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarrold, William; Mundy, Peter; Gwaltney, Mary; Bailenson, Jeremy; Hatt, Naomi; McIntyre, Nancy; Kim, Kwanguk; Solomon, Marjorie; Novotny, Stephanie; Swain, Lindsay

    2013-10-01

    Impairments in social attention play a major role in autism, but little is known about their role in development after preschool. In this study, a public speaking task was used to study social attention, its moderators, and its association with classroom learning in elementary and secondary students with higher functioning autism spectrum disorder (HFASD). Thirty-seven students with HFASD and 54 age- and intelligence quotient (IQ)-matched peers without symptoms of ASD were assessed in a virtual classroom public speaking paradigm. This paradigm assessed the ability to attend to nine avatar peers seated at a table, while simultaneously answering self-referenced questions. Students with HFASD looked less frequently to avatar peers in the classroom while talking. However, social attention was moderated in the HFASD sample such that students with lower IQ, and/or more symptoms of social anxiety, and/or more attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder inattentive symptoms, displayed more atypical social attention. Group differences were more pronounced when the classroom contained social avatars versus nonsocial targets. Moreover, measures of social attention rather than nonsocial attention were significantly associated with parent report and objective measures of learning in the classroom. The data in this study support the hypothesis of the Social Attention Model of ASD that social attention disturbance remains part of the school-aged phenotype of autism that is related to syndrome-specific problems in social learning. More research of this kind would likely contribute to advances in the understanding of the development of the spectrum of autism and educational intervention approaches for affected school-aged children. © 2013 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Functionality of promoter microsatellites of arginine vasopressin receptor 1A (AVPR1A): implications for autism

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Tansey, Katherine E

    2011-03-31

    Abstract Background Arginine vasopressin (AVP) has been hypothesized to play a role in aetiology of autism based on a demonstrated involvement in the regulation of social behaviours. The arginine vasopressin receptor 1A gene (AVPR1A) is widely expressed in the brain and is considered to be a key receptor for regulation of social behaviour. Moreover, genetic variation at AVPR1A has been reported to be associated with autism. Evidence from non-human mammals implicates variation in the 5\\'-flanking region of AVPR1A in variable gene expression and social behaviour. Methods We examined four tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (rs3803107, rs1042615, rs3741865, rs11174815) and three microsatellites (RS3, RS1 and AVR) at the AVPR1A gene for association in an autism cohort from Ireland. Two 5\\'-flanking region polymorphisms in the human AVPR1A, RS3 and RS1, were also tested for their effect on relative promoter activity. Results The short alleles of RS1 and the SNP rs11174815 show weak association with autism in the Irish population (P = 0.036 and P = 0.008, respectively). Both RS1 and RS3 showed differences in relative promoter activity by length. Shorter repeat alleles of RS1 and RS3 decreased relative promoter activity in the human neuroblastoma cell line SH-SY5Y. Conclusions These aligning results can be interpreted as a functional route for this association, namely that shorter alleles of RS1 lead to decreased AVPR1A transcription, which may proffer increased susceptibility to the autism phenotype.

  12. Reduced long-range functional connectivity in young children with autism spectrum disorder

    OpenAIRE

    Kikuchi, Mitsuru; Yoshimura, Yuko; Hiraishi, Hirotoshi; Munesue, Toshio; Hashimoto, Takanori; Tsubokawa, Tsunehisa; Takahashi, Tsutomu; Suzuki, Michio; Higashida, Haruhiro; Minabe, Yoshio

    2014-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is often described as a disorder of aberrant neural connectivity. Although it is important to study the pathophysiology of ASD in the developing cortex, the functional connectivity in the brains of young children with ASD has not been well studied. In this study, brain activity was measured non-invasively during consciousness in 50 young human children with ASD and 50 age- and gender-matched typically developing human (TD) children. We employed a custom child-si...

  13. Language comprehension and brain function in individuals with an optimal outcome from autism

    OpenAIRE

    Eigsti, Inge-Marie; Stevens, Michael C.; Schultz, Robert T.; Barton, Marianne; Kelley, Elizabeth; Naigles, Letitia; Orinstein, Alyssa; Troyb, Eva; Fein, Deborah A.

    2015-01-01

    Although Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is generally a lifelong disability, a minority of individuals with ASD overcome their symptoms to such a degree that they are generally indistinguishable from their typically-developing peers. That is, they have achieved an Optimal Outcome (OO). The question addressed by the current study is whether this normalized behavior reflects normalized brain functioning, or alternatively, the action of compensatory systems. Either possibility is plausible, as mo...

  14. Life Skills Training for Middle and High School Students with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiang, Hsu-Min; Ni, Xinyu; Lee, Young-Sun

    2017-01-01

    This study investigated the extent to which life skills training was offered to middle and high school students with autism and life skills training needs after high school. A secondary analysis of the National Longitudinal Training Study-2 (NLTS-2) data was conducted in this study. This study found that the majority of the middle and high school…

  15. Reduced Accuracy and Sensitivity in the Perception of Emotional Facial Expressions in Individuals with High Autism Spectrum Traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poljac, Ervin; Poljac, Edita; Wagemans, Johan

    2013-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is among other things characterized by specific impairments in emotion processing. It is not clear, however, to what extent the typical decline in affective functioning is related to the specific autistic traits. We employed "The Autism Spectrum-Quotient" (AQ) to quantify autistic traits in a group of 500…

  16. Genetic and functional analyses demonstrate a role for abnormal glycinergic signaling in autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilorge, M; Fassier, C; Le Corronc, H; Potey, A; Bai, J; De Gois, S; Delaby, E; Assouline, B; Guinchat, V; Devillard, F; Delorme, R; Nygren, G; Råstam, M; Meier, J C; Otani, S; Cheval, H; James, V M; Topf, M; Dear, T N; Gillberg, C; Leboyer, M; Giros, B; Gautron, S; Hazan, J; Harvey, R J; Legendre, P; Betancur, C

    2016-07-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a common neurodevelopmental condition characterized by marked genetic heterogeneity. Recent studies of rare structural and sequence variants have identified hundreds of loci involved in ASD, but our knowledge of the overall genetic architecture and the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms remains incomplete. Glycine receptors (GlyRs) are ligand-gated chloride channels that mediate inhibitory neurotransmission in the adult nervous system but exert an excitatory action in immature neurons. GlyRs containing the α2 subunit are highly expressed in the embryonic brain, where they promote cortical interneuron migration and the generation of excitatory projection neurons. We previously identified a rare microdeletion of the X-linked gene GLRA2, encoding the GlyR α2 subunit, in a boy with autism. The microdeletion removes the terminal exons of the gene (GLRA2(Δex8-9)). Here, we sequenced 400 males with ASD and identified one de novo missense mutation, p.R153Q, absent from controls. In vitro functional analysis demonstrated that the GLRA2(Δex8)(-)(9) protein failed to localize to the cell membrane, while the R153Q mutation impaired surface expression and markedly reduced sensitivity to glycine. Very recently, an additional de novo missense mutation (p.N136S) was reported in a boy with ASD, and we show that this mutation also reduced cell-surface expression and glycine sensitivity. Targeted glra2 knockdown in zebrafish induced severe axon-branching defects, rescued by injection of wild type but not GLRA2(Δex8-9) or R153Q transcripts, providing further evidence for their loss-of-function effect. Glra2 knockout mice exhibited deficits in object recognition memory and impaired long-term potentiation in the prefrontal cortex. Taken together, these results implicate GLRA2 in non-syndromic ASD, unveil a novel role for GLRA2 in synaptic plasticity and learning and memory, and link altered glycinergic signaling to social and cognitive

  17. Language comprehension and brain function in individuals with an optimal outcome from autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eigsti, Inge-Marie; Stevens, Michael C; Schultz, Robert T; Barton, Marianne; Kelley, Elizabeth; Naigles, Letitia; Orinstein, Alyssa; Troyb, Eva; Fein, Deborah A

    2016-01-01

    Although Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is generally a lifelong disability, a minority of individuals with ASD overcome their symptoms to such a degree that they are generally indistinguishable from their typically-developing peers. That is, they have achieved an Optimal Outcome (OO). The question addressed by the current study is whether this normalized behavior reflects normalized brain functioning, or alternatively, the action of compensatory systems. Either possibility is plausible, as most participants with OO received years of intensive therapy that could alter brain networks to align with typical function or work around ASD-related neural dysfunction. Individuals ages 8 to 21 years with high-functioning ASD (n = 23), OO (n = 16), or typical development (TD; n = 20) completed a functional MRI scan while performing a sentence comprehension task. Results indicated similar activations in frontal and temporal regions (left middle frontal, left supramarginal, and right superior temporal gyri) and posterior cingulate in OO and ASD groups, where both differed from the TD group. Furthermore, the OO group showed heightened "compensatory" activation in numerous left- and right-lateralized regions (left precentral/postcentral gyri, right precentral gyrus, left inferior parietal lobule, right supramarginal gyrus, left superior temporal/parahippocampal gyrus, left middle occipital gyrus) and cerebellum, relative to both ASD and TD groups. Behaviorally normalized language abilities in OO individuals appear to utilize atypical brain networks, with increased recruitment of language-specific as well as right homologue and other systems. Early intensive learning and experience may normalize behavioral language performance in OO, but some brain regions involved in language processing may continue to display characteristics that are more similar to ASD than typical development, while others show characteristics not like ASD or typical development.

  18. Language comprehension and brain function in individuals with an optimal outcome from autism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Inge-Marie Eigsti

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Although Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD is generally a lifelong disability, a minority of individuals with ASD overcome their symptoms to such a degree that they are generally indistinguishable from their typically-developing peers. That is, they have achieved an Optimal Outcome (OO. The question addressed by the current study is whether this normalized behavior reflects normalized brain functioning, or alternatively, the action of compensatory systems. Either possibility is plausible, as most participants with OO received years of intensive therapy that could alter brain networks to align with typical function or work around ASD-related neural dysfunction. Individuals ages 8 to 21 years with high-functioning ASD (n = 23, OO (n = 16, or typical development (TD; n = 20 completed a functional MRI scan while performing a sentence comprehension task. Results indicated similar activations in frontal and temporal regions (left middle frontal, left supramarginal, and right superior temporal gyri and posterior cingulate in OO and ASD groups, where both differed from the TD group. Furthermore, the OO group showed heightened “compensatory” activation in numerous left- and right-lateralized regions (left precentral/postcentral gyri, right precentral gyrus, left inferior parietal lobule, right supramarginal gyrus, left superior temporal/parahippocampal gyrus, left middle occipital gyrus and cerebellum, relative to both ASD and TD groups. Behaviorally normalized language abilities in OO individuals appear to utilize atypical brain networks, with increased recruitment of language-specific as well as right homologue and other systems. Early intensive learning and experience may normalize behavioral language performance in OO, but some brain regions involved in language processing may continue to display characteristics that are more similar to ASD than typical development, while others show characteristics not like ASD or typical development.

  19. Brain Mechanisms of Affective Language Comprehension in Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-10-01

    She was left standing alone, as the losing captain waved her over. Even the skinny new kid was picked before she was. sad loved Neg6 The...Wheelwright, S. (2004). The empathy quotient: an investigation of adults with Asperger syndrome or high functioning autism, and normal sex ...or high functioning autism, and normal sex differences. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 34(2), 163–75. Retrieved from http

  20. Disrupted functional connectivity in dorsal and ventral attention networks during attention orienting in autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzgerald, Jacqueline; Johnson, Katherine; Kehoe, Elizabeth; Bokde, Arun L W; Garavan, Hugh; Gallagher, Louise; McGrath, Jane

    2015-04-01

    Attention orienting is a cognitive process that facilitates the movement of attention focus from one location to another: this may be impaired in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Dorsal and ventral attention networks (DAN and VAN) sub-serve the process of attention orienting. This study investigated the functional connectivity of attention orienting in these networks in ASD using the Posner Cueing Task. Twenty-one adolescents with ASD and 21 age and IQ matched controls underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging. A psychophysical interaction (PPI) analysis was implemented to investigate task-dependent functional connectivity, measuring synchronicity of brain regions during the task. Regions of interest (ROI) were selected to explore functional connectivity in the DAN during cue-only conditions and in the VAN during invalid and valid trials. Behaviourally, the ASD and control groups performed the task in a similar manner. Functional MRI results indicated that the ASD and control groups activated similar brain regions. During invalid trials (VAN), the ASD group showed significant positive functional connectivity to multiple brain regions, whilst the control group demonstrated negative connectivity. During valid trials (VAN), the two groups also showed contrasting patterns of connectivity. In the cue-only conditions (DAN), the ASD group showed weaker functional connectivity. The DAN analysis suggests that the ASD group has weaker coherence between brain areas involved in goal-driven, endogenous attention control. The strong positive functional connectivity exhibited by the ASD group in the VAN during the invalid trials suggests that individuals with ASD may generate compensatory mechanisms to achieve neurotypical behaviour. These results support the theory of abnormal cortical connectivity in autism. © 2014 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Functional Connectivity of the Amygdala Is Disrupted in Preschool-Aged Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Mark D; Li, Deana D; Keown, Christopher L; Lee, Aaron; Johnson, Ryan T; Angkustsiri, Kathleen; Rogers, Sally J; Müller, Ralph-Axel; Amaral, David G; Nordahl, Christine Wu

    2016-09-01

    The objective of this study was to determine whether functional connectivity of the amygdala is altered in preschool-age children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and to assess the clinical relevance of observed alterations in amygdala connectivity. A resting-state functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging study of the amygdala (and a parallel study of primary visual cortex) was conducted in 72 boys (mean age 3.5 years; n = 43 with ASD; n = 29 age-matched controls). The ASD group showed significantly weaker connectivity between the amygdala and several brain regions involved in social communication and repetitive behaviors, including bilateral medial prefrontal cortex, temporal lobes, and striatum (p amygdala and frontal and temporal lobes was significantly correlated with increased autism severity in the ASD group (p amygdala and regions of the brain important for social communication and language, which might be clinically relevant because weaker connectivity was associated with increased autism severity. Moreover, although amygdala connectivity was associated with behavioral domains that are diagnostic of ASD, altered connectivity of primary visual cortex was related to sensory hypersensitivity. Copyright © 2016 American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Functional morphological imaging of autism spectrum disorders: current position and theories proposed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauvin, M-A; Martineau, J; Destrieux, C; Andersson, F; Bonnet-Brilhault, F; Gomot, M; El-Hage, W; Cottier, J-P

    2012-03-01

    Autism is a pervasive disorder of childhood development. Polymorphous clinical profiles combining various degrees of communication and social interaction with restricted and stereotyped behaviour are grouped under the heading of 'autism spectrum disorders' (ASD). Many teams are trying to pick out the underlying cerebral abnormalities in order to understand the neuronal networks involved in relationships with others. Here we review the morphological, spectroscopic and functional abnormalities in the amygdala-hippocampal circuit, the caudate nuclei, the cerebellum, and the frontotemporal regions, which have been described in subjects with ASD. White matter abnormalities have also been described in diffusion tensor imaging, leading to suspected damage to the subjacent neural networks, such as mirror neurones or the social brain. Copyright © 2012 Éditions Françaises de radiologie. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  3. Affiliate stigma and depression in caregivers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in China: Effects of self-esteem, shame and family functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Ting; Wang, Yiting; Yi, Chunli

    2018-06-01

    The present study aimed to investigate affiliate stigma and depression in caregivers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in China and to examine the predictive effects of self-esteem, shame proneness and family functioning. Two hundred and sixty-three primary caregivers of children with autism in Mainland China participated in the survey. The results suggested that affiliate stigma in caregivers of children with autism was prevalent and severe; their depressive symptoms were significantly more severe than the national norm of the similar age group. Low self-esteem, high shame proneness and poor family adaptability were associated with experience of affiliate stigma and heightened depressive symptoms. Affiliate stigma partially mediated the links between self-esteem/ shame proneness/family adaptability and depression levels. This study was the first one to measure affiliate stigma on caregivers of children with ASD in mainland China using a quantitative method. The results highlight the necessity and importance of de-stigmatization for the caregivers of children with autism and suggest that interventions to improve self-esteem, reduce experience of shame and to enhance family functioning might be effective. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Contextual Factors Predict Patterns of Change in Functioning over 10 Years Among Adolescents and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    OpenAIRE

    Woodman, Ashley C.; Smith, Leann E.; Greenberg, Jan S.; Mailick, Marsha R.

    2016-01-01

    In the present study, we jointly employ and integrate variable- and person-centered approaches to identify groups of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) who have similar profiles of change over a period of 10 years across three critical domains of functioning: maladaptive behaviors, autism symptoms, and daily living skills. Two distinct developmental profiles were identified. Above and beyond demographic and individual characteristics, aspects of both the educational context (lev...

  5. "Falling through the Cracks": Challenges for High School Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedges, Susan H.; Kirby, Anne V.; Sreckovic, Melissa A.; Kucharczyk, Suzanne; Hume, Kara; Pace, Stephanie

    2014-01-01

    High school students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often struggle in the complex social and academic secondary environment. Current literature suggests postsecondary success is limited for adults with ASD, but little is known about the high school experiences of individuals with ASD that may be impacting their postsecondary outcomes. Focus…

  6. Stressors, coping, and emotional and behavioural problems in high-functioning adolescents with ASD: a preliminary approach using EMA

    OpenAIRE

    Khor, Angela Stewart

    2017-01-01

    Behaviour and emotional problems are common in individuals with high-functioning autism and Asperger’s Disorder (High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders, HFASD), with onset frequently occurring during adolescence. Stressful experiences and coping are important predictors of mental health outcome in nonclinical populations, yet few studies have investigated these relationships in individuals with HFASD. One methodology used to assess coping in typically developing individuals is Ecological ...

  7. Functional Neuroimaging of Sensory Over-Responsivity in Youth With Autism Spectrum Disorders

    OpenAIRE

    Green, Shulamite A.

    2014-01-01

    In addition to the core social and communication symptoms, individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have high rates of sensory over-responsivity (SOR). Despite the fact that over half of children and adolescents with ASD have SOR, very little is known about the neurobiological bases of this condition. SOR often co-occurs with anxiety disorders, which suggests a possible common biological basis for both SOR and anxiety in a subgroup of youth with ASD. The following studies used functio...

  8. The role of executive functions in social impairment in Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leung, Rachel C; Vogan, Vanessa M; Powell, Tamara L; Anagnostou, Evdokia; Taylor, Margot J

    2016-01-01

    Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by socio-communicative impairments. Executive dysfunction may explain some key characteristics of ASD, both social and nonsocial hallmarks. Limited research exists exploring the relations between executive function and social impairment in ASD and few studies have used a comparison control group. Thus, the objective of the present study was to investigate the relations between executive functioning using the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning (BRIEF), social impairment as measured by the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), and overall autistic symptomology as measured by the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) in children and adolescents with and without ASD. Seventy children and adolescents diagnosed with ASD and 71 typically developing controls were included in this study. Findings showed that behavioral regulation executive processes (i.e., inhibition, shifting, and emotional control) predicted social function in all children. However, metacognitive executive processes (i.e., initiation, working memory, planning, organization, and monitoring) predicted social function only in children with ASD and not in typically developing children. Our findings suggest a distinct metacognitive executive function-social symptom link in ASD that is not present in the typical population. Understanding components of executive functioning that contribute to the autistic symptomology, particularly in the socio-communicative domain, is crucial for developing effective interventions that target key executive processes as well as underlying behavioral symptoms.

  9. The costs and benefits of self-monitoring for higher functioning children and adolescents with autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henderson, Heather A; Ono, Kim E; McMahon, Camilla M; Schwartz, Caley B; Usher, Lauren V; Mundy, Peter C

    2015-02-01

    The ability to regulate behaviors and emotions depends in part on the ability to flexibly monitor one's own progress toward a goal. Atypical patterns of response monitoring have been reported in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In the current study we examined the error related negativity (ERN), an electrophysiological index of response monitoring, in relation to behavioral, social cognitive, and emotional presentation in higher functioning children (8-16 years) diagnosed with autism (HFA: N = 38) and an age- and IQ-matched sample of children without autism (COM: N = 36). Both HFA and COM participants displayed larger amplitude responses to error compared to correct response trials and these amplitudes did not differ by diagnostic group. For participants with HFA, larger ERN amplitudes were associated with more parent-reported autistic symptoms and more self-reported internalizing problems. However, across the full sample, larger ERN amplitudes were associated with better performance on theory of mind tasks. The results are discussed in terms of the utility of electrophysiological measures for understanding essential moderating processes that contribute to the spectrum of behavioral expression in the development of ASD.

  10. Are Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Initially Attuned to Object Function Rather than Shape for Word Learning?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Field, Charlotte; Allen, Melissa L.; Lewis, Charlie

    2016-01-01

    We investigate the function bias--generalising words to objects with the same function--in typically developing (TD) children, children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and children with other developmental disorders. Across four trials, a novel object was named and its function was described and demonstrated. Children then selected the other…

  11. Links between theory of mind and executive function in young children with autism: clues to developmental primacy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellicano, Elizabeth

    2007-07-01

    There has been much theoretical discussion of a functional link between theory of mind (ToM) and executive function (EF) in autism. This study sought to establish the relationship between ToM and EF in young children with autism (M = 5 years, 6 months) and to examine issues of developmental primacy. Thirty children with autism and 40 typically developing children, matched on age and ability, were assessed on a battery of tasks measuring ToM (1st- and 2nd-order false belief) and components of EF (planning, set shifting, inhibition). A significant correlation emerged between ToM and EF variables in the autism group, independent of age and ability, while ToM and higher order planning ability remained significantly related in the comparison group. Examination of the pattern of ToM-EF impairments in the autism group revealed dissociations in 1 direction only: impaired ToM with intact EF. These findings support the view that EF may be 1 important factor in the advancement of ToM understanding in autism. The theoretical implications of these findings are discussed. Copyright 2007 APA.

  12. Family function, Parenting Style and Broader Autism Phenotype as Predicting Factors of Psychological Adjustment in Typically Developing Siblings of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammadreza Mohammadi

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Siblings of children with autism are at a greater risk of experiencing behavioral and social problems. Previous researches had focused on environmental variables such as family history of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs, behavior problems in the child with an ASD, parental mental health problems, stressful life events and "broader autism phenotype" (BAP, while variables like parenting style and family function that are shown to influence children's behavioral and psychosocial adjustment are overlooked. The aim of the present study was to reveal how parenting style and family function as well as BAP effect psychological adjustment of siblings of children with autism.The Participants included 65 parents who had one child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and one typically developing child. Of the children with ASDs, 40 were boys and 25 were girls; and they were diagnosed with ASDs by a psychiatrist based on DSM-IV-TR criteria and Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R. The Persian versions of the six scales were used to collect data from the families. Pearson's correlation test and regression analysis were used to determine which variables were related to the psychological adjustment of sibling of children with ASDs and which variables predicted it better.Significant relationships were found between Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ total difficulties, prosocial behaviors and ASDs symptoms severity, parenting styles and some aspects of family function. In addition, siblings who had more BAP characteristics had more behavior problems and less prosocial behavior. Behavioral problems increased and prosocial behavior decreased with permissive parenting style. Besides, both of authoritarian and authoritative parenting styles led to a decrease in behavioral problems and an increase in prosocial behaviors. Our findings revealed that some aspects of family function (affective responsiveness, roles, problem solving and behavior control were

  13. Family function, Parenting Style and Broader Autism Phenotype as Predicting Factors of Psychological Adjustment in Typically Developing Siblings of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammadi, Mohammadreza; Zarafshan, Hadi

    2014-04-01

    Siblings of children with autism are at a greater risk of experiencing behavioral and social problems. Previous researches had focused on environmental variables such as family history of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), behavior problems in the child with an ASD, parental mental health problems, stressful life events and "broader autism phenotype" (BAP), while variables like parenting style and family function that are shown to influence children's behavioral and psychosocial adjustment are overlooked. The aim of the present study was to reveal how parenting style and family function as well as BAP effect psychological adjustment of siblings of children with autism. The Participants included 65 parents who had one child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and one typically developing child. Of the children with ASDs, 40 were boys and 25 were girls; and they were diagnosed with ASDs by a psychiatrist based on DSM-IV-TR criteria and Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R). The Persian versions of the six scales were used to collect data from the families. Pearson's correlation test and regression analysis were used to determine which variables were related to the psychological adjustment of sibling of children with ASDs and which variables predicted it better. Significant relationships were found between Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) total difficulties, prosocial behaviors and ASDs symptoms severity, parenting styles and some aspects of family function. In addition, siblings who had more BAP characteristics had more behavior problems and less prosocial behavior. Behavioral problems increased and prosocial behavior decreased with permissive parenting style. Besides, both of authoritarian and authoritative parenting styles led to a decrease in behavioral problems and an increase in prosocial behaviors. Our findings revealed that some aspects of family function (affective responsiveness, roles, problem solving and behavior control) were significantly

  14. A Comparison of Experimental Functional Analysis and the Questions about Behavioral Function (QABF) in the Assessment of Challenging Behavior of Individuals with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Healy, Olive; Brett, Denise; Leader, Geraldine

    2013-01-01

    We compared two functional behavioral assessment methods: the Questions About Behavioral Function (QABF; a standardized test) and experimental functional analysis (EFA) to identify behavioral functions of aggressive/destructive behavior, self-injurious behavior and stereotypy in 32 people diagnosed with autism. Both assessments found that self…

  15. Cellular Functions of the Autism Risk Factor PTCHD1 in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tora, David; Gomez, Andrea M; Michaud, Jean-Francois; Yam, Patricia T; Charron, Frédéric; Scheiffele, Peter

    2017-12-06

    The gene patched domain containing 1 ( PTCHD1 ) is mutated in patients with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disabilities and has been hypothesized to contribute to Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling and synapse formation. We identify a panel of Ptchd1-interacting proteins that include postsynaptic density proteins and the retromer complex, revealing a link to critical regulators of dendritic and postsynaptic trafficking. Ptchd1 knock-out (KO) male mice exhibit cognitive alterations, including defects in a novel object recognition task. To test whether Ptchd1 is required for Shh-dependent signaling, we examined two Shh-dependent cell populations that express high levels of Ptchd1 mRNA: cerebellar granule cell precursors and dentate granule cells in the hippocampus. We found that proliferation of these neuronal precursors was not altered significantly in Ptchd1 KO male mice. We used whole-cell electrophysiology and anatomical methods to assess synaptic function in Ptchd1-deficient dentate granule cells. In the absence of Ptchd1, we observed profound disruption in excitatory/inhibitory balance despite normal dendritic spine density on dentate granule cells. These findings support a critical role of the Ptchd1 protein in the dentate gyrus, but indicate that it is not required for structural synapse formation in dentate granule cells or for Shh-dependent neuronal precursor proliferation. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The mechanisms underlying neuronal and cellular alterations resulting from patched domain containing 1 ( Ptchd1 ) gene mutations are unknown. The results from this study support an association with dendritic trafficking complexes of Ptchd1. Loss-of-function experiments do not support a role in sonic hedgehog-dependent signaling, but reveal a disruption of synaptic transmission in the mouse dentate gyrus. The findings will help to guide ongoing efforts to understand the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders arising from Ptchd1 deficiency. Copyright

  16. High Fructose Corn Syrup, Mercury, and Autism--Is There a Link?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Opalinski, Heather A.

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to review relevant background literature and research regarding the evidence linking high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), mercury, and the increased incidence of autism among the population in the United States. Results of review suggest that rigorous scientific studies need to be performed to conclusively identify the…

  17. Your Voice Counts: Listening to the Voice of High School Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saggers, Beth; Hwang, Yoon-Suk; Mercer, K. Louise

    2011-01-01

    Supporting students with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in inclusive settings presents both opportunities and significant challenges to school communities. This study, which explored the lived experience of nine students with ASD in an inclusive high school in Australia, is based on the belief that by listening to the voices of students, school…

  18. Postsecondary Expectations of High-School Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Kristy A.; McDonald, T. A.; Edsall, Deirdre; Smith, Leann E.; Taylor, Julie Lounds

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the perceptions of adulthood among 31 high-school students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We had two research aims: (a) to report students' postsecondary expectations in terms of school, work, friendships, and living arrangement and (b) to describe how our sample defined adulthood. To better compare our sample's criteria…

  19. 美国自闭症协会:促进全球对自闭症的认识、科研及服务%Autism Speaks Global Autism Public Health Initiative: Bridging gaps in autism awareness, research, and services around the world

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Andy SHIH; Michael ROSANOFF; Simon WALLACE; Geraldine DAWSON

    2009-01-01

    @@ Autism is a complex neurobiological, developmental disorder that is typically diagnosed in childhood and often lasts throughout a person' s life time. Autism is part of a group of disorders known as autism spectrum disorders (ASD) characterized by varying degrees of symptom severity and impact, ranging from mild or "high-functioning" to quite severe or "low-functioning. "

  20. Reduced interhemispheric interaction in non-autistic individuals with normal but high levels of autism traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Keefe, Natalie; Lindell, Annukka K

    2013-11-01

    People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show superior performance for tasks requiring detail-focused processing. Atypical neural connectivity and reduced interhemispheric communication are posited to underlie this cognitive advantage. Given recent conceptualization of autism as a continuum, we sought to investigate whether people with normal but high levels of autism like traits (AQ) also exhibit reduced hemispheric interaction. Sixty right-handed participants completed the AQ questionnaire (Baron-Cohen, Wheelwright, Skinner, Martin, & Clubley, 2001) and a lateralised letter matching task that assessed unilateral and bilateral performance in response to simple (physical) and complex (identity) matches. Whereas people with low self-rated AQ scores showed a bilateral advantage for the more complex task, indicating normal interhemispheric interaction, people in the high AQ group failed to show a bilateral gain for the computationally demanding stimuli. This finding of disrupted interhemispheric interaction converges with a dimensional conceptualisation of ASD, suggesting that the structural anomalies of ASD extend to non-autistic individuals with high levels of autism traits. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Identifying High Ability Children with DSM-5 Autism Spectrum or Social Communication Disorder: Performance on Autism Diagnostic Instruments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foley-Nicpon, Megan; L Fosenburg, Staci; G Wurster, Kristin; Assouline, Susan G

    2017-02-01

    This study was a replication of Mazefsky et al.'s (Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities 43:1236-1242, 2013) investigation among a sample of 45 high ability children and adolescents diagnosed with ASD under DSM-IV-TR. Items from the ADOS and ADI-R were mapped onto DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for ASD and SCD to determine whether participants would meet either diagnosis under DSM-5. If the ADOS were administered alone, 62% of individuals diagnosed with ASD would no longer meet criteria under DSM-5; however, when the ADI-R and ADOS scores were combined, 100% of individuals would continue to meet ASD diagnosis. The ADOS was determined to be an insufficient measure for SCD due to the small number of algorithm items measuring SCD diagnostic criteria, suggesting the development of SCD measures is required.

  2. Everyday executive functioning influences adaptive skills in autism spectrum disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel K. Peterson

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Adaptive skills are often defined as a set of behaviors or constellation of skills that allow for an individual to function independently and meet environmental demands. Adaptive skills have been linked with an array of social and academic outcomes. Executive functions (EF have been defined as a set of “capacities that enable a person to engage successfully in independent, purposive, self-serving behavior”. While the literature has demonstrated some overlap in the definitions of adaptive skills and the purpose of executive functions, little has been done to investigate the relationship between the two. The current study sought to investigate this relationship within Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD, a clinical grouping that has demonstrated a predisposition towards deficits within both of these functional domains. ASD are oftentimes associated with EF deficits, especially in the domains of cognitive flexibility, planning, and working memory. Deficits in adaptive skills have also been commonly reported in relation to ASD, with a wide range of abilities being noted across previous studies. The purpose of this study was to examine relationships between adaptive skills and EF in individuals with ASD with the idea that an understanding of such relationships may offer insight into possible focus for intervention.

  3. Early brain development in infants at high risk for autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hazlett, Heather Cody; Gu, Hongbin; Munsell, Brent C; Kim, Sun Hyung; Styner, Martin; Wolff, Jason J; Elison, Jed T; Swanson, Meghan R; Zhu, Hongtu; Botteron, Kelly N; Collins, D Louis; Constantino, John N; Dager, Stephen R; Estes, Annette M; Evans, Alan C; Fonov, Vladimir S; Gerig, Guido; Kostopoulos, Penelope; McKinstry, Robert C; Pandey, Juhi; Paterson, Sarah; Pruett, John R; Schultz, Robert T; Shaw, Dennis W; Zwaigenbaum, Lonnie; Piven, Joseph

    2017-02-15

    Brain enlargement has been observed in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but the timing of this phenomenon, and the relationship between ASD and the appearance of behavioural symptoms, are unknown. Retrospective head circumference and longitudinal brain volume studies of two-year olds followed up at four years of age have provided evidence that increased brain volume may emerge early in development. Studies of infants at high familial risk of autism can provide insight into the early development of autism and have shown that characteristic social deficits in ASD emerge during the latter part of the first and in the second year of life. These observations suggest that prospective brain-imaging studies of infants at high familial risk of ASD might identify early postnatal changes in brain volume that occur before an ASD diagnosis. In this prospective neuroimaging study of 106 infants at high familial risk of ASD and 42 low-risk infants, we show that hyperexpansion of the cortical surface area between 6 and 12 months of age precedes brain volume overgrowth observed between 12 and 24 months in 15 high-risk infants who were diagnosed with autism at 24 months. Brain volume overgrowth was linked to the emergence and severity of autistic social deficits. A deep-learning algorithm that primarily uses surface area information from magnetic resonance imaging of the brain of 6-12-month-old individuals predicted the diagnosis of autism in individual high-risk children at 24 months (with a positive predictive value of 81% and a sensitivity of 88%). These findings demonstrate that early brain changes occur during the period in which autistic behaviours are first emerging.

  4. Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorders in Adults : the Use of Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) Module 4

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bastiaansen, Jojanneke A.; Meffert, Harma; Hein, Simone; Huizinga, Petra; Ketelaars, Cees; Pijnenborg, Marieke; Bartels, Arnold; Minderaa, Ruud; Keysers, Christian; de Bildt, Annelies

    Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) module 4 was investigated in an independent sample of high-functioning adult males with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) compared to three specific diagnostic groups: schizophrenia, psychopathy, and typical development. ADOS module 4 proves to be a

  5. Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorders in Adults: The Use of Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) Module 4

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastiaansen, Jojanneke A.; Meffert, Harma; Hein, Simone; Huizinga, Petra; Ketelaars, Cees; Pijnenborg, Marieke; Bartels, Arnold; Minderaa, Ruud; Keysers, Christian; de Bildt, Annelies

    2011-01-01

    Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) module 4 was investigated in an independent sample of high-functioning adult males with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) compared to three specific diagnostic groups: schizophrenia, psychopathy, and typical development. ADOS module 4 proves to be a reliable instrument with good predictive value. It…

  6. Category Formation in Autism: Can Individuals with Autism Form Categories and Prototypes of Dot Patterns?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gastgeb, Holly Zajac; Dundas, Eva M.; Minshew, Nancy J.; Strauss, Mark S.

    2012-01-01

    There is a growing amount of evidence suggesting that individuals with autism have difficulty with categorization. One basic cognitive ability that may underlie this difficulty is the ability to abstract a prototype. The current study examined prototype and category formation with dot patterns in high-functioning adults with autism and matched…

  7. Implicit and Explicit Memory in Autism: Is Autism an Amnesic Disorder?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renner, Peggy; Klinger, Laura Grofer; Klinger, Mark R.

    2000-01-01

    This study examined whether children with high-functioning autism have a dissociation between explicit and implicit memory abilities characteristic of medial temporal lobe amnesic disorder. Children (N=14 and ages 6-14) with autism showed intact implicit and explicit memory abilities but did not show typical memory patterns, suggesting they used…

  8. High spin structure functions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khan, H.

    1990-01-01

    This thesis explores deep inelastic scattering of a lepton beam from a polarized nuclear target with spin J=1. After reviewing the formation for spin-1/2, the structure functions for a spin-1 target are defined in terms of the helicity amplitudes for forward compton scattering. A version of the convolution model, which incorporates relativistic and binding energy corrections is used to calculate the structure functions of a neutron target. A simple parameterization of these structure functions is given in terms of a few neutron wave function parameters and the free nucleon structure functions. This allows for an easy comparison of structure functions calculated using different neutron models. (author)

  9. Dejian Mind-Body Intervention Improves the Cognitive Functions of a Child with Autism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnes S. Chan

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available There has been increasing empirical evidence for the enhancing effects of Dejian Mind-Body Intervention (DMBI, a traditional Chinese Shaolin healing approach, on human frontal brain activity/functions, including patients with autism who are well documented to have frontal lobe problems. This study aims to compare the effects of DMBI with a conventional behavioural/cognitive intervention (CI on enhancing the executive functions and memory of a nine-year-old boy with low-functioning autism (KY and to explore possible underlying neural mechanism using EEG theta cordance. At post-one-month DMBI, KY's inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility, and memory functioning have significantly improved from “severely-to-moderately impaired” to “within-normal” range. This improvement was not observed from previous 12-month CI. Furthermore, KY showed increased cordance gradually extending from the anterior to the posterior brain region, suggesting possible neural mechanism underlying his cognitive improvement. These findings have implicated potential applicability of DMBI as a rehabilitation program for patients with severe frontal lobe and/or memory disorders.

  10. Establishing verbal repertoires in children with autism using function-based video modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plavnick, Joshua B; Ferreri, Summer J

    2011-01-01

    Previous research suggests that language-training procedures for children with autism might be enhanced following an assessment of conditions that evoke emerging verbal behavior. The present investigation examined a methodology to teach recognizable mands based on environmental variables known to evoke participants' idiosyncratic communicative responses in the natural environment. An alternating treatments design was used during Experiment 1 to identify the variables that were functionally related to gestures emitted by 4 children with autism. Results showed that gestures functioned as requests for attention for 1 participant and as requests for assistance to obtain a preferred item or event for 3 participants. Video modeling was used during Experiment 2 to compare mand acquisition when video sequences were either related or unrelated to the results of the functional analysis. An alternating treatments within multiple probe design showed that participants repeatedly acquired mands during the function-based condition but not during the nonfunction-based condition. In addition, generalization of the response was observed during the former but not the latter condition.

  11. How autism became autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Bonnie

    2013-01-01

    This article argues that the meaning of the word ‘autism’ experienced a radical shift in the early 1960s in Britain which was contemporaneous with a growth in epidemiological and statistical studies in child psychiatry. The first part of the article explores how ‘autism’ was used as a category to describe hallucinations and unconscious fantasy life in infants through the work of significant child psychologists and psychoanalysts such as Jean Piaget, Lauretta Bender, Leo Kanner and Elwyn James Anthony. Theories of autism were then associated both with schizophrenia in adults and with psychoanalytic styles of reasoning. The closure of institutions for ‘mental defectives’ and the growth in speech therapy services in the 1960s and 1970s encouraged new models for understanding autism in infants and children. The second half of the article explores how researchers such as Victor Lotter and Michael Rutter used the category of autism to reconceptualize psychological development in infants and children via epidemiological studies. These historical changes have influenced the form and function of later research into autism and related conditions. PMID:24014081

  12. Is High Folic Acid Intake a Risk Factor for Autism?—A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darrell Wiens

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Folate is required for metabolic processes and neural development. Insuring its adequate levels for pregnant women through supplementation of grain-based foods with synthetic folic acid (FA in order to prevent neural tube defects has been an ongoing public health initiative. However, because women are advised to take multivitamins containing FA before and throughout pregnancy, the supplementation together with natural dietary folates has led to a demographic with high and rising serum levels of unmetabolized FA. This raises concerns about the detrimental effects of high serum synthetic FA, including a rise in risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD. Some recent studies have reported a protective effect of FA fortification against ASD, but others have concluded there is an increased risk for ASD and other negative neurocognitive development outcomes. These issues are accompanied by further health questions concerning high, unmetabolized FA levels in serum. In this review, we outline the reasons excess FA supplementation is a concern and review the history and effects of supplementation. We then examine the effects of FA on neuronal development from tissue culture experiments, review recent advances in understanding of metabolic functional blocks in causing ASD and treatment for these with alternative forms such as folinic acid, and finally summarize the conflicting epidemiological findings regarding ASD. Based on the evidence evaluated, we conclude that caution regarding over supplementing is warranted.

  13. Is high prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency evidence for autism disorder?: In a highly endogamous population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bener, Abdulbari; Khattab, Azhar O.; Al-Dabbagh, Mohamad M.

    2014-01-01

    Aim: To determine the association between Vitamin D and autism, and the difference in level of Vitamin D in autism children and control. Design: Case–control study conducted between June 2011 and May 2013, among autism at the Hamad Medical Corporation and controls at the School Health Clinics and Primary Health Care Clinics Subjects and Methods: A total of 254 cases and 254 controls. The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Generic is a semi-structured, standardized assessment of social interaction, communication, play and imaginative use of materials for individuals suspected of having autism spectrum disorders. Data on clinical manifestations and laboratory, family history, body mass index (BMI) and clinical biochemistry variables including serum 25-hydroxy Vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium were obtained. Univariate and multivariate statistical analyzes were performed. Results: Of the total number of 508 children surveyed, 254 of autism and 254 of healthy children were contacted. The mean age (± standard deviation, in years) for autism versus control children was 5.51 ± 1.58 versus 5.76 ± 1.56. There were statistically significant differences between autism and healthy children control subjects with respect to educational level of mother (P = 0.016); occupation of mother (P = 0.005); BMI (P 30 ng/ml). Similarly, of the total 254 of healthy children 8.3% had severe Vitamin D deficiency (30 ng/ml). Furthermore, there was statistically significant differences between autism and control subjects with respect to the serum level of Vitamin D (P = 0.023). Conclusion: The present study revealed that Vitamin D deficiency was higher in autism children compared to healthy children and supplementing infants with Vitamin D might be a safe and more effective strategy for reducing the risk of autism. PMID:25624924

  14. Understanding emotions in others: mirror neuron dysfunction in children with autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dapretto, Mirella; Davies, Mari S; Pfeifer, Jennifer H; Scott, Ashley A; Sigman, Marian; Bookheimer, Susan Y; Iacoboni, Marco

    2006-01-01

    To examine mirror neuron abnormalities in autism, high-functioning children with autism and matched controls underwent fMRI while imitating and observing emotional expressions. Although both groups performed the tasks equally well, children with autism showed no mirror neuron activity in the inferior frontal gyrus (pars opercularis). Notably, activity in this area was inversely related to symptom severity in the social domain, suggesting that a dysfunctional 'mirror neuron system' may underlie the social deficits observed in autism.

  15. Verbal Memory Deficits in Relation to Organization Strategy in High- and Low-Functioning Autistic Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheung, Mei-chun; Chan, Agnes S.; Sze, Sophia L.; Leung, Winnie W.; To, Cho Yee

    2010-01-01

    The present study examined the verbal memory profile and its relation to organizational strategies in high-functioning (Hi-AUT) and low-functioning (Lo-AUT) children with autism. Twenty-two Hi-AUT and 16 Lo-AUT, and 22 age-, gender- and handedness-matched normal children (NC) were required to remember a list of semantically related words for…

  16. Hot and Cool Executive Function and Its Relation to Theory of Mind in Children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kouklari, Evangelia-Chrysanthi; Thompson, Trevor; Monks, Claire P.; Tsermentseli, Stella

    2017-01-01

    Previous research has clearly demonstrated that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) involves deficits in multiple neuropsychological functions, such as executive function (EF) and theory of mind (ToM). A conceptual distinction is commonly made between cool and hot EF. In ASD, continued attention has been paid to the cool areas of executive dysfunction.…

  17. An Extended Functional Analysis Protocol Assesses the Role of Stereotypy in Aggression in Two Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Pamela; O'Reilly, Mark; Fragale, Christina; Kang, Soyeon; Muhich, Kimberly; Falcomata, Terry; Lang, Russell; Sigafoos, Jeff; Lancioni, Giulio

    2011-01-01

    Two children with autism who engaged in aggression and stereotypy were assessed using common analogue functional analysis procedures. Aggression was maintained by access to specific preferred items. Data on the rates of stereotypy and appropriate play were collected during an extended functional analysis tangible condition. These data reveal that…

  18. Teaching a Child with Autism and Severe Language Delays to Reject: Direct and Indirect Effects of Functional Communication Training

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Christian A.; Drasgow, Erik; Halle, James W.; Brucker, Jennifer M.

    2005-01-01

    We used functional communication training to teach Bob, a 10-year-old student with autism and severe language delays, to reject items by touching an icon. Our initial assessment revealed that Bob's behaviours serving a rejecting function consisted of pushing away, yelling, bear hugging-grabbing, and leaving. We used prompting, differential…

  19. Assessment of Global Functioning in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Utility of the Developmental Disability-Child Global Assessment Scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Susan W.; Smith, Laura A.; Schry, Amie R.

    2014-01-01

    Assessment of global functioning is an important consideration in treatment outcome research; yet, there is little guidance on its evidence-based assessment for children with autism spectrum disorders. This study investigated the utility and validity of clinician-rated global functioning using the Developmental Disability-Child Global Assessment…

  20. Psychiatric Comorbidity and Functioning in a Clinically Referred Population of Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Comparative Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joshi, Gagan; Wozniak, Janet; Petty, Carter; Martelon, Mary Kate; Fried, Ronna; Bolfek, Anela; Kotte, Amelia; Stevens, Jonathan; Furtak, Stephannie L.; Bourgeois, Michelle; Caruso, Janet; Caron, Ashley; Biederman, Joseph

    2013-01-01

    To systematically examine the patterns of psychiatric comorbidity and functioning in clinically referred adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Psychiatrically referred adults with and without ASD were compared on measures assessing for psychiatric comorbidity and psychosocial functioning. Sixty-three adults with ASD participated in the…

  1. Randomized controlled effectiveness trial of executive function intervention for children on the autism spectrum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenworthy, Lauren; Anthony, Laura Gutermuth; Naiman, Daniel Q; Cannon, Lynn; Wills, Meagan C; Luong-Tran, Caroline; Werner, Monica Adler; Alexander, Katie C; Strang, John; Bal, Elgiz; Sokoloff, Jennifer L; Wallace, Gregory L

    2014-04-01

    Unstuck and On Target (UOT) is an executive function (EF) intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) targeting insistence on sameness, flexibility, goal-setting, and planning through a cognitive-behavioral program of self-regulatory scripts, guided/faded practice, and visual/verbal cueing. UOT is contextually-based because it is implemented in school and at home, the contexts in which a child uses EF skills. To evaluate the effectiveness of UOT compared with a social skills intervention (SS), 3rd-5th graders with ASD (mean IQ = 108; UOT n = 47; SS n = 20) received interventions delivered by school staff in small group sessions. Students were matched for gender, age, race, IQ, ASD symptomotolgy, medication status, and parents' education. Interventions were matched for 'dose' of intervention and training. Measures of pre-post change included classroom observations, parent/teacher report, and direct child measures of problem-solving, EF, and social skills. Schools were randomized and evaluators, but not parents or teachers, were blinded to intervention type. Interventions were administered with high fidelity. Children in both groups improved with intervention, but mean change scores from pre- to postintervention indicated significantly greater improvements for UOT than SS groups in: problem-solving, flexibility, and planning/organizing. Also, classroom observations revealed that participants in UOT made greater improvements than SS participants in their ability to follow rules, make transitions, and be flexible. Children in both groups made equivalent improvements in social skills. These data support the effectiveness of the first contextually-based EF intervention for children with ASD. UOT improved classroom behavior, flexibility, and problem-solving in children with ASD. Individuals with variable background/training in ASD successfully implemented UOT in mainstream educational settings. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Child Psychology and

  2. Variations of the Functional Brain Network Efficiency in a Young Clinical Sample within the Autism Spectrum: A fNIRS Investigation

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Yanwei; Yu, Dongchuan

    2018-01-01

    Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder with dimensional behavioral symptoms and various damages in the structural and functional brain. Previous neuroimaging studies focused on exploring the differences of brain development between individuals with and without autism spectrum disorders (ASD). However, few of them have attempted to investigate the individual differences of the brain features among subjects within the Autism spectrum. Our main goal was to explore the individual differences of ...

  3. Functional brain networks and white matter underlying theory-of-mind in autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kana, Rajesh K; Libero, Lauren E; Hu, Christi P; Deshpande, Hrishikesh D; Colburn, Jeffrey S

    2014-01-01

    Human beings constantly engage in attributing causal explanations to one's own and to others' actions, and theory-of-mind (ToM) is critical in making such inferences. Although children learn causal attribution early in development, children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are known to have impairments in the development of intentional causality. This functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) study investigated the neural correlates of physical and intentional causal attribution in people with ASDs. In the fMRI scanner, 15 adolescents and adults with ASDs and 15 age- and IQ-matched typically developing peers made causal judgments about comic strips presented randomly in an event-related design. All participants showed robust activation in bilateral posterior superior temporal sulcus at the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) in response to intentional causality. Participants with ASDs showed lower activation in TPJ, right inferior frontal gyrus and left premotor cortex. Significantly weaker functional connectivity was also found in the ASD group between TPJ and motor areas during intentional causality. DTI data revealed significantly reduced fractional anisotropy in ASD participants in white matter underlying the temporal lobe. In addition to underscoring the role of TPJ in ToM, this study found an interaction between motor simulation and mentalizing systems in intentional causal attribution and its possible discord in autism.

  4. Limited Fine Motor and Grasping Skills in Six-month-old Infants at High Risk for Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Libertus, Klaus; Sheperd, Kelly A.; Ross, Samuel W.; Landa, Rebecca J.

    2014-01-01

    Atypical motor behaviors are common among children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). However, little is known about onset and functional implications of differences in early motor development among infants later diagnosed with ASD. Two prospective experiments were conducted to investigate motor skills among six-month-olds at increased risk (high-risk) for ASD (N1 = 129; N2 = 46). Infants were assessed using the Mullen Scales of Early Learning (MSEL) and during toy play. Across both experiments, high-risk infants exhibited less mature object manipulation in a highly structured (MSEL) context and reduced grasping activity in an unstructured (free play) context than infants with no family history of ASD. Longitudinal assessments suggest that between six and ten months, grasping activity increases in high-risk infants. PMID:24978128

  5. Limited fine motor and grasping skills in 6-month-old infants at high risk for autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Libertus, Klaus; Sheperd, Kelly A; Ross, Samuel W; Landa, Rebecca J

    2014-01-01

    Atypical motor behaviors are common among children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). However, little is known about onset and functional implications of differences in early motor development among infants later diagnosed with ASD. Two prospective experiments were conducted to investigate motor skills among 6-month-olds at increased risk (high risk) for ASD (N1  = 129; N2  = 46). Infants were assessed using the Mullen Scales of Early Learning (MSEL) and during toy play. Across both experiments, high-risk infants exhibited less mature object manipulation in a highly structured (MSEL) context and reduced grasping activity in an unstructured (free-play) context than infants with no family history of ASD. Longitudinal assessments suggest that between 6 and 10 months, grasping activity increases in high-risk infants. © 2014 The Authors. Child Development © 2014 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

  6. Classification of functioning and impairment: the development of ICF core sets for autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bölte, Sven; de Schipper, Elles; Robison, John E; Wong, Virginia C N; Selb, Melissa; Singhal, Nidhi; de Vries, Petrus J; Zwaigenbaum, Lonnie

    2014-02-01

    Given the variability seen in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), accurate quantification of functioning is vital to studying outcome and quality of life in affected individuals. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) provides a comprehensive, universally accepted framework for the description of health-related functioning. ICF Core Sets are shortlists of ICF categories that are selected to capture those aspects of functioning that are most relevant when describing a person with a specific condition. In this paper, the authors preview the process for developing ICF Core Sets for ASD, a collaboration with the World Health Organization and the ICF Research Branch. The ICF Children and Youth version (ICF-CY) was derived from the ICF and designed to capture the specific situation of the developing child. As ASD affects individuals throughout the life span, and the ICF-CY includes all ICF categories, the ICF-CY will be used in this project ("ICF(-CY)" from now on). The ICF(-CY) categories to be included in the ICF Core Sets for ASD will be determined at an ICF Core Set Consensus Conference, where evidence from four preparatory studies (a systematic review, an expert survey, a patient and caregiver qualitative study, and a clinical cross-sectional study) will be integrated. Comprehensive and Brief ICF Core Sets for ASD will be developed with the goal of providing useful standards for research and clinical practice and generating a common language for functioning and impairment in ASD in different areas of life and across the life span. © 2013 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Attention and Working Memory in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Functional MRI Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahko, Jukka S; Vuontela, Virve A; Carlson, Synnöve; Nikkinen, Juha; Hurtig, Tuula M; Kuusikko-Gauffin, Sanna; Mattila, Marja-Leena; Jussila, Katja K; Remes, Jukka J; Jansson-Verkasalo, Eira M; Aronen, Eeva T; Pauls, David L; Ebeling, Hanna E; Tervonen, Osmo; Moilanen, Irma K; Kiviniemi, Vesa J

    2016-06-01

    The present study examined attention and memory load-dependent differences in the brain activation and deactivation patterns between adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and typically developing (TD) controls using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Attentional (0-back) and working memory (WM; 2-back) processing and load differences (0 vs. 2-back) were analysed. WM-related areas activated and default mode network deactivated normally in ASDs as a function of task load. ASDs performed the attentional 0-back task similarly to TD controls but showed increased deactivation in cerebellum and right temporal cortical areas and weaker activation in other cerebellar areas. Increasing task load resulted in multiple responses in ASDs compared to TD and in inadequate modulation of brain activity in right insula, primary somatosensory, motor and auditory cortices. The changes during attentional task may reflect compensatory mechanisms enabling normal behavioral performance. The inadequate memory load-dependent modulation of activity suggests diminished compensatory potential in ASD.

  8. Enhanced perceptual functioning in autism: an update, and eight principles of autistic perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mottron, Laurent; Dawson, Michelle; Soulières, Isabelle; Hubert, Benedicte; Burack, Jake

    2006-01-01

    We propose an "Enhanced Perceptual Functioning" model encompassing the main differences between autistic and non-autistic social and non-social perceptual processing: locally oriented visual and auditory perception, enhanced low-level discrimination, use of a more posterior network in "complex" visual tasks, enhanced perception of first order static stimuli, diminished perception of complex movement, autonomy of low-level information processing toward higher-order operations, and differential relation between perception and general intelligence. Increased perceptual expertise may be implicated in the choice of special ability in savant autistics, and in the variability of apparent presentations within PDD (autism with and without typical speech, Asperger syndrome) in non-savant autistics. The overfunctioning of brain regions typically involved in primary perceptual functions may explain the autistic perceptual endophenotype.

  9. From lumping to splitting and back again: Atypical social and language development in individuals with clinical-high-risk for psychosis, first episode schizophrenia, and autism spectrum disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomon, Marjorie; Olsen, Emily; Niendam, Tara; Ragland, J. Daniel; Yoon, Jong; Minzenberg, Michael; Carter, Cameron S.

    2011-01-01

    Objective Individuals with autism and schizophrenia exhibit atypical language and social symptoms. The extent to which these symptoms are evident during development and in current functioning is unclear. Method Three groups of patients aged 11–20 diagnosed as clinical-high-risk for psychosis (CHR; n = 15), first episode psychosis (FEP; n = 16), and autism spectrum disorders (ASD; n = 20), plus typically developing individuals (TYP; n = 20) were compared on common autism parent-report questionnaires assessing social and language development and current functioning including the Social Communication Questionnaire, the Children’s Communication Checklist, and the Social Reciprocity Scale. Results All clinical groups demonstrated atypical social and language development, with social impairment highest in ASD. Twenty percent of participants with CHR and FEP met diagnostic criteria for ASD as assessed by parent-report. ASD exhibited greater current syntactic, and pragmatic language symptoms including delayed echolalia, pedantic speech, and deficits in appreciating irony and sarcasm. All clinical groups exhibited current deficits in social functioning. CHR and FE had similar and intermediate levels of functioning relative to ASD and TYP, with CHR generally scoring closer to TYP, providing construct validity for the CHR diagnostic label. Conclusions The results of this study suggest that ASDs, CHR, and FEP share common features of atypical neurodevelopment of language and social function. Evidence of impaired social reciprocity across both disorders and distinct language symptoms in ASDs provides important information for differential diagnosis and psychosis prevention, as well as leads for future investigations of comparative genetics and pathophysiology. PMID:21458242

  10. Symbolic Understanding of Pictures in Low-Functioning Children with Autism: The Effects of Iconicity and Naming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartley, Calum; Allen, Melissa L.

    2015-01-01

    This research investigated whether symbolic understanding of pictures in low-functioning children with autism is mediated by iconicity and language. In Experiment 1, participants were taught novel words paired with unfamiliar pictures that varied in iconicity (black-and-white line drawings, greyscale photographs, colour line drawings, colour…

  11. Executive Function, Social Emotional Learning, and Social Competence in School-Aged Boys with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berard, Nathalie; Loutzenhiser, Lynn; Sevigny, Phillip R.; Alfano, Dennis P.

    2017-01-01

    Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is an aetiologically complex neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits in social functioning. Children with ASD display a wide range of social competence and more variability in social domains as compared with either communication or repetitive behaviour domains. There is limited understanding of factors…

  12. Theory of Mind and Executive Function in Preschoolers with Typical Development versus Intellectually Able Preschoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimhi, Yael; Shoam-Kugelmas, Dana; Agam Ben-Artzi, Galit; Ben-Moshe, Inbal; Bauminger-Zviely, Nirit

    2014-01-01

    Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have difficulties in theory of mind (ToM) and executive function (EF), which may be linked because one domain (EF) affects the other (ToM). Group differences (ASD vs. typical development) were examined in both cognitive domains, as well as EF's associations and regressions with ToM. Participants…

  13. Intersections between the Autism Spectrum and the Internet: Perceived Benefits and Preferred Functions of Computer-Mediated Communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillespie-Lynch, Kristen; Kapp, Steven K.; Shane-Simpson, Christina; Smith, David Shane; Hutman, Ted

    2014-01-01

    An online survey compared the perceived benefits and preferred functions of computer-mediated communication of participants with (N = 291) and without ASD (N = 311). Participants with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) perceived benefits of computer-mediated communication in terms of increased comprehension and control over communication, access to…

  14. Using Videoconferencing to Conduct Functional Analysis of Challenging Behavior and Develop Classroom Behavioral Support Plans for Students with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machalicek, Wendy; O'Reilly, Mark; Chan, Jeffrey M.; Lang, Russell; Rispoli, Mandy; Davis, Tonya; Shogren, Karrie; Sigafoos, Jeff; Lancioni, Giulio; Antonucci, Massimo; Langthorne, Paul; Andrews, Alonzo; Didden, Robert

    2009-01-01

    We conducted a functional analysis of challenging behavior for two students with autism using widely available videoconferencing equipment (laptop computers equipped with web cameras). Observers used the videoconferencing facilities to collect data on challenging behavior and to instruct the therapist conducting the assessment. Results of the…

  15. Age related differences of executive functioning problems in everyday life of children and adolescents in the autism spectrum

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Bergh, S.F.W.M.; Scheeren, A.M.; Begeer, S.; Koot, H.M.; Geurts, H.M.

    2014-01-01

    Numerous studies investigated executive functioning (EF) problems in people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) using laboratory EF tasks. As laboratory task performances often differ from real life observations, the current study focused on EF in everyday life of 118 children and adolescents with

  16. Advanced Parental Ages and Low Birth Weight in Autism Spectrum Disorders--Rates and Effect on Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben Itzchak, Esther; Lahat, Eli; Zachor, Ditza A.

    2011-01-01

    Objectives: (1) To assess the distribution of parental age and birth weight in a large cohort with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and to compare them to Israeli national data. (2) To examine possible relationships between these risk factors and functioning. Methods: The study included 529 participants diagnosed with ASD using standardized tests:…

  17. High-fat diet exacerbates cognitive rigidity and social deficiency in the BTBR mouse model of autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zilkha, N; Kuperman, Y; Kimchi, T

    2017-03-14

    The global increase in rates of obesity has been accompanied by a similar surge in the number of autism diagnoses. Accumulating epidemiological evidence suggest a possible link between overweight and the risk for autism spectrum disorders (ASD), as well as autism severity. In laboratory animals, several studies have shown a connection between various environmental factors, including diet-induced obesity, and the development of autism-related behaviors. However, the effect of high-fat or imbalanced diet on a pre-existing autism-like phenotype is unclear. In this study, we employed the BTBR inbred mouse strain, a well-established mouse model for autism, to assess the impact of inadequate fattening nutrition on the autism-related behavioral phenotype. Male mice were fed by high-fat diet (HFD) or control balanced diet (control) from weaning onward, and tested in a series of behavioral assays as adults. In addition, we measured the hypothalamic expression levels of several genes involved in oxytocin and dopamine signaling, in search of a possible neurobiological underlying mechanism. As an internal control, we also employed similar metabolic and behavioral measures on neurotypical C57 mice. Compared to control-fed mice, BTBR mice fed by HFD showed marked aggravation in autism-related behaviors, manifested in increased cognitive rigidity and diminished preference for social novelty. Moreover, the total autism composite (severity) score was higher in the HFD group, and positively correlated with higher body weight. Finally, we revealed negative correlations associating dopamine signaling factors in the hypothalamus, to autism-related severity and body weight. In contrast, we found no significant effects of HFD on autism-related behaviors of C57 mice, though the metabolic effects of the diet were similar for both strains. Our results indicate a direct causative link between diet-induced obesity and worsening of a pre-existing autism-related behavior and emphasize the need

  18. Is functional brain connectivity atypical in autism? A systematic review of EEG and MEG studies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian O'Reilly

    Full Text Available Although it is well recognized that autism is associated with altered patterns of over- and under-connectivity, specifics are still a matter of debate. Little has been done so far to synthesize available literature using whole-brain electroencephalography (EEG and magnetoencephalography (MEG recordings.1 To systematically review the literature on EEG/MEG functional and effective connectivity in autism spectrum disorder (ASD, 2 to synthesize and critically appraise findings related with the hypothesis that ASD is characterized by long-range underconnectivity and local overconnectivity, and 3 to provide, based on the literature, an analysis of tentative factors that are likely to mediate association between ASD and atypical connectivity (e.g., development, topography, lateralization.Literature reviews were done using PubMed and PsychInfo databases. Abstracts were screened, and only relevant articles were analyzed based on the objectives of this paper. Special attention was paid to the methodological characteristics that could have created variability in outcomes reported between studies.Our synthesis provides relatively strong support for long-range underconnectivity in ASD, whereas the status of local connectivity remains unclear. This observation was also mirrored by a similar relationship with lower frequencies being often associated with underconnectivity and higher frequencies being associated with both under- and over-connectivity. Putting together these observations, we propose that ASD is characterized by a general trend toward an under-expression of lower-band wide-spread integrative processes compensated by more focal, higher-frequency, locally specialized, and segregated processes. Further investigation is, however, needed to corroborate the conclusion and its generalizability across different tasks. Of note, abnormal lateralization in ASD, specifically an elevated left-over-right EEG and MEG functional connectivity ratio, has been also

  19. Investigation of hand function among children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder with upper extremity trauma history.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huri, Meral; Şahin, Sedef; Kayıhan, Hülya

    2016-11-01

    The present study was designed to compare hand function in autistic children with history of upper extremity trauma with that of autistic children those who do not have history of trauma. The study group included total of 65 children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and was divided into 2 groups: children with trauma history (Group I) and control group (Group II) (Group I: n=28; Group II: n=37). Hand function was evaluated with 9-Hole Peg Test and Jebsen Hand Function Test. Somatosensory function was evaluated using somatosensory subtests of Sensory Integration and Praxis Test. Results were analyzed with Student's t-test and Mann-Whitney U test using SPSS version 20 software. Hand function and somatosensory perception test scores were statistically significantly better in children without upper extremity trauma history (pManual Form Perception and Localization of Tactile Stimuli Test results (p<0.05). Autistic children with upper extremity trauma history had poor somatosensory perception and hand function. It is important to raise awareness among emergency service staff and inform them about strong relationship between somatosensory perception, hand function, and upper extremity trauma in children with ASD in order to develop appropriate rehabilitation process and prevent further trauma.

  20. rTMS neuromodulation improves electrocortical functional measures of information processing and behavioral responses in autism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Estate M Sokhadze

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: Reports in autism spectrum disorders (ASD of a minicolumnopathy with consequent deficits of lateral inhibition help explain observed behavioral and executive dysfunctions. We propose that neuromodulation based on rTMS will enhance lateral inhibition through activation of inhibitory double bouquet interneurons and will be accompanied by improvements in the prefrontal executive functions. Methods: The current study used ERPs in a visual oddball task with illusory figures. We compared clinical, behavioral and electrocortical outcomes in 2 groups of children with autism (TMS, wait-list group [WTL]. We predicted that 18 session long course in autistic patients will have better behavioral and ERP outcomes as compared to age- and IQ-matched wait-list group. We used 18 sessions of 1Hz rTMS applied over the dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex in 27 individuals with ASD diagnosis. The WTL group was comprised of 27 age-matched ASD subjects. Results: Post-TMS evaluations showed decreased irritability and hyperactivity and decreased stereotypic behaviors. Following rTMS we found decreased amplitude and prolonged latency in the fronto-central ERPs to non-targets in the TMS group. These ERP changes along with increased centro-parietal ERPs to targets are indicative of more efficient processing of information post-TMS. Another finding was increased magnitude of error-related negativity (ERN during commission errors. We calculated normative post-error reaction time (RT slowing response in both groups and found that rTMS was accompanied by post-error RT slowing and higher accuracy of responses, whereas the WTL group kept on showing typical for ASD post-error RT speeding and had higher error rate. Conclusion: Results from our study indicate that rTMS improves executive functioning in ASD as evidenced by normalization of ERP responses and behavioral reactions during executive function test, and also by improvements in clinical behavioral evaluations.