Larsson, Malin; Weiss, Bernard; Janson, Staffan
autism spectrum disorder. A random sample of 10 such families confirmed that the diagnoses had been made by medical professionals, in accordance with the Swedish system for monitoring children's health. An analysis of the associations between indoor environmental variables in 2000 as well as other......Potential contributions of environmental chemicals and conditions to the etiology of Autism Spectrum Disorders are the subject of considerable cur-rent research and speculation. The present paper describes the results of a study undertaken as part of a larger project devoted to the connection......, follow-up questionnaire (DBH-III) was distributed in 2005. The original survey collected information about the child, the family situation, practices such as smoking, allergic symptoms, type of residence, moisture-related problems, and type of flooring material, which included polyvinyl chloride (PVC...
Stefanatos, Gerry A
A significant proportion of children diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder experience a developmental regression characterized by a loss of previously-acquired skills. This may involve a loss of speech or social responsitivity, but often entails both. This paper critically reviews the phenomena of regression in autistic spectrum disorders, highlighting the characteristics of regression, age of onset, temporal course, and long-term outcome. Important considerations for diagnosis are discussed and multiple etiological factors currently hypothesized to underlie the phenomenon are reviewed. It is argued that regressive autistic spectrum disorders can be conceptualized on a spectrum with other regressive disorders that may share common pathophysiological features. The implications of this viewpoint are discussed.
Vernon, McCay; Rhodes, Anthony
An orientation to autistic spectrum disorders (ASD), also known as autism, is provided, and the specific syndrome of autism and deafness is addressed. The two conditions have in common a major problem: communication. Case histories are provided, the development of treatment for autism is discussed, and the separate disorders that make up ASD are…
There is consensus about the disorders that comprise the autistic spectrum, with autistic disorder, Asperger's disorder, and PDD-NOS as the most typical examples and Rett's disorder and disintegrative disorder as the other components. Important controversies regarding the precise definitions of
Grzadzinski, Rebecca; Di Martino, Adriana; Brady, Emily; Mairena, Maria Angeles; O'Neale, Matthew; Petkova, Eva; Lord, Catherine; Castellanos, F. Xavier
We examined to what extent increased parent reports of autistic traits in some children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are the result of ADHD-related symptoms or qualitatively similar to the core characteristics of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Results confirm the presence of a subgroup of children with ADHD and elevated…
Benson, Valerie; Piper, Jenna; Fletcher-Watson, Sue
Saccadic scanning was examined for typically developing (TD) adults and those with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) during inspection of the "Repin" picture (Yarbus, A. (1967). "Eye movements and vision". New York: Plenum) under two different viewing instructions: (A) material instructions ("Estimate the material circumstances of the family"); and…
Stel, Marielle; van den Heuvel, Claudia; Smeets, Raymond C.
Facial feedback mechanisms of adolescents with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) were investigated utilizing three studies. Facial expressions, which became activated via automatic (Studies 1 and 2) or intentional (Study 2) mimicry, or via holding a pen between the teeth (Study 3), influenced corresponding emotions for controls, while individuals…
Levy, Susan E.; Hyman, Susan L.
In no area of developmental pediatric practice is there more controversy regarding the choice of treatment than related to children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). Complementary and alternative medical therapies (CAM) are often elected because they are perceived as treating the cause of symptoms rather than the symptoms themselves. CAM…
Glazzard, Jonathan; Overall, Katy
The focus of the study was to explore parental experiences of raising a child with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). A mixed-method approach consisting of questionnaires and semi-structured interviews was used in order to elicit parental perspectives of raising a child with ASD. Two semi-structured interviews were conducted with parents of…
Altgassen, A.M.; Kliegel, M.; Williams, T.I.
This study investigated the accuracy of musical pitch detection in children with autistic spectrum disorders as compared with typically developing children. Seventeen children on the autistic spectrum (Mage=9.34, SDage=1.12) and 13 typically developing, chronological age-matched children (Mage=9.13,
Beresford, Bryony; Tozer, Rosemary; Rabiee, Parvaneh; Sloper, Patricia
Within children's services, frameworks for assessing outcomes have been developed in the absence of consultation with children with autistic spectrum disorders and their parents. The research reported here worked with parents, other key adults and children with autistic spectrum disorders to identify desired outcomes. It found similarities with…
Melillo, Robert; Leisman, Gerry
We outline the basis of how functional disconnection with reduced activity and coherence in the right hemisphere would explain all of the symptoms of autistic spectrum disorder as well as the observed increases in sympathetic activation. If the problem of autistic spectrum disorder is primarily one of desynchronization and ineffective interhemispheric communication, then the best way to address the symptoms is to improve coordination between areas of the brain. To do that the best approach would include multimodal therapeusis that would include a combination of somatosensory, cognitive, behavioral, and biochemical interventions all directed at improving overall health, reducing inflammation and increasing right hemisphere activity to the level that it becomes temporally coherent with the left hemisphere. We hypothesize that the unilateral increased hemispheric stimulation has the effect of increasing the temporal oscillations within the thalamocortical pathways bringing it closer to the oscillation rate of the adequately functioning hemisphere. We propose that increasing the baseline oscillation speed of one entire hemisphere will enhance the coordination and coherence between the two hemispheres allowing for enhanced motor and cognitive binding.
Jones, Alice; Cork, Christine; Chowdhury, Uttom
As many as six in every 1000 children may be affected by an autistic spectrum disorder. The previous article of this two-part series discussed the distinction between autism, Asperger's syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder, and examined the assessment process. This article looks at potential differential diagnoses that must be considered, as well as conditions associated with autism. Many theories about the causes of autism have been suggested, including the MMR vaccine. Recent research has suggested that there is no link between the vaccine and autism. There is no cure for autism, but intervention and management techniques should be aimed at educating parents and carers about the disorder and behavioural interventions to aid the child's skills development.
Kelmanson, I A
An association between sleep disorders and autistic spectrum disorders in children is considered. Characteristic variants of sleep disorders, including resistance to going to bed, frequent night awakenings, parasomnias, changes in sleep structure, primarily, the decrease in the percentage of rapid eye movement sleep, are presented. Attention is focused on the possibility of the direct relationship between sleep disturbance and the pathogenesis of autistic spectrum disorders. A role of pathological alterations in the production of neuromediators and morphological changes in the brain structures characteristic of autistic spectrum disorders in the genesis of sleep disorders in children is discussed. Possible non-pharmacological and pharmacological approaches are suggested.
This article evaluates three early intervention approaches--applied behavior analysis, TEAACH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children), a structured classroom-based program, and relationship therapy/"floor time"--to identify which aspects of each approach complement individual learning styles…
Autism and autistic spectrum disorders are still relatively poorly understood. This article outlines the results of new research into the prevalence of autism and into the causes of the condition and highlights implications for nurses from the findings.
Cardoso, Carla; Montenegro, Melaine Luz
The aim of this study was to identify variations from different language therapy processes times in two groups of children with autistic spectrum disorders. 8 subjects, from 3 to 17 years old, participated of this study and they were divided in two groups: Group 1: 4 subjects, in language therapy for 12 months, with therapist change after 6 months; Group 2: 4 subjects, also in language therapy for 12 months, but without therapist change in this period. Data was collected from two videotapes recordings: initial and final and all the recordings had fifteen minutes of duration. The analysis was done according to the criteria proposed by Fernandes (2004a), for functional evaluation of language and the statistical analysis were done with the Wilcoxon signed ranks test and the Mann-Whitney test, with 5% of significance. The results showed no difference between the two groups. This outcome may be related to the small size of the groups or to the duration of the study. Nevertheless, a better functional profile of communication was noted on group 2, with had no therapist change. This outcome was represented by the improving of the communicational acts and the use of the communicative space, it was also noted an increasing of the utilization of the verbal mean and decreasing of the vocal mean, besides a greater utilization of the more interactive functions.
Colin D Steer
Full Text Available It is increasingly recognised that traits associated with autism reflect a spectrum with no clear boundary between typical and atypical behaviour. Dimensional traits are needed to investigate the broader autism phenotype.Ninety-three individual measures reflecting components of social, communication and repetitive behaviours characterising autistic spectrum disorder (ASD were identified between the ages of 6 months and 9 years from the ALSPAC database. Using missing value imputation, data for 13,138 children were analysed. Factor analysis suggested the existence of 7 factors explaining 85% of the variance. The factors were labelled: verbal ability, language acquisition, social understanding, semantic-pragmatic skills, repetitive-stereotyped behaviour, articulation and social inhibition. Four factors (1, 3, 5 and 7 were specific to ASD being more strongly associated with this phenotype than other co-morbid conditions while other factors were more associated with learning difficulties and specific language impairment. Nevertheless, all 7 factors contributed independently to the explanation of ASD (p<0.001. Exploration of putative genetic causal factors such as variants in the CNTNAP2 gene showed a varying pattern of associations with these traits. An alternative predictive model of ASD was derived using four individual measures: the coherence subscale of the Children's Communication Checklist (9y, the Social and Communication Disorders Checklist (91 m, repetitive behaviour (69 m and the sociability subscale of the Emotionality Activity and Sociability measure (38 m. Although univarably these traits performed better than some factors, their combined explanations of ASD were similar (R(2 = 0.48.These results support the fractional nature of ASD with different aetiological origins for these components despite pleiotropic genetic effects being observed. These traits are likely to be useful in the exploration of ASD.
Hull, Mariam Mettry; Madhavan, Deepak; Zaroff, Charles M
In individuals with a comorbid autistic spectrum disorder and medically refractory epilepsy, vagus nerve stimulation may offer the potential of seizure control and a positive behavioral side effect profile. We aimed to examine the behavioral side effect profile using longitudinal and quantitative data and review the potential mechanisms behind behavioral changes. We present a case report of a 10-year-old boy with autistic spectrum disorder and epilepsy, who underwent vagus nerve stimulation subsequent to unsuccessful treatment with antiepileptic medication. Following vagus nerve stimulation implantation, initial, if temporary, improvement was observed in seizure control. Modest improvements were also observed in behavior and development, improvements which were observed independent of seizure control. Vagus nerve stimulation in autistic spectrum disorder is associated with modest behavioral improvement, with unidentified etiology, although several candidates for this improvement are evident.
Donohue, Meghan Rose; Childs, Amber W; Richards, Megan; Robins, Diana L
Racial differences in parent report of concerns about their child's development to healthcare providers may contribute to delayed autism spectrum disorder diagnoses in Black children. We tested the hypotheses that compared to White parents, Black parents of children with autism spectrum disorder would report fewer concerns about autism symptoms and would be more likely to report concerns about disruptive behaviors. A sample of 18- to 40-month-old toddlers ( N = 174) with autism spectrum disorder and their parent participated. After screening positive for autism spectrum disorder risk, but prior to a diagnostic evaluation, parents completed free-response questions soliciting concerns about their child's development. Parent responses were coded for the presence or the absence of 10 possible concerns, which were grouped into autism concerns (e.g. social and restricted and repetitive behavior concerns) or non-autism concerns (e.g. general developmental and disruptive behavior concerns). Compared to White parents, Black parents reported significantly fewer autism concerns and fewer social and restricted and repetitive behavior concerns. However, Black parents did not report significantly fewer non-autism concerns. Race did not influence parent report of disruptive behavior concerns. Lower reporting of autism concerns by Black parents may impact providers' abilities to identify children who need further screening or evaluation.
Rosenberg, Rebecca E.; Kaufmann, Walter E.; Law, J. Kiely; Law, Paul A.
We used a national online registry to examine variation in cumulative prevalence of community diagnosis of psychiatric comorbidity in 4343 children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Adjusted multivariate logistic regression models compared influence of individual, family, and geographic factors on cumulative prevalence of parent-reported anxiety disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder or attention deficit disorder. Adjusted odds of community-as...
Liss, Miriam; Saulnier, Celine; Fein, Deborah; Kinsbourne, Marcel
Individuals with autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs) often experience, describe and exhibit unusual patterns of sensation and attention. These anomalies have been hypothesized to result from overarousal and consequent overfocused attention. Parents of individuals with ASD rated items in three domains, "sensory overreactivity",…
Taylor, M. J.
Purpose--The purpose of the research reported in this paper was to examine the type of adjustments to delivery appropriate for students with an autistic spectrum disorder in a UK higher education setting. Design/Methodology/Approach--A case study in a UK university was conducted over a two-year period. Findings--A variety of adjustments may be…
Skokauskas, N.; Gallagher, L.
Background: Previous studies have reported variable and at times opposite findings on comorbid psychiatric problems in children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). Aims: This study aimed to examine patterns of comorbid psychiatric problems in children with ASD and their parents compared with IQ matched controls and their parents. Methods:…
Kouijzer, M.E.J.; Moor, J.M.H. de; Gerrits, B.J.L.; Congedo, M.; Schie, H.T. van
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
Bilgic, Ayhan; Gurkan, Kagan; Turkoglu, Serhat; Akca, Omer Faruk; Kilic, Birim Gunay; Uslu, Runa
Iron deficiency (ID) causes negative outcomes on psychomotor and behavioral development of infants and young children. Children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) are under risk for ID and this condition may increase the severity of psychomotor and behavioral problems, some of which already inherently exist in these children. In the present…
Green, Dido; Charman, Tony; Pickles, Andrew; Chandler, Susie; Loucas, Tom; Simonoff, Emily; Baird, Gillian
Aim: We undertook this study to explore the degree of impairment in movement skills in children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and a wide IQ range. Method: Movement skills were measured using the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (M-ABC) in a large, well defined, population-derived group of children (n=101: 89 males,12 females; mean…
Wheeler, Anne C; Mussey, Joanna; Villagomez, Adrienne; Bishop, Ellen; Raspa, Melissa; Edwards, Anne; Bodfish, James; Bann, Carla; Bailey, Donald B
We used survey methodology to assess parent-reported autism symptomology in 758 individuals (639 males; 119 females) with fragile X syndrome (FXS). Caregivers reported whether their child with FXS had been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and endorsed symptoms based on a list of observable behaviors related to ASD diagnoses. Symptom counts were categorized based on DSM-IV-TR and DSM-5 criteria. Based on behavioral symptoms endorsed by caregivers, 38.7 % of males and 24.7 % of females met criteria for DSM-IV-TR diagnosis of autistic disorder. Significantly fewer males (27.8 %) and females (11.3 %) met criteria for ASD based on DSM-5 criteria. Although 86.4 % of males and 61.7 % of females met criteria for the restricted and repetitive behavior domain for DSM-5, only 29.4 % of males and 13.0 % of females met criteria for the social communication and interaction (SCI) domain. Relaxing the social communication criteria by one symptom count led to a threefold increase in those meeting criteria for ASD, suggesting the importance of subthreshold SCI symptoms for individuals with FXS in ASD diagnoses. Findings suggest important differences in the way ASD may be conceptualized in FXS based on the new DSM-5 criteria.
Øien, Roald; Eisemann, Martin R.
Parents of children with Autism spectrum disorders often report elevated levels of stress, depression and anxiety compared to parents of children with other developmental disorders. The present study investigated experiences of mothers of children with autistic disorder, both boys and girls. The results show that mothers report problems related to…
Berman, Marvin H
Those who actively work with children are, with increasing frequency, encountering patients who have been diagnosed with autistic disorders. Often, dentists may be the first healthcare providers to recognize that a 1- or 2-year-old child has some type of extraordinary pervasive behavioral disorder that a parent, fearing the worst, may have suspected instinctively and emotionally but never faced objectively. Currently, there are no empirical biological tests (eg, blood tests or brain scans) for ASD that are reliable. The definitive diagnosis of ASD is usually made by pediatricians, psychologists, or psychiatrists who institute a process of analysis which involves a developmental and clinical history, tests for cognitive function, and assessment of receptive and expressive language skills. The etiology of ASD is an enigma. Highly regarded researchers are of the opinion that there is probably more than one cause since the disorder can have such disparate manifestations. Genetics, environmental poisons, neurologic psychopathy, dietary deficiencies, and allergies have all been implicated. Pervasive developmental disorders, Asperger's syndrome, Rett syndrome, and childhood degenerative disorders are all considered a part of the ASD group, but the distinction between the various entities is not always clear. Given the fact that the etiology and the increased incidence of the various ASDs are scientifically puzzling, treatment modalities tend to be wide ranging and very much trial and error, especially since there is no cure. Dental professionals who treat patients with ASDs should be knowledgeable about the special needs of not only these patients, but also of their parents.
Prior, M; Eisenmajer, R; Leekam, S; Wing, L; Gould, J; Ong, B; Dowe, D
Comprehensive data on the developmental history and current behaviours of a large sample of high-functioning individuals with diagnoses of autism, Asperger's syndrome, or other related disorder were collected via parent interviews. This provided the basis for a taxonomic analysis to search for subgroups. Most participants also completed theory of mind tasks. Three clusters or subgroups were obtained; these differed on theory of mind performance and on verbal abilities. Although subgroups were identified which bore some relationship to clinical differentiation of autistic, Asperger syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) cases, the nature of the differences between them appeared strongly related to ability variables. Examination of the kinds of behaviours that differentiated the groups suggested that a spectrum of autistic disorders on which children differ primarily in term of degrees of social and cognitive impairments could explain the findings.
Zivoder, Ivana; Martic-Biocina, Sanja; Kosic, Ana Vodanovic; Bosak, Josipa
The aim of this paper is to describe neurofeedback (NFB) treatment in Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) children. There is no specific cure for autism and therapeutic guidelines are directed to improve the quality of life of people with autism by reducing the symptoms and by increasing their functioning. Neurofeedback is a computerized method based on tracking electrical activity of the brain (EEG) and giving a feedback about it. The method has been developed in neurophysiological labs of scientific institutes in USA and has been used very successfully for over last 20 years. It has proven its efficacy in practise, but also in scientific and clinical research. During 2010 and 2011 neurofeedback treatment was administered to 10 children (N=10, 7 males and 3 females) age range 4 to 7 years which have been diagnosed as autistic spectrum disorder (highly functional) with an unspecific impairment of speech development and trouble communicating. An evaluation of treatment was done according to estimation of changes in functioning (parents, teachers and therapists' ratings and all other experts that were monitoring the child before, during and after the treatment) and tracking of changes in electrophysiology. The results have shown most changes in behaviour (less aggressive, more cooperation, better communication), attention span and sensory motor skills. According to the assessment of parents, teachers, therapists and other experts all children have accomplished a certain degree of improvement in the level of daily functioning. Our experiences in usage of neurofeedback in Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) children confirmed previous data that this method can be applied to this category of patients.
Lobar, Sandra L
This pilot ethnomethodological study examined perceptions of parents/caregivers of children diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorders concerning actions, norms, understandings, and assumptions related to adjustment to this chronic illness. The sample included 14 caregivers (75% Hispanic of various ethnic groups). Maximum variation sampling was used to compare participants on variables that were inductively derived via constant comparative methods of analysis. The following action categories emerged: "Seeking Diagnosis," "Engaging in Routines to Control behavior," "Finding Therapies (Types of Therapies)," "Finding School Accommodations," "Educating Others," "Rising to Challenges," and "Finding the Role of Spiritual and Religious Belief."
Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PPD) refers to the group of disorders characterised by delayed or inappropriate development of multiple basic functions including socialisation, communication, behaviour and cognitive functioning. The term,,autistic spectrum disorders" was established as a result of the magnitude of the intensity of symptoms and their proportions observed in all types of pervasive developmental disorders. Asperger's Syndrome (AS) remains the most controversial diagnosis in terms of its place within autism spectrum disorders. AS if often described as an equivalent of High Functioning Autism (HFA) or as a separate spectrum-related disorder with unique diagnostic criteria. Another important issue is the relationship between AS and speech disorders. Although it is relatively easy to draw a line between children with classical autism and speech disorders, the clear cut frontiers between them still remain to be found. The main distinguishing feature is the lack of stereotypic interests and unimpaired social interaction observed in children with speech disorders, such as semantic-pragmatic disorder.
Øien, Roald; Eisemann, Martin R
Parents of children with Autism spectrum disorders often report elevated levels of stress, depression and anxiety compared to parents of children with other developmental disorders. The present study investigated experiences of mothers of children with autistic disorder, both boys and girls. The results show that mothers report problems related to communication, behavior and interests of their child, which impact their quality of life. There were also differences between boys and girls.
Lau, Winnie Yu-Pow; Gau, Susan Shur-Fen; Chiu, Yen-Nan; Wu, Yu-Yu
The link between parental autistic tendency and anxiety symptoms was studied in 491 Taiwanese couples raising biological children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Parental autistic tendency as measured by Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) was associated with anxiety symptoms across all domains. Large effect sizes were found in social phobia and…
Brooks, Sharon; Paterson, Gail
This article describes a project about using contact work with people with learning disabilities and autistic spectrum disorder. People with learning disabilities and additional autistic spectrum disorder are at risk of becoming socially isolated because of their difficulties in interacting with others. Contact work is a form of Pre-Therapy, which…
Robert B Dudas
Full Text Available Both people with autism spectrum conditions (ASC and borderline personality disorder (BPD are significantly challenged in terms of understanding and responding to emotions and in interpersonal functioning.To compare ASC, BPD, and comorbid patients in terms of autistic traits, empathy, and systemizing.624 ASC, 23 BPD, and 16 comorbid (ASC+BPD patients, and 2,081 neurotypical controls (NC filled in the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ, the Empathy Quotient (EQ and the Systemizing Quotient-Revised (SQ-R.On the AQ, the comorbid group scored higher than the ASC group, who in turn scored higher than the BPD group, who scored higher than controls. On the EQ, we found the comorbid and ASC groups scored lower than the BPD group, who were not different from controls. Finally, on the SQ-R, we found the ASC and BPD group both scored higher than controls.Similar to ASC, BPD patients have elevated autistic traits and a strong drive to systemize, suggesting an overlap between BPD and ASC.
Daniels, Amy M.; Rosenberg, Rebecca E.; Anderson, Connie; Law, J. Kiely; Marvin, Alison R.; Law, Paul A.
Growing interest in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) research requires increasingly large samples to uncover epidemiologic trends; such a large dataset is available in a national, web-based autism registry, the Interactive Autism Network (IAN). The objective of this study was to verify parent-report of professional ASD diagnosis to the registry's…
Wheeler, Anne C.; Mussey, Joanna; Villagomez, Adrienne; Bishop, Ellen; Raspa, Melissa; Edwards, Anne; Bodfish, James; Bann, Carla; Bailey, Donald B.
We used survey methodology to assess parent-reported autism symptomology in 758 individuals (639 males; 119 females) with fragile X syndrome (FXS). Caregivers reported whether their child with FXS had been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and endorsed symptoms based on a list of observable behaviors related to ASD diagnoses.…
Murray, Aja L.; Booth, Tom; McKenzie, Karen; Kuenssberg, Renate; O'Donnell, Michael
It is common to administer measures of autistic traits to those without autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) with, for example, the aim of understanding autistic personality characteristics in non-autistic individuals. Little research has examined the extent to which measures of autistic traits actually measure the same traits in the same way across…
Hatton, Sue; Tector, Angie
Finding suitable curriculum materials for Sexuality and Relationship Education for young people with autistic spectrum disorder can be a challenge for teaching staff. In this article, Sue Hatton and Angie Tector who both formerly worked at Coddington Court School discuss findings from their research project asking pupils with autistic spectrum…
Makrygianni, Maria K.; Reed, Phil
This study explored the best predictors of the progress of children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD), on some developmental domains (autistic severity, language, communication and socialisation), which are related to the core features of ASD. Eighty-six children (2.5-14 years old) with ASD, from 10 schools in Greece, were included in the…
Bent, Stephen; Bertoglio, Kiah; Hendren, Robert L.
We conducted a systematic review to determine the safety and efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids for autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). Articles were identified by a search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Database using the terms autism or autistic and omega-3 fatty acids. The search identified 143 potential articles and six satisfied all…
VanderLaan, Doug P.; Leef, Jonathan H.; Wood, Hayley; Hughes, S. Kathleen; Zucker, Kenneth J.
Gender dysphoria (GD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are associated. In 49 GD children (40 natal males), we examined ASD risk factors (i.e., birth weight, parental age, sibling sex ratio) in relation to autistic traits. Data were gathered on autistic traits, birth weight, parents' ages at birth, sibling sex ratio, gender nonconformity, age,…
Full Text Available The contribution contains results of a research of motor skills of children with autistic spectrum disorder. The group of children represents besides major triad of symptoms, also described difficulties in the field of motor skills. Our aim to find out what motor skills of these children are in comparison with intact population and what differences are found in individual motor items, i.e. in fine motor skills, gross motor skills and in balance. The data was gained with the use of standardized Movement Assessment Battery test for Children 2 (MABC-2. Objective testing of this group of children is relatively difficult. There were successfully tested 36 children with ASD during this phase of research. The research demonstrated evident motor disorder at 86% of children in the observed sample. Statistically significant were worse results in the field of fine motor skills compared to the results in gross motor skills and balance.
Harstad, Elizabeth; Huntington, Noelle; Bacic, Janine; Barbaresi, William
Although children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are eligible to receive special education services via an individualized education program (IEP), approximately 12% to 20% do not. Our objective was to determine which clinical and demographic characteristics are associated with IEP receipt among a nationally representative sample of children with ASD. Using data from the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health, we determined which clinical and demographic covariates are associated with IEP receipt for children ages 6 to 17 years with a current, parent-reported ASD diagnosis (n = 759). Logistic regression models were used to assess the association of covariates with IEP receipt. Application of weighting techniques made the findings representative of the noninstitutionalized population of US children 6 to 17 years old. In the weighted model, 90% of children with ASD receive an IEP. Maternal education level above high school (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 4.08, P = .01) and presence of perceived need for coordination of care (aOR 3.62, P = .02) were associated with IEP receipt, while Hispanic children were less likely to receive an IEP compared with white children (aOR 0.12, P = .001). The following factors were not associated with IEP receipt: severity of ASD, speech, and behavior problems. For children with ASD in the United States, socioeconomic factors, not disability severity, are associated with IEP receipt. Future research should address methods to overcome this disparity in care. Health care providers may help to advocate for appropriate educational services for patients with ASD. Copyright © 2013 Academic Pediatric Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Chan, Agnes S; Cheung, Mei-Chun; Sze, Sophia L; Leung, Winnie W
This is a randomized controlled trial that aimed to evaluate the effect of the Seven-star Needle Stimulation treatment on children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Thirty-two children with ASD were assigned randomly into the treatment and control groups. Children in the treatment group underwent 30 sessions of stimulation over 6 weeks, while children in the control group were on a waiting list and did not receive treatment during this period of time. Intervention consisted of a treatment regime comprising of 30 sessions of Seven-star Needle Stimulation, delivered over 6 weeks. Each session lasted 5 to 10 min, children in the treatment group were stimulated at the front and back sides of their body and the head by using Seven-star Needles. The change in the children's behavior was evaluated using parents' report and neurophysiological changes were measured by quantitative EEG (qEEG). Results showed that the treatment group demonstrated significant improvement in language and social interaction, but not in stereotyped behavior or motor function, compared to the control group. qEEG spectral amplitudes in the treatment, but not in the control group, were also reduced significantly. The results suggested that Seven-star Needle Stimulation might be an effective intervention to improve language and social functioning of children with ASD.
Reichelt, A C; Rodgers, R J; Clapcote, S J
Schizophrenia and autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) are common, chronic mental conditions with both genetic and environmental components to their aetiology. The identification of genes influencing susceptibility to these disorders offers a rational route towards a clearer understanding of the neurobiology, and with this the prospect of treatment and prevention strategies tailored towards the remediation of the altered pathways. Copy number variants (CNVs) underlie many serious illnesses, including neurological and neurodevelopmental syndromes. Recent studies assessing copy number variation in ASD and schizophrenia have repeatedly observed heterozygous deletions eliminating exons of the neurexin-1α gene (but not the neurexin-1β gene) in patients with ASD and schizophrenia. The neurexins are synaptic adhesion proteins that are known to play a key role in synaptic formation and maintenance. The functional significance of the recurrent deletion is poorly understood, but the availability of mice with deletion of the promoter and first exon of neurexin-1α provides direct access to the biological effects of neurexin-1α disruption on phenotypes relevant to ASD and schizophrenia. We review the evidence for the role of neurexin-1α in schizophrenia and ASD, and consider how genetic disruption of neurexin-1α may underpin the neuropathology contributing to these distinct neurodevelopmental disorders. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Connecticut Birth to Three System, Hartford.
This guide for parents and service providers contains information on autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) in young children and is the product of a review of research-based programs and models and requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The document begins with discussion of the definition of ASD, possible causes of ASD, and…
Pang, Karl H; Croaker, Geoffrey David Hain
Children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs) have long been known to suffer from GIT symptoms. We planned to quantify the contribution of this group to our constipation clinic workload, and to discover defining group characteristics. The characteristics of the bowel habit of children with autism ± neuro-developmental psychiatric (NDP) diagnoses were compared with 'normal' children by retrospective chart review. Data were entered into an Excel spreadsheet (Microsoft Office 2007), and compared between groups. One hundred and eighteen patients presented to the Paediatric Surgical Constipation clinic between April 2003 and May 2008. 90 patients were otherwise normal; 18 patients had NDP; 6 patients had ASD alone and 4 had ASD with other neurodevelopmental features. The median [interquartile range] age at onset in the ASD + NDP and normal groups was 2.5 (1-6) and 14 (4-36) months, respectively (p = 0.03) and the median duration of history in the ASD ± NDP and normal groups was 61 (47-89) and 27 (13-53) months, respectively (p = 0.007). Autism spectrum disorders are an order of magnitude more common in the constipation clinic than in the general population. 8.5% of patients who attended our Paediatric Surgical Constipation clinic had autism with or without NDP deficits. Children with autism ± NDP deficits have an earlier onset of symptoms, longer history, and some possess signs similar to those of slow transit constipation. These features may be inborn. A common genetic origin of gut and behavioural abnormalities suggests that specific targeted investigation and treatment for the constipation of ASD may in time be developed.
Murray, Aja Louise; Booth, Tom; McKenzie, Karen; Kuenssberg, Renate; O’Donnell, Michael
It is common to administer measures of autistic traits to those without autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) with, for example, the aim of understanding autistic personality characteristics in non-autistic individuals. Little research has examined the extent to which measures of autistic traits actually measure the same traits in the same way across those with and without an ASD. We addressed this question using a multi-group confirmatory factor invariance analysis of the Autism Quotient Short Fo...
Bae, Young Seh
Mathematical Word Problem Solving of Students with Autistic Spectrum Disorders and Students with Typical Development Young Seh Bae This study investigated mathematical word problem solving and the factors associated with the solution paths adopted by two groups of participants (N=40), students with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and typically…
Russell, Ginny; Steer, Colin; Golding, Jean
Recent studies in epidemiology have highlighted the existence of children with autistic difficulties who remain undiagnosed. Other studies have identified 'access barriers' to clinics which include factors mediated by parents as well as health and education services. The purpose of this study was to examine whether social and demographic factors play a role in receiving a diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) independently of symptom severity. Retrospective secondary analysis of a longitudinal UK cohort study, namely, the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). With the severity of autistic traits held constant, boys were more likely to receive an ASD diagnosis than girls. Younger mothers and mothers of first-born children were significantly less likely to have children diagnosed with ASD. Maternal depression before and around the time of their children's autistic difficulties was associated with lack of diagnosis. The study provides evidence that social as well as biological factors can influence whether children are brought to the clinic.
Blanken, Laura M. E.; Dass, Alena; Alvares, Gail; van der Ende, Jan; Schoemaker, Nikita K.; El Marroun, Hanan; Hickey, Martha; Pennell, Craig; White, Scott; Maybery, Murray T.; Dissanayake, Cheryl; Jaddoe, Vincent W. V.; Verhulst, Frank C.; Tiemeier, Henning; McIntosh, Will; Whitehouse, Andrew
Altered trajectories of brain growth are often reported in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), particularly during the first year of life. However, less is known about prenatal head growth trajectories, and no study has examined the relation with postnatal autistic symptom severity. The current study prospectively examined the association between fetal head growth and the spectrum of autistic symptom severity in two large population‐based cohorts, including a sample of individuals with clinically diagnosed ASD. This study included 3,820 children from two longitudinal prenatal cohorts in The Netherlands and Australia, comprising 60 individuals with a confirmed diagnosis of ASD. Latent growth curve models were used to examine the relationship between fetal head circumference measured at three different time points and autistic traits measured in postnatal life using either the Social Responsiveness Scale or the Autism‐Spectrum Quotient. While lower initial prenatal HC was weakly associated with increasing autistic traits in the Dutch cohort, this relationship was not observed in the Australian cohort, nor when the two cohorts were analysed together. No differences in prenatal head growth were found between individuals with ASD and controls. This large population‐based study identified no consistent association across two cohorts between prenatal head growth and postnatal autistic traits. Our mixed findings suggest that further research in this area is needed. Autism Res 2018, 11: 602–612. © 2018 The Authors Autism Research published by International Society for Autism Research and Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Lay Summary It is not known whether different patterns of postnatal brain growth in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) also occurs prenatally. We examined fetal head growth and autistic symptoms in two large groups from The Netherlands and Australia. Lower initial prenatal head circumference was associated with autistic traits in the Dutch, but not the Australian
Sutherland, Rebecca; Hodge, Antoinette; Bruck, Susan; Costley, Debra; Klieve, Helen
More boys than girls are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder; however, there are conflicting findings about whether they differ in their presentation. This study involved a survey of parents of school-aged children on the autism spectrum (171 parents of girls and 163 parents of boys) that was distributed via social media. The surveys provided…
Sacrey, Lori-Ann R.; Bryson, Susan; Zwaigenbaum, Lonnie; Brian, Jessica; Smith, Isabel M.; Roberts, Wendy; Szatmari, Peter; Vaillancourt, Tracy; Roncadin, Caroline; Garon, Nancy
This study examined whether a novel parent-report questionnaire, the Autism Parent Screen for Infants, could differentiate infants subsequently diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder from a high-risk cohort (siblings of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (n = 66)) from high-risk and low-risk comparison infants (no family history of…
Farr, William; Yuill, Nicola; Raffle, Hayes
Tangible user interfaces (TUIs) embed computer technology in graspable objects. This study assessed the potential of Topobo, a construction toy with programmable movement, to support social interaction in children with Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC). Groups of either typically developing (TD) children or those with ASC had group play sessions…
Branigan, Holly P.; Tosi, Alessia; Gillespie-Smith, Karri
It is well established that adults converge on common referring expressions in dialogue, and that such lexical alignment is important for successful and rewarding communication. The authors show that children with an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and chronological- and verbal-age-matched typically developing (TD) children also show spontaneous…
This study compared responses of 16 pupils either with or without autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and matched for gender and verbal ability. Subjects' responses to various pictures were categorized. Results suggested errors made by the two groups differed both quantitatively and qualitatively. Errors made by pupils with ASD were largely…
Place, Maurice; Dickinson, Kathleen; Reynolds, Joanna
The increasingly sedentary habits of children, and rising obesity levels, are prompting concern for children's future health. Children with autistic spectrum condition (ASC) show a clear trend in this regard. Within school, an understanding of how an individual's fitness compares to age norms is important in order to design appropriate exercise…
L.M.E. Blanken (Laura); Dass, A. (Alena); Alvares, G. (Gail); J. van der Ende (Jan); N.K. Schoemaker (Nikita); H. El Marroun (Hanan); Hickey, M. (Martha); C.E. Pennell (Craig); White, S. (Scott); Maybery, M.T. (Murray T.); Dissanayake, C. (Cheryl); V.W.V. Jaddoe (Vincent); F.C. Verhulst (Frank); H.W. Tiemeier (Henning); McIntosh, W. (Will); T.J.H. White (Tonya); A.J.O. Whitehouse (Andrew)
textabstractAltered trajectories of brain growth are often reported in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), particularly during the first year of life. However, less is known about prenatal head growth trajectories, and no study has examined the relation with postnatal autistic symptom severity. The
Gregory, B. L.; Plaisted-Grant, K. C.
A high Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ) score (Baron-Cohen et al. in "J Autism Dev Disord" 31(1):5-17, 2001) is increasingly used as a proxy in empirical studies of perceptual mechanisms in autism. Several investigations have assessed perception in non-autistic people measured for AQ, claiming the same relationship exists between…
Melogno, Sergio; D'Ardia, Caterina; Pinto, Maria Antonietta; Levi, Gabriel
This article presents case studies on metaphor comprehension in two boys with high-functioning autistic spectrum disorder, aged 9;1 (9 years, 1 month) and 8;11. The participants were assessed twice, before and after an intervention program aimed at improving their social skills. The focus of the article is on the specific patterns exhibited by…
In this study, the societal economic consequences of autistic spectrum disorder were investigated using a sample of parents of children identified with the disorder and living in a Swedish municipality. Cost information was collected using a postal questionnaire that was developed through experiences gained from an earlier study. Using…
van Steensel, F.J.A.; Bögels, S.M.; Perrin, S.
There is considerable evidence that children and adolescents with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) are at increased risk of anxiety and anxiety disorders. However, it is less clear which of the specific DSM-IV anxiety disorders occur most in this population. The present study used meta-analytic
This descriptive action research experience with case study procedures examined the use of best practices paired with assistive technologies as interventions to individualize fiction reading instruction for a high-functioning elementary student, JB (pseudonym), diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder. JB's instructional, reading goals were to…
Rita Jordan, Professor in Autism Studies at the School of Education, University of Birmingham, gave last year's Gulliford Lecture at the University of Birmingham on 4 October 2007. This article is based upon that lecture. In it, Professor Jordan discusses the role of education in the lives of people with autistic spectrum disorders. She traces the…
Smith, Isabel M.; Koegel, Robert L.; Koegel, Lynn K.; Openden, Daniel A.; Fossum, Kristin L.; Bryson, Susan E.
The Nova Scotia early intensive behavior intervention model--NS EIBI (Bryson et al., 2007) for children with autistic spectrum disorders was designed to be feasible and sustainable in community settings. It combines parent training and naturalistic one-to-one behavior intervention employing Pivotal Response Treatment--PRT (R. Koegel & Koegel,…
Stam, A.J.; Schothorst, P.F.; Vorstman, J.A.; Staal, W.G.
Autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are classified as distinct disorders within the DSM-IV-TR (1994). The manual excludes simultaneous use of both diagnoses in case of overlap on a symptomatic level. However this does not always represent clinical
King, Diane; Dockrell, Julie E.; Stuart, Morag
Background: Children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) are known to have difficulties in narrative language and especially with use of evaluative enrichment devices. However, little is known about their production of event narratives. Aims: To establish if children with ASD differ from typically developing peers in their production of general…
Background: Structural language anomalies or impairments in autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) are theoretically and practically important, although underrecognised as such. This review aims to highlight the ubiquitousness of structural language anomalies and impairments in ASD, and to stimulate investigation of their immediate causes and…
Teaching children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be the most challenging to preschool teachers because of the complexity of this brain disorder. A child s life is affected, whether its communication and language, social and play skills, activities of daily living, self-regulation behaviors, and sensory impairments. Therefore, a teacher…
Fein, Lance; Jones, Don
This study addresses the compromise skills that are taught to students diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and related social and communication deficits. A private school in the southeastern United States implemented an emergence theory-based curriculum to address these skills, yet no formal analysis was conducted to determine its…
Symes, Wendy; Humphrey, Neil
The aims of the current study were (i) to explore the extent to which pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) were effectively included in lessons, compared with pupils with dyslexia (DYS) or no Special Educational Needs (CON) and (ii) to understand how the presence of a teaching assistant (TA) influences the inclusion/exclusion process. One…
The aim of the present study was to investigate whether or not the avoidant attachment style indicates job adaptation of people with High Functional Autistic Spectrum Disorders (HFASD). HFASD are groups of developmental disorders characterized by impairment of social interaction and normal level of intelligence. Twenty-two people with HFASD…
This paper describes a small-scale research project undertaken in July 2007, which focused on a group of students with a diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) currently attending a mainstream secondary school. Three focus groups were held with students in Years 9 and 11 and with their parents in order to explore current practice on…
Ridge, Katie; Guerin, Suzanne
The current study investigated clinicians' perspectives on the effectiveness of interventions designed to support the development of children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs). Researchers developed a semi-structured interview which was administered to 11 clinicians involved in the assessment and treatment of ASDs (5 = clinical…
van Steensel, Francisca J. A.; Bogels, Susan M.; Perrin, Sean
There is considerable evidence that children and adolescents with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) are at increased risk of anxiety and anxiety disorders. However, it is less clear which of the specific DSM-IV anxiety disorders occur most in this population. The present study used meta-analytic techniques to help clarify this issue. A systematic…
Osborne, Lisa A.; Reed, Phil
Two 9- to 10-month-Iong studies (N = 137) examined the interaction between parenting stress and behavior problems in children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs). Study 1 focused on very young children, and Study 2 employed a wider range of child ages; both studies assessed these factors at 2 points in time. The researchers noted a strong…
Hare, Dougal Julian; Mellor, Christine; Azmi, Sabiha
People with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) have difficulties in recalling recently experienced events, which is dependent upon intact functioning of several aspects of "self awareness". The current study examined impaired episodic recall in ASD and its relationship to specific impairments in aspects of "self awareness". Between-group…
Humphrey, Neil; Symes, Wendy
The aim of the current study was to document the peer interaction patterns of students with autistic spectrum disorders in mainstream settings. Structured observations of a group of 38 adolescents with ASD drawn from 12 mainstream secondary schools were conducted over a two-day period and data compared with those of school, age, and gender matched…
Felce, D.; Perry, J.
Background: There is little evidence to guide the commissioning of residential provision for adults with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) in the UK. We aim to explore the degree and impact of diagnostic congregation among adults with intellectual disabilities (ID) and ASD living in staffed housing. Methods: One hundred and fifty-seven adults with…
Bohm, Henry V.; Stewart, Melbourne G.
In the development of genetic theories of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) various characteristics of monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins are often considered. This paper sets forth a possible refinement in the interpretation of the MZ twin concordance percentages for ASD underlying such genetic theories, and, drawing the consequences from…
Mehtar, Mohamad; Mukaddes, Nahit Motavalli
Although children and adolescents with developmental disabilities are said to have higher risks of abuse than those without, trauma and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are little examined in those diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). Our study aims to assess trauma types, prevalence, risk factors and symptoms; and PTSD in…
Dietz, C.; Swinkels, S.H.N.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Daalen, E. van; Engeland, H.M. van
AIM: To investigate cognitive development in preschool-age children diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD; N = 39) compared with that of children diagnosed with mental retardation (MR; N = 14) and normally developing children (NC; N = 36). METHOD: In a prospective longitudinal study,
Ross, Penelope; Cuskelly, Monica
Background: Siblings of children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) express more problem behaviours and experience more difficulties in their relationships than do children in families where all children are developing typically. We know little about what contributes to these difficulties. Method: Mothers of a child with ASD completed the…
Hare, Dougal Julian; Chapman, Melanie; Fraser, Janelle; Gore, Sarah; Burton, Mark
A survey of service providers for people with learning disabilities in the Manchester (England) region identified a total of 174 people with either a confirmed or a suspected autistic spectrum disorder. Discussion of current and historical factors in estimating incidence suggests that the usual 10% of service users represents the lowest estimate…
Postorino, Valentina; Scahill, Lawrence; De Peppo, Lavinia; Fatta, Laura Maria; Zanna, Valeria; Castiglioni, Maria Chiara; Gillespie, Scott; Vicari, Stefano; Mazzone, Luigi
This study aimed to examine the presence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in a sample of female adolescents with Anorexia Nervosa (AN) during the acute phase of illness. We also compare the level of autistic traits, social perception skills and obsessive-compulsive symptoms in four groups: AN, ASD, and two gender- and age-matched control groups.…
Al-Farsi, Yahya M.; Al-Sharbati, Marwan M.; Al-Farsi, Omar A.; Al-Shafaee, Mohammed S.; Brooks, Daniel R.; Waly, Mostafa I.
Prevalence of autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) in Oman is unknown. We conducted a cross-sectional study to estimate the prevalence of ASD among 0-14 year old children. Diagnoses were made as per DSM-IV-TR criteria and supplemented with information collected with the standard Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) questionnaire. A total 113 cases of…
Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by stereotyped\\/obsessional behaviours and social and communicative deficits. However, there is significant variability in the clinical phenotype; for example, people with autism exhibit language delay whereas those with Asperger syndrome do not. It remains unclear whether localized differences in brain anatomy are associated with variation in the clinical phenotype.
Brewster, Stephanie; Coleyshaw, Liz
The importance of active participation in leisure activities for everybody is identified by Carr (2004) but issues around leisure in the lives of children with disabilities have received little recognition. The experience of children/young people (henceforth referred to simply as children, for brevity) with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) in…
Pooni, Jyoti; Ninteman, Aafke; Bryant-Waugh, Rachel; Nicholls, Dasha; Mandy, William
To investigate whether young people (8-16 years) with an eating disorder have a higher prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASDs) and elevated autistic traits compared to typically developing (TD) peers. Twenty-two participants with early onset eating disorder (EOED) were assessed using standardized ASD measures and compared to IQ matched TD (n = 24) and ASD (n = 20) controls. An ASD diagnosis was no more common in EOED than in TD controls. However, repetitive and stereotyped behavior was more often observed in the EOED group and, compared to TD controls, there was a trend (p = .07) toward greater autistic social impairment in EOED. Whilst participants with EOED did not show increased ASD prevalence, they did have elevated autistic traits of clinical significance, particularly repetitive and stereotyped behavior. Further work is required to determine whether inflexibility and social difficulties in EOED have identical phenomenology and etiology to those seen in ASD. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Bhaumik, Sabyasachi; Tyrer, Freya; Barrett, Mary; Tin, Nyunt; McGrother, Catherine W; Kiani, Reza
It is often difficult to determine the triad of impairments and whether autistic features are the consequence of intellectual impairment or autism spectrum disorders in people with intellectual disability (ID). The aim of the current study was to investigate the relationship between carer-reported autistic traits and independent diagnoses of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Data were collected on carers' subjective report of autistic traits and clinical diagnoses of ASD. Of 1145 adults with ID identified, 220 (19%) individuals had a diagnosis of ASD, and 778 (68%) individuals had at least one autistic trait. Optimal sensitivity and specificity were achieved with two or more autistic traits (sensitivity 63%; specificity 79%) and the positive predictive value increased substantially as the number of autistic traits increased. However, a significant proportion of individuals with ID who did not have a diagnosis of ASD also displayed autistic traits. Our findings suggest that in the absence of other measures, the presence of autistic traits can serve as a useful proxy measure for ASD in research (and/or clinical settings). However, although information on autistic traits may help healthcare practitioners to identify people with possible ASD, it cannot be used alone to make a formal diagnosis. 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Albizzati, A; Morè, L; Di Candia, D; Saccani, M; Lenti, C
Autism is a neurological-psychiatric disease. In the last 20 years we witnessed a strong increase of autism diagnoses. To explain this increase, some scientists put forward the hypothesis that heavy metal intoxication may be one of the causes of autism. The origin of such an intoxication was hypothesised to be vaccines containing thimerosal as antimicrobic preservative. This preservative is mainly made up of mercury. The aim of our research was to investigate the correlation between autism and high biological concentrations of heavy metals. Seventeen autistic patients, between 6 and 16 years old (average: 11.52 DS: 3.20) (15 males and 2 females), were investigated, as well as 20 non autistic subjects from neuropsychiatric service between 6 and 16 years (average: 10.41 DS: 3.20) (15 males and 2 females). In both groups blood, urine and hair samples were analysed trough means of a semiquantitative analysis of heavy metal dosing. The metals analysed were Lead, mercury, cadmium and aluminium, since their build-up may give both neurological and psychiatric symptoms. The comparison of the mean values of the concentrations between the groups, performed with ANOVA test, has shown no statistically relevant differences. There wasn't correlation between autism and heavy metal concentration.
Hamilton, Antonia F de C; Brindley, Rachel; Frith, Uta
Evidence from typical development and neuroimaging studies suggests that level 2 visual perspective taking - the knowledge that different people may see the same thing differently at the same time - is a mentalising task. Thus, we would expect children with autism, who fail typical mentalising tasks like false belief, to perform poorly on level 2 visual perspective taking as well. However, prior data on this issue are inconclusive. We re-examined this question, testing a group of 23 young autistic children, aged around 8years with a verbal mental age of around 4years and three groups of typical children (n=60) ranging in age from 4 to 8years on a level 2 visual perspective task and a closely matched mental rotation task. The results demonstrate that autistic children have difficulty with visual perspective taking compared to a task requiring mental rotation, relative to typical children. Furthermore, performance on the level 2 visual perspective taking task correlated with theory of mind performance. These findings resolve discrepancies in previous studies of visual perspective taking in autism, and demonstrate that level 2 visual perspective taking is a mentalising task.
Blanken, Laura M E; Dass, Alena; Alvares, Gail; van der Ende, Jan; Schoemaker, Nikita K; El Marroun, Hanan; Hickey, Martha; Pennell, Craig; White, Scott; Maybery, Murray T; Dissanayake, Cheryl; Jaddoe, Vincent W V; Verhulst, Frank C; Tiemeier, Henning; McIntosh, Will; White, Tonya; Whitehouse, Andrew
Altered trajectories of brain growth are often reported in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), particularly during the first year of life. However, less is known about prenatal head growth trajectories, and no study has examined the relation with postnatal autistic symptom severity. The current study prospectively examined the association between fetal head growth and the spectrum of autistic symptom severity in two large population-based cohorts, including a sample of individuals with clinically diagnosed ASD. This study included 3,820 children from two longitudinal prenatal cohorts in The Netherlands and Australia, comprising 60 individuals with a confirmed diagnosis of ASD. Latent growth curve models were used to examine the relationship between fetal head circumference measured at three different time points and autistic traits measured in postnatal life using either the Social Responsiveness Scale or the Autism-Spectrum Quotient. While lower initial prenatal HC was weakly associated with increasing autistic traits in the Dutch cohort, this relationship was not observed in the Australian cohort, nor when the two cohorts were analysed together. No differences in prenatal head growth were found between individuals with ASD and controls. This large population-based study identified no consistent association across two cohorts between prenatal head growth and postnatal autistic traits. Our mixed findings suggest that further research in this area is needed. Autism Res 2018, 11: 602-612. © 2018 The Authors Autism Research published by International Society for Autism Research and Wiley Periodicals, Inc. It is not known whether different patterns of postnatal brain growth in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) also occurs prenatally. We examined fetal head growth and autistic symptoms in two large groups from The Netherlands and Australia. Lower initial prenatal head circumference was associated with autistic traits in the Dutch, but not the Australian, group. No differences
Feldman, Maurice A.; Ward, Rebecca A.; Savona, Danielle; Regehr, Kaleigh; Parker, Kevin; Hudson, Melissa; Penning, Henderika; Holden, Jeanette J. A.
We developed and evaluated a new parent report instrument--Parent Observation of Early Markers Scale (POEMS)--to monitor the behavioral development of infants at risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) because they have older affected siblings. Parents of 108 at-risk infants (74 males, 34 females) completed the POEMS from child age 1-24 months.…
Laura de Magistris
Full Text Available Purpose. Immune system of some autistic patients could be abnormally triggered by gluten/casein assumption. The prevalence of antibodies to gliadin and milk proteins in autistic children with paired/impaired intestinal permeability and under dietary regimen either regular or restricted is reported. Methods. 162 ASDs and 44 healthy children were investigated for intestinal permeability, tissue-transglutaminase (tTG, anti-endomysium antibodies (EMA-IgA, and total mucosal IgA to exclude celiac disease; HLA-DQ2/-DQ8 haplotypes; total systemic antibodies (IgA, IgG, and IgE; specific systemic antibodies: α-gliadin (AGA-IgA and IgG, deamidated–gliadin-peptide (DGP-IgA and IgG, total specific gliadin IgG (all fractions: α, β, γ, and ω, β-lactoglobulin IgG, α-lactalbumin IgG, casein IgG; and milk IgE, casein IgE, gluten IgE, -lactoglobulin IgE, and α-lactalbumin IgE. Results. AGA-IgG and DPG-IgG titers resulted to be higher in ASDs compared to controls and are only partially influenced by diet regimen. Casein IgG titers resulted to be more frequently and significantly higher in ASDs than in controls. Intestinal permeability was increased in 25.6% of ASDs compared to 2.3% of healthy children. Systemic antibodies production was not influenced by paired/impaired intestinal permeability. Conclusions. Immune system of a subgroup of ASDs is triggered by gluten and casein; this could be related either to AGA, DPG, and Casein IgG elevated production or to impaired intestinal barrier function.
Full Text Available Goal: To highlight the recent recommenddations and future trends in diagnosing and managing autistic spectrum disorder. Methodology: Comprehensive search was done in the electronic database, journals, reference lists and dissertation related to the field. Results and conclusion: Autistic spectrum disorder is characterized by onset before the age of 3 years, qualitative impairment in social and communication skills along with repetitive behavioural pattern and restricted interests. Multiple pathways involving genetic, structural and environmental factors have been implicated in the etiopathogenesis. Diagnosis is primarily clinical, based on caregiver interview and observing the patient. However, certain biochemical, radiological and electrophysiological investigations are indicated in relevant scenarios. The mainstay of therapy is behavioural intervention with pharmacotherapy indicated for certain behavioural issues. Complementary and alternate treatment, dietary and stem cell therapies are still investigational with some benefits.Various newer therapeutic options are currently being investigated, exploring the molecular and genetic basis of causation.
Rudra, Alokananda; Belmonte, Matthew K; Soni, Parmeet Kaur; Banerjee, Saoni; Mukerji, Shaneel; Chakrabarti, Bhismadev
Despite housing ∼18% of the world's population, India does not yet have an estimate of prevalence of autism. This study was carried out to estimate the prevalence of autism in a selected population of school-children in India. N = 11,849 children (mean age = 5.9 [SD = 1.3], 39.5% females) were selected from various school types from three boroughs in Kolkata, India. Parents/caregivers and teachers filled in the social and communication disorders checklist (SCDC). Children meeting cutoff on parent-reported SCDC were followed up with the social communication questionnaire (SCQ). SCQ-positive children were administered the autism diagnostic observation schedule (ADOS). Teacher report on SCDC was available on all 11,849 children. Parent-report SCDC scores were obtained for 5,947 children. Mean scores on teacher SCDC were significantly lower than parent SCDC. Out of 1,247 SCDC-positive children, 882 answered the SCQ, of whom 124 met the cutoff score of 15. Six of these children met criteria for autism, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), or broader autism spectrum on the ADOS. The weighted estimate of supra-threshold SCQ scores was 3.54% (CI: 2.88-4.3%). The weighted prevalence estimate of positive scores (for broader autism spectrum + ASD + autism) was 0.23% (0.07-0.46%). As ∼20% children in this state are known to be out of the school system, and ASD prevalence is likely to be higher in this group, this estimate is likely to represent the lower-bound of the true prevalence. This study provides preliminary data on the prevalence of broader-spectrum autism and supra-threshold autistic traits in a population sample of school children in Eastern India. Autism Res 2017, 10: 1597-1605. ©2017 The Authors Autism Research published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society for Autism Research. © 2017 The Authors Autism Research published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society for Autism Research.
Full Text Available Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD is a developmental disability of the central nervous system with rapid worsening. A subset of patients also has mitochondrial dysfunction leading to increased sensitivity to various anesthetic agents. Rarely, gene mutation in these patients results in homocysteinemia which causes higher incidences of thromboembolism, hypoglycemia, and seizures. Anesthetic management of ASD with homocysteinemia and refractory seizures has not been previously reported.
Berryessa, Colleen M.
In recent years, sensational media reporting focusing on crimes committed by those diagnosed with or thought to have High Functioning Autistic Spectrum Disorders (hfASDs) has caused societal speculation that there is a link between the disorder and violent criminality. No research exists on how and if the judiciary understands and is affected by this coverage. Therefore this study aims to examine how judges perceive and are influenced by media attention surrounding hfASDs and criminality. Sem...
Mazzone, Luigi; Curatolo, Paolo
Abstract Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are a set of complex developmental disabilities defined by impairment in social interaction and communication, as well as by restricted interests or repetitive behaviors. Neuroimaging studies have substantially advanced our understanding of the neural mechanisms that underlie the core symptoms of ASDs. Nevertheless, a number of challenges still remain in the application of neuroimaging techniques to the study of ASDs. We review three major conceptua...
Dietz, C.; Swinkels, S.H.N.; Daalen, E. van; Engeland, H.M. van; Buitelaar, J.K.
A two-stage protocol for screening for autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) was evaluated in a random population of 31,724 children aged 14-15 months. Children were first pre-screened by physicians at well-baby clinics using a 4-item screening instrument. Infants that screened positive were then
Sacrey, Lori-Ann R; Bryson, Susan; Zwaigenbaum, Lonnie; Brian, Jessica; Smith, Isabel M; Roberts, Wendy; Szatmari, Peter; Vaillancourt, Tracy; Roncadin, Caroline; Garon, Nancy
This study examined whether a novel parent-report questionnaire, the Autism Parent Screen for Infants, could differentiate infants subsequently diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder from a high-risk cohort (siblings of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (n = 66)) from high-risk and low-risk comparison infants (no family history of autism spectrum disorder) who did not develop autism spectrum disorder (n = 138 and 79, respectively). Participants were assessed prospectively at 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, and 24 months of age. At 36 months, a blind independent diagnostic assessment for autism spectrum disorder was completed. Parent report on the Autism Parent Screen for Infants was examined in relation to diagnostic outcome and risk status (i.e. high-risk sibling with autism spectrum disorder, high-risk sibling without autism spectrum disorder, and low-risk control). The results indicated that from 6 months of age, total score on the Autism Parent Screen for Infants differentiated between the siblings with autism spectrum disorder and the other two groups. The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive validity of the Autism Parent Screen for Infants highlight its potential for the early screening of autism spectrum disorder in high-risk cohorts.
Barneveld, Petra S; Pieterse, Jolijn; de Sonneville, Leo; van Rijn, Sophie; Lahuis, Bertine; van Engeland, Herman; Swaab, Hanna
This study addresses the unraveling of the relationship between autism spectrum and schizophrenia spectrum traits in a population of adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Recent studies comparing isolated symptoms of both spectrum disorders as well as diagnostic criteria for each (DSM-IV-TR) suggest resemblances in the clinical phenotype. A group of 27 adolescents with ASD (11 to 18 years) and 30 typically developing adolescents, matched for age and gender, participated in this study. Within the ASD group 11 adolescents satisfied DSM-IV-TR criteria for schizotypal personality disorders. Autistic and schizotypal traits were identified by means of well validated questionnaires (Autism Questionnaire, AQ and Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire-Revised, SPQ). Significantly more schizotypal traits in adolescents with ASD were found than in typically developing controls. Besides high levels of negative symptoms, adolescents with ASD also displayed high levels of positive and disorganized symptoms. There appeared to be a relationship between the mean level of autistic symptoms and schizotypal traits, as well as specific associations between autistic symptoms and negative, disorganized and positive schizotypal symptoms within individuals. Schizotypal symptomatology in all sub dimensions that are reflected by the SPQ scores, was most prominently associated with attention switching problems of the autism symptoms from the AQ. These findings indicate that patients diagnosed with an ASD show schizophrenia spectrum traits in adolescence. Although other studies have provided empirical support for this overlap in diagnostic criteria between both spectrum disorders, the present findings add to the literature that behavioral overlap is not limited to negative schizotypal symptoms, but extends to disorganized and positive symptoms as well. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Vojinovic, Dina; Brison, Nathalie; Ahmad, Shahzad; Noens, Ilse; Pappa, Irene; Karssen, Lennart C; Tiemeier, Henning; van Duijn, Cornelia M; Peeters, Hilde; Amin, Najaf
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a highly heritable neurodevelopmental disorder with a complex genetic architecture. To identify genetic variants underlying ASD, we performed single-variant and gene-based genome-wide association studies using a dense genotyping array containing over 2.3 million single-nucleotide variants in a discovery sample of 160 families with at least one child affected with non-syndromic ASD using a binary (ASD yes/no) phenotype and a quantitative autistic trait. Replication of the top findings was performed in Psychiatric Genomics Consortium and Erasmus Rucphen Family (ERF) cohort study. Significant association of quantitative autistic trait was observed with the TTC25 gene at 17q21.2 (effect size=10.2, P-value=3.4 × 10 -7 ) in the gene-based analysis. The gene also showed nominally significant association in the cohort-based ERF study (effect=1.75, P-value=0.05). Meta-analysis of discovery and replication improved the association signal (P-value meta =1.5 × 10 -8 ). No genome-wide significant signal was observed in the single-variant analysis of either the binary ASD phenotype or the quantitative autistic trait. Our study has identified a novel gene TTC25 to be associated with quantitative autistic trait in patients with ASD. The replication of association in a cohort-based study and the effect estimate suggest that variants in TTC25 may also be relevant for broader ASD phenotype in the general population. TTC25 is overexpressed in frontal cortex and testis and is known to be involved in cilium movement and thus an interesting candidate gene for autistic trait.
White, Emily I; Wallace, Gregory L; Bascom, Julia; Armour, Anna C; Register-Brown, Kelly; Popal, Haroon S; Ratto, Allison B; Martin, Alex; Kenworthy, Lauren
This study is the largest to date examining executive function and adaptive skills in females with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Its primary aim was to utilize parent ratings of real-world executive functioning and adaptive behavior to better understand whether females with ASD differ from males with ASD in these areas of everyday functioning. We compared 79 females with ASD to 158 males with ASD (ages 7-18) who were statistically matched on age, IQ, and level of ADHD or ASD traits. All participants were assessed using the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) and a subset (56 females and 130 males) also received the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS). Females were rated by parents as having greater problems with executive function on the BRIEF. Parents also rated females as exhibiting more difficulties than males on the Daily Living Skills domain of the VABS. There was a correlation between increased global EF difficulty and decreased adaptive ability in both males and females. Our results indicate relative weaknesses for females compared to males diagnosed with ASD on executive function and daily living skills. These differences occur in the absence of sex differences in our sample in age, IQ, clinician ratings of core ASD symptomatology, parent ratings of ADHD symptoms, and parent-reported social and communication adaptive skills on the VABS. These findings indicate specific liabilities in real world EF and daily living skills for females with ASD and have important implications for targeting their treatments. Autism Res 2017, 10: 1653-1662. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Postorino, Valentina; Scahill, Lawrence; De Peppo, Lavinia; Fatta, Laura Maria; Zanna, Valeria; Castiglioni, Maria Chiara; Gillespie, Scott; Vicari, Stefano; Mazzone, Luigi
This study aimed to examine the presence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in a sample of female adolescents with Anorexia Nervosa (AN) during the acute phase of illness. We also compare the level of autistic traits, social perception skills and obsessive-compulsive symptoms in four groups: AN, ASD, and two gender- and age-matched control groups. Of the 30 AN participants, only three scored above the conventional ADOS-2 threshold for ASD. The AN participants were similar to their controls on autistic trait measures, and to the ASD group on obsessive-compulsive measures, and on theory of mind ability and affect recognition measures. Further longitudinal studies are needed in order to determine the association between these conditions.
Lord, Catherine; Wagner, Ann; Rogers, Sally; Szatmari, Peter; Aman, Michael; Charman, Tony; Dawson, Geraldine; Durand, V. Mark; Grossman, Lee; Guthrie, Donald; Harris, Sandra; Kasanri, Connie; Marcus, Lee; Murphy, Susan; Odom, Samuel; Pickles, Andrew; Scahill, Lawrence; Shaw, Evelyn; Siegel, Bryna; Sigman, Marian; Stone, Wendy; Smith, Tristram; Yoder, Paul
In 2002, the National Institutes of Health sponsored a meeting concerning methodological challenges of research in psychosocial interventions in Autism Spectrum Disorders. This paper provides a summary of the presentations and the discussions that occurred during this meeting. Recommendations to federal and private agencies included the need for…
Stanković, Miodrag; Lakić, Aneta; Ilić, Neda
Autism is one of disorders from the autism spectrum, besides Asperger syndrome, atypical autism and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified. They are classified as mental disorders as being manifested by a wide range of cognitive, emotional and neurobehavioural abnormalities. Key categorical characteristics of the disorder are clear impairments of the development of the child's socialisation, understanding and production of verbal and non-verbal communication and restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviour. Demarcation boundaries are not clear, neither within the very group of the disorders from the autistic spectrum, nor with respect to the autistic behavioural features in the general population. For this reason, the term spectrum points out the significance of the dimensional assessment of autistic disorders, which will most likely be the basis of the new diagnostic classification of the disorders belonging to the current group of pervasive developmental disorders in the new DSM-V classification. The understanding, as well as the prevalence of the autistic spectrum disorders has changed drastically in the last four decades. From the previous 4 per 10,000 people, today's prevalence estimates range from 0.6 to around 1%, and the increase of prevalence cannot be explained solely by better recognition on the part of experts and parents or by wider diagnostic criteria. The general conclusion is that the autistic spectrum disorders are no longer rare conditions and that the approach aimed at acknowledging the warning that this is an urgent public health problem is completely justified.
Full Text Available Autism is one of disorders from the autism spectrum, besides Asperger syndrome, atypical autism and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified. They are classified as mental disorders as being manifested by a wide range of cognitive, emotional and neurobehavioural abnormalities. Key categorical characteristics of the disorder are clear impairments of the development of the child’s socialisation, understanding and production of verbal and non-verbal communication and restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviour. Demarcation boundaries are not clear, neither within the very group of the disorders from the autistic spectrum, nor with respect to the autistic behavioural features in the general population. For this reason, the term spectrum points out the significance of the dimensional assessment of autistic disorders, which will most likely be the basis of the new diagnostic classification of the disorders belonging to the current group of pervasive developmental disorders in the new DSM-V classification. The understanding, as well as the prevalence of the autistic spectrum disorders has changed drastically in the last four decades. From the previous 4 per 10,000 people, today’s prevalence estimates range from 0.6 to around 1%, and the increase of prevalence cannot be explained solely by better recognition on the part of experts and parents or by wider diagnostic criteria. The general conclusion is that the autistic spectrum disorders are no longer rare conditions and that the approach aimed at acknowledging the warning that this is an urgent public health problem is completely justified.
Pennesi, Christine M; Klein, Laura Cousino
Studies on the gluten-free and/or casein-free (GFCF) dietary intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) suggest that some children may positively respond to implementation of the dietary intervention. Other research suggests that children diagnosed with ASD can be classified into subpopulations based on various factors, including gastrointestinal (GI) abnormalities and immune function. This study analyzes parental report data collected using a 90-item online questionnaire from 387 parents or primary caregivers of children diagnosed with ASD on the efficacy of the GFCF diet. Parents reported on their child's GI symptoms, food allergy diagnoses, and suspected food sensitivities, as well as the degree and length of their diet implementation. Overall, diet efficacy among children whose parents reported the presence of GI symptoms, food allergy diagnoses, and suspected food sensitivities included greater improvement in ASD behaviors, physiological symptoms, and social behaviors compared with children whose parents reported none of these symptoms, diagnoses, or sensitivities (P diet implementation, indicated by complete gluten/casein elimination and infrequent diet errors during and outside of parental care, also corresponded to improvement in ASD behaviors, physiological symptoms, and social behaviors (P diet implementation and GI and immune factors may play a role in differentiating diet responders from diet non-responders and substantiate the importance of further investigations into the various, nuanced factors that influence efficacy of the intervention among children with ASDs.
Westwood, Heather; Eisler, Ivan; Mandy, William; Leppanen, Jenni; Treasure, Janet; Tchanturia, Kate
Interest in the link between Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Anorexia Nervosa (AN) has led to estimates of the prevalence of autistic traits in AN. This systematic review and meta-analysis assessed the use of the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ) or abbreviated version (AQ-10) to examine whether patients with AN have elevated levels of autistic…
Golding, Jean; Steer, Colin; Pembrey, Marcus
A number of studies have assessed ages of parents of children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD), and reported both maternal and paternal age effects. Here we assess relationships with grandparental ages. We compared the parental and grandparental ages of children in the population-based Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), according to their scores in regard to 4 autistic trait measures and whether they had been given a diagnosis of ASD. Mean maternal and paternal ages of ASD cases were raised, but this appears to be secondary to a maternal grandmother age effect (P = 0.006): OR = 1.66[95%CI 1.16, 2.37] for each 10-year increase in the grandmother's age at the birth of the mother. Trait measures also revealed an association between the maternal grandmother's age and the major autistic trait-the Coherence Scale (regression coefficient b = 0.142, [95%CI = 0.057, 0.228]P = 0.001). After allowing for confounders the effect size increased to b = 0.217[95%CI 0.125, 0.308](Pautistic trait was unexpected, there is some biological plausibility, for the maternal side at least, given that the timing of female meiosis I permits direct effects on the grandchild's genome during the grandmother's pregnancy. An alternative explanation is the meiotic mismatch methylation (3 M) hypothesis, presented here for the first time. Nevertheless the findings should be treated as hypothesis generating pending corroborative results from other studies.
Full Text Available A number of studies have assessed ages of parents of children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD, and reported both maternal and paternal age effects. Here we assess relationships with grandparental ages.We compared the parental and grandparental ages of children in the population-based Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC, according to their scores in regard to 4 autistic trait measures and whether they had been given a diagnosis of ASD. Mean maternal and paternal ages of ASD cases were raised, but this appears to be secondary to a maternal grandmother age effect (P = 0.006: OR = 1.66[95%CI 1.16, 2.37] for each 10-year increase in the grandmother's age at the birth of the mother. Trait measures also revealed an association between the maternal grandmother's age and the major autistic trait-the Coherence Scale (regression coefficient b = 0.142, [95%CI = 0.057, 0.228]P = 0.001. After allowing for confounders the effect size increased to b = 0.217[95%CI 0.125, 0.308](P<0.001 for each 10 year increase in age.Although the relationship between maternal grandmother's age and ASD and a major autistic trait was unexpected, there is some biological plausibility, for the maternal side at least, given that the timing of female meiosis I permits direct effects on the grandchild's genome during the grandmother's pregnancy. An alternative explanation is the meiotic mismatch methylation (3 M hypothesis, presented here for the first time. Nevertheless the findings should be treated as hypothesis generating pending corroborative results from other studies.
Full Text Available The purpose of this paper is to outline the findings of a pilot study, which compares drawings of typically developed preschool children and children with autistic spectrum disorders in the same age. In the study the Goodenough-Harris Drawing Test (GHDT (1926; 1963 was used. In this study, the auto-portraits of children from two groups were analyzed concerning such categories as line, size, colour, details. For this the statistical analysis of variance was used. The results of the study show that there are no statistically significant differences in the drawings of studied groups according to the categories line, size, colour, details.
Williams, Anne C
This report discusses self-injurious behaviour; this is not unusual in people with autistic spectrum disorders but is not commonly experienced as autoextraction. This case concerns a 12 year old child who presented as a new patient with two teeth missing. He then went on to remove a further ten teeth over a relatively short space of time. The recognition of autoextraction by the dental team is important. its management involves a multidisciplinary team which includes professionals from education, health and social care who work together to prevent progressive self-injury. © 2015 BSPD, IAPD and John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
VanDenHeuvel, A.; Fitzgerald, M.; Greiner, Birgit A.; Perry, Ivan J.
VanDenHeuvel A, Fitzgerald M, Greiner B, Perry IJ. Screening for autistic spectrum disorder at the 18-month developmental assessment: a population-based study. Ir Med J. 2007;100(8):565-7. The objectives of this study were to assess the feasibility of administering the CHecklist for Autism in Toddlers (CHAT) at the 18-month developmental check, estimate the prevalence of screening positive for autism at the first and second administrations of the CHAT and estimate the prevalence of diagnos...
To revisit Gillberg's hypothesis proposed in 1992, which was that anorexia nervosa should be considered within the spectrum of autistic disorders. A search was made of the literature relating to the behavioural traits, and cognitive, emotional and neuroanatomical intermediate phenotypes that are shared between autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and anorexia nervosa. People with eating disorders in the acute phase (less so after recovery) share some behavioural traits (social impairment and restricted and repetitive behaviours) and intermediate phenotypes (weak central coherence, and impaired set shifting and theory of mind) with people in the autistic spectrum. Behavioural and intermediate neuropsychological traits are shared between eating disorders and ASD. In part, these are familial but also they are accentuated by the illness state and may be secondary to starvation. These traits have implications for prognosis and treatment.
Khan, Sarah A; Khan, Shahida A; Narendra, A R; Mushtaq, Gohar; Zahran, Solafa A; Khan, Shahzad; Kamal, Mohammad A
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) are neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders respectively, with devastating effects not only on the individual but also the society. Collectively, a number of factors contribute to the expression of ASD and AD. It is of utmost curiosity that these disorders express at different stages of life and there is an involvement of certain susceptible genes. This genetic basis makes the background of common associations like memory deficits, cognition changes, demyelination, oxidative stress and inflammation, an integral part of both disorders. Modern technology resulting in genetically modified crops and increase in gadgets emitting electromagnetic frequencies have resulted in enhanced risks for neurological dysfunctions and disorders like ASD and AD. Subsequent advances in the psychological, pharmacological, biochemical and nutritional aspects of the disorders have resulted in the development of newer therapeutic approaches. The common clinical features like language impairment, executive functions, and motor problems have been discussed along with the patho-physiological changes, role of DNA methylation, myelin development, and heavy metals in the expression of these disorders. Psychopharmacological and nutritional approaches towards the reduction and management of risk factors have gained attention from the researchers in recent years. Current major therapies either target the inflammatory pathways or reduce cellular oxidative stress. This contribution focuses on the commonalities of the two disorders.
Cuesta Gómez, José L; Manzone, Luisa A
This article describes the adaptation process of the Quality of Life Indicators guide for organizations that support people with autistic spectrum disorders which has taken place in Argentina (Cuesta, J. L., 2009) using the Delphi method, and with the participation of a group of autism-related experts from different fields and domestic institutions. The result is an instrument based on a quality-of-life model which is adjusted to the Argentine setting, helps planning and assessing centers and programs for people with autistic spectrum disorders, and responds to the increasing number of specific services which cover the needs of this population. Sociedad Argentina de Pediatría.
Kose, Sezen; Bora, Emre; Erermiş, Serpil; Özbaran, Burcu; Bildik, Tezan; Aydın, Cahide
The Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) is a self-assessment screening instrument for measuring the degree to which an individual of normal intelligence shows autistic traits. Genetic factors could be responsible for the relatives of individuals with autism exhibiting higher than normal rates of autism-related impairments, referred to as the 'broader autism phenotype' (BAP). The aim of this study was to test whether there is a difference between the parents of autistic and those of typically developing children (TDC) on AQ scores in a Turkish sample. The AQ total and subscale scores of the 100 parents (47 fathers, 53 mothers) of children with autistic disorder (AD) were compared with the 100 parents (48 fathers, 52 mothers) of TDC. The parents of AD children scored significantly higher than the TDC parents on total AQ score, and two of five subscale scores; social skills, and communication. The other three subscales (attention to detail, attention switching, imagination) did not differentiate groups. There was no significant difference between mothers and fathers on any AQ scores, neither in the AD nor TDC group. The group × gender interaction was not significant on the total or the five subscale scores of AQ. Social skill and communication subscales differentiate AD parents more successfully, and are more sensitive, as reported in other studies. The present findings confirm that social skill and communication impairments in parents of children with autism spectrum disorders are indicators of BAP. © 2013 The Authors. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences © 2013 Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology.
Codd, Anthony; Burford, Bryan; Petruso, Gabriella; Davidson, Neil; Vance, Gillian
Digital storytelling ('digistories') offers a way of sharing the personal impact of a condition, if students have limited direct contact. Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) exemplifies a common condition, where there is need to improve practise in primary care. Hence, we chose this condition to develop and evaluate a digistory. We considered stigmatising attitudes to ASD and wider educational effects. In the digistory, a mother of a boy with severe ASD describes her autobiographical experiences, illustrated by customised cartoons. Participants completed, pre-post, a validated attitude questionnaire and word association exercise. Views on educational value were gathered through free text and focus group. Questionnaire scores indicated positive attitudes, with no significant change. In contrast, content analysis of word association responses showed prevalent negative associations. Thematic analysis identified increased empathy of students with the family, enabled by the resource design. The digistory helped students challenge stereotypes associated with the condition and encouraged greater confidence to engage in future clinical encounters. The digistory is an accessible and authentic patient analogue that gives additional insight into living with autistic spectrum disorder, with potential benefits for patient-centred learning.
Matson, Johnny L.; Worley, Julie A.; Kozlowski, Alison M.; Chung, Kyong-Mee; Jung, Woohyun; Yang, Jae-won
Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorders are universally accepted; however, the reported severity of symptoms may be sensitive to cultural differences. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to examine the differences in reported symptoms of appropriate and inappropriate social skills between children and adolescents from South Korea (SK) and…
Loucas, Tom; Charman, Tony; Pickles, Andrew; Simonoff, Emily; Chandler, Susie; Meldrum, David; Baird, Gillian
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and specific language impairment (SLI) are common developmental disorders characterised by deficits in language and communication. The nature of the relationship between them continues to be a matter of debate. This study investigates whether the co-occurrence of ASD and language impairment is associated with differences in severity or pattern of autistic symptomatology or language profile. Participants (N = 97) were drawn from a total population cohort of 56,946 screened as part of study to ascertain the prevalence of ASD, aged 9 to 14 years. All children received an ICD-10 clinical diagnosis of ASD or No ASD. Children with nonverbal IQ > or =80 were divided into those with a language impairment (language score of 77 or less) and those without, creating three groups: children with ASD and a language impairment (ALI; N = 41), those with ASD and but no language impairment (ANL; N = 31) and those with language impairment but no ASD (SLI; N = 25). Children with ALI did not show more current autistic symptoms than those with ANL. Children with SLI were well below the threshold for ASD. Their social adaptation was higher than the ASD groups, but still nearly 2 SD below average. In ALI the combination of ASD and language impairment was associated with weaker functional communication and more severe receptive language difficulties than those found in SLI. Receptive and expressive language were equally impaired in ALI, whereas in SLI receptive language was stronger than expressive. Co-occurrence of ASD and language impairment is not associated with increased current autistic symptomatology but appears to be associated with greater impairment in receptive language and functional communication.
Two contrasting cases are discussed of boys with autistic spectrum disorder who had suffered cumulative trauma. Although their material was similar in many respects, the 9-year-old made excellent progress during therapy, while the 4-year-old developed much less in spite of being in intensive treatment. This contrast is discussed with regard to…
James, Richard J.; Dubey, Indu; Smith, Danielle; Ropar, Danielle; Tunney, Richard J.
Autistic traits are widely thought to operate along a continuum. A taxometric analysis of Adult Autism Spectrum Quotient data was conducted to test this assumption, finding little support but identifying a high severity taxon. To understand this further, latent class and latent profile models were estimated that indicated the presence of six…
Mayer, Jennifer L.
Sensory processing atypicalities are a common feature in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and have previously been linked to a range of behaviours in individuals with ASD and atypical neurological development. More recently research has demonstrated a relationship between autistic traits in the neurotypical (NT) population and increased levels of…
Wang, Shin-Yi; Parrila, Rauno
In this paper, we describe a quality checklist that parents, teachers, clinicians, and policy-makers with basic research skills can use to systematically evaluate the methodological quality of single-case studies on social skill training of children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). We provide a rationale for included quality indicators, and…
Senel, Hatice Gunayer
Use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments have been increasing for children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). In this study, 38 Turkish parents of children with ASD were surveyed related with their use of CAM treatments, experiences, and views for each treatment. They mentioned "Vitamins and minerals",…
Doyle, Theresa; Arnedillo-Sanchez, Inmaculada
This paper describes a framework which was developed for carers (teachers and parents) to help them create personalised social stories for children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs). It explores the social challenges experienced by individuals with ASDs and outlines an intervention aimed at revealing the hidden code that underpins social…
Ishitobi, Makoto; Kosaka, Hirotaka; Omori, Masao; Matsumura, Yukiko; Munesue, Toshio; Mizukami, Kimiko; Shimoyama, Tomohiro; Murata, Tetsuhito; Sadato, Norihiro; Okazawa, Hidehiko; Wada, Yuji
Much functional neuroimaging evidence indicates that autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) demonstrate marked brain abnormalities in face processing. Most of these findings were obtained from studies using tasks related to whole faces. However, individuals with ASD tend to rely more on individual parts of the face for identification than on the…
A structured search and identification of themes within the literature regarding the use of Social Stories to decrease disruptive behaviour in children with autistic spectrum disorders is presented. The examination of seven studies showed that the Social Story intervention was successful for the majority of the participants, although the level of…
Humphrey, Neil; Symes, Wendy
The aim of the current study was to examine the experience, attitudes and knowledge of school staff in relation to inclusive education for pupils with autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs) in mainstream secondary schools. Fifty-three participants from 11 secondary schools in the north-west of England completed a survey that covered socio-demographic…
Symes, Wendy; Humphrey, Neil
Growing numbers of pupils with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) are attending mainstream schools, and increasing numbers of additional staff are being deployed to support them. Recent research has cast doubt on the effectiveness of this support, by highlighting issues relating to deployment and training, and to relationships with class teachers.…
Salcedo-Marin, M. D.; Moreno-Granados, J. M.; Ruiz-Veguilla, M.; Ferrin, M.
Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity-Disorders (ADHD) and Autistic-Spectrum-Disorders (ASD) share overlapping clinical and cognitive features that may confuse the diagnosis. Evaluation of executive problems and planning dysfunction may aid the clinical diagnostic process and help disentangle the neurobiological process underlying these conditions. This…
Makrygianni, Maria K.; Reed, Phil
The effectiveness of behavioural intervention programs for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders was addressed by a meta-analysis, which reviewed 14 studies. The findings suggest that the behavioural programs are effective in improving several developmental aspects in the children, in terms of their treatment gains, and also relative to…
Hawkins, Emma; Kingsdorf, Sheri; Charnock, Jackie; Szabo, Mariann; Middleton, Edi; Phillips, Jo; Gautreaux, Grant
This article describes how a behaviour contract has been implemented to achieve positive and enduring results for four boys with a diagnosis of an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). Four case studies are described which address reductions in behaviours such as assaultive and destructive behaviour, out-of-seat behaviour, inappropriate contact with…
McPhilemy, Catherine; Dillenburger, Karola
Applied behaviour analysis (ABA)-based programmes are endorsed as the gold standard for treatment of children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) in most of North America. This is not the case in most of Europe, where instead a non-specified "eclectic" approach is adopted. We explored the social validity of ABA-based interventions with…
Milne, Elizabeth; White, Sarah; Campbell, Ruth; Swettenham, John; Hansen, Peter; Ramus, Franck
Children with autistic spectrum disorder and controls performed tasks of coherent motion and form detection, and motor control. Additionally, the ratio of the 2nd and 4th digits of these children, which is thought to be an indicator of foetal testosterone, was measured. Children in the experimental group were impaired at tasks of motor control,…
Children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) characteristically display a lack of shared attention behaviours and the lack of these behaviours impacts on their ability to develop social interactions and relationships with others. Steve Solomons, assistant headteacher at Rectory Paddock School and Research Unit in the London Borough of Bromley,…
Hentschel, Maren; Lange-Kuttner, Christiane; Averbeck, Bruno B.
The study investigated sequence learning from stochastic feedback in boys with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and typically developed (TD) boys. We asked boys with ASD from Nigeria and the UK as well as age- and gender-matched controls (also males only) to deduce a sequence of four left and right button presses, LLRR, RRLL, LRLR, RLRL, LRRL and…
Bramham, Jessica; Ambery, Fiona; Young, Susan; Morris, Robin; Russell, Ailsa; Xenitidis, Kiriakos; Asherson, Philip; Murphy, Declan
Executive functioning deficits characterize the neuropsychological profiles of the childhood neurodevelopmental disorders of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). This study sought to determine whether similar impairments exist in adults with ADHD (N = 53) and ASD (N = 45) in comparison with a…
Murray, Aja L; Booth, Tom; McKenzie, Karen; Kuenssberg, Renate; O'Donnell, Michael
It is common to administer measures of autistic traits to those without autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) with, for example, the aim of understanding autistic personality characteristics in non-autistic individuals. Little research has examined the extent to which measures of autistic traits actually measure the same traits in the same way across those with and without an ASD. We addressed this question using a multi-group confirmatory factor invariance analysis of the Autism Quotient Short Form (AQ-S: Hoekstra et al. in J Autism Dev Disord 41(5):589-596, 2011) across those with (n = 148) and without (n = 168) ASD. Metric variance (equality of factor loadings), but not scalar invariance (equality of thresholds), held suggesting that the AQ-S measures the same latent traits in both groups, but with a bias in the manner in which trait levels are estimated. We, therefore, argue that the AQ-S can be used to investigate possible causes and consequences of autistic traits in both groups separately, but caution is due when combining or comparing levels of autistic traits across the two groups.
Wigram, T; Gold, C
Children and adolescents with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) presenting with significant limitations in conventional forms of verbal and non-verbal communication are found to respond positively to music therapy intervention involving both active, improvizational methods and receptive music therapy approaches. Improvizational musical activity with therapeutic objectives and outcomes has been found to facilitate motivation, communication skills and social interaction, as well as sustaining and developing attention. The structure and predictability found in music assist in reciprocal interaction, from which tolerance, flexibility and social engagement to build relationships emerge, relying on a systematic approach to promote appropriate and meaningful interpersonal responses. Published reports of the value and effectiveness of music therapy as an intervention for children with ASD range from controlled studies to clinical case reports. Further documentation has emphasized the role music therapy plays in diagnostic and clinical assessment. Music therapy assessment can identify limitations and weaknesses in children, as well as strengths and potentials. Research evidence from a systematic review found two randomized controlled trials that examined short-term effects of structured music therapy intervention. Significant effects were found in these studies even with extremely small samples, and the findings are important because they demonstrate the potential of the medium of music for autistic children. Case series studies were identified that examined the effects of improvizational music therapy where communicative behaviour, language development, emotional responsiveness, attention span and behavioural control improved over the course of an intervention of improvizational music therapy.
Full Text Available This study has been designed to explore CAM used in the management of Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD in Mauritius. Parents and/or legal guardians of individuals with ASD were surveyed. Effectiveness, method of use, possible side-effects, reasons behind using CAM, source of recommendation, and beliefs behind the cause of ASD were studied. Out of the 23 individuals with ASD recruited, 73.9% presented with a formal diagnosis of autistic disorder while 26.1% had only traits of autism. Educational techniques (13.6%, prescribed drugs (35.6%, speech therapy interventions (15.3%, occupational therapy interventions (22.0%, and applied behavioural analysis (13.6% were used by the individuals with ASD as common therapies. Eighteen different types CAM interventions were used by the subjects. The most used therapies were omega-3 (6.6%, vitamins (7.9%, music therapies (9.2%, sensory integration therapy (7.9%, spiritual healing (14.5%, hippotherapy (7.9%, and hydrotherapy (6.6%. The use of CAM is in common use among ASD patients. [J Complement Med Res 2017; 6(4.000: 420-428
Ohan, Jeneva L.; Ellefson, Sarah E.; Corrigan, Patrick W.
In the DSM-5, "Asperger's Disorder" was incorporated into "Autistic Spectrum Disorder" (ASD). One key concern in this change has been that the ASD label will increase negative attitudes relative to the Asperger's label. To test this, we asked 465 American adults to read a vignette describing a child with autistic symptoms that…
Fisher, Naomi; Happé, Francesca
This study investigated the relationship between theory of mind and executive functioning in children with autistic spectrum disorders through a training study. Ten children were trained on theory of mind, whilst ten were trained in executive function. Seven children were assigned to a control group, receiving no intervention. Training programmes were administered individually, lasting for 25 minutes per day for 5-10 days. Children were tested before training, after training and at a two-month follow-up. Significant improvements were seen in performance on theory of mind tasks in both trained groups, whilst the control group showed no improvement. No improvement on the executive function tasks was seen in any of the groups. The implications of these findings are discussed.
John R Pruett
Full Text Available To explore mechanisms underlying reduced fixation of eyes in autism, children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD and typically developing children were tested in five visual search experiments: simple color feature; color-shape conjunction; face in non-face objects; mouth region; and eye region. No group differences were found for reaction time profile shapes in any of the five experiments, suggesting intact basic search mechanics in children with ASD. Contrary to early reports in the literature, but consistent with other more recent findings, we observed no superiority for conjunction search in children with ASD. Importantly, children with ASD did show reduced accuracy for eye region search (p = .005, suggesting that eyes contribute less to high-level face representations in ASD or that there is an eye region-specific disruption to attentional processes engaged by search in ASD.
Pruett, John R; Hoertel, Sarah; Constantino, John N; Moll, Angela LaMacchia; McVey, Kelly; Squire, Emma; Feczko, Eric; Povinelli, Daniel J; Petersen, Steven E
To explore mechanisms underlying reduced fixation of eyes in autism, children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and typically developing children were tested in five visual search experiments: simple color feature; color-shape conjunction; face in non-face objects; mouth region; and eye region. No group differences were found for reaction time profile shapes in any of the five experiments, suggesting intact basic search mechanics in children with ASD. Contrary to early reports in the literature, but consistent with other more recent findings, we observed no superiority for conjunction search in children with ASD. Importantly, children with ASD did show reduced accuracy for eye region search (p = .005), suggesting that eyes contribute less to high-level face representations in ASD or that there is an eye region-specific disruption to attentional processes engaged by search in ASD.
Full Text Available The prevalence rates of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD have increased markedly in recent years. ASD is increasingly present in schools and in society, so it is essential for us to know more about this disorder and the possibilities for intervention. The objective of this work is to carry out a bibliographic review of the articles published in recent years in relation to different intervention programs and techniques that have recently been used to work with children with ASD to train them in the difficulties that most define the disorder: social skills. The most important conclusions indicate that, despite the symptomatic diversity of children with ASD and their different characteristics which can lead to diverse results, there are many programs that improve social skills in these children and notable results are obtained by interventions that include families in the sessions and that are carried out with the use of new technologies, such as computers or robots.
Cassidy, Sarah; Hannant, Penelope; Tavassoli, Teresa; Allison, Carrie; Smith, Paula; Baron-Cohen, Simon
Autism spectrum conditions (ASC) are frequently associated with motor coordination difficulties. However, no studies have explored the prevalence of dyspraxia in a large sample of individuals with and without ASC or associations between dyspraxia and autistic traits in these individuals. Two thousand eight hundred seventy-one adults (with ASC) and 10,706 controls (without ASC) self-reported whether they have been diagnosed with dyspraxia. A subsample of participants then completed the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ; 1237 ASC and 6765 controls) and the Empathy Quotient (EQ; 1147 ASC and 6129 controls) online through the Autism Research Centre website. The prevalence of dyspraxia was compared between those with and without ASC. AQ and EQ scores were compared across the four groups: (1) adults with ASC with dyspraxia, (2) adults with ASC without dyspraxia, (3) controls with dyspraxia, and (4) controls without dyspraxia. Adults with ASC were significantly more likely to report a diagnosis of dyspraxia (6.9%) than those without ASC (0.8%). In the ASC group, those with co-morbid diagnosis of dyspraxia did not have significantly different AQ or EQ scores than those without co-morbid dyspraxia. However, in the control group (without ASC), those with dyspraxia had significantly higher AQ and lower EQ scores than those without dyspraxia. Dyspraxia is significantly more prevalent in adults with ASC compared to controls, confirming reports that motor coordination difficulties are significantly more common in this group. Interestingly, in the general population, dyspraxia was associated with significantly higher autistic traits and lower empathy. These results suggest that motor coordination skills are important for effective social skills and empathy.
Full Text Available Xiaosong Bu, De Wu, Xiaomei Lu, Li Yang, Xiaoyan Xu, Juan Wang, Jiulai Tang Department of Pediatrics, The First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, People’s Republic of China Abstract: Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder and has a high prevalence in children. Recently, mitochondrial oxidative stress has been proposed to be associated with ASD. Besides, SIRT1/PGC-1α signaling plays an important role in combating oxidative stress. In this study, we sought to determine the role of SIRT1/PGC-1α signaling in the ASD lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs. In this study, the mRNA and protein expressions of SIRT1/PGC-1α axis genes were assessed in 35 children with ASD and 35 healthy controls (matched for age, gender, and IQ. An immortalized LCL was established by transforming lymphocytes with Epstein–Barr virus. Next, we used ASD LCLs and control LCLs to detect SIRT1/PGC-1α axis genes expression and oxidative damage. Finally, the effect of overexpression of PGC-1α on oxidative injury in the ASD LCLs was determined. SIRT1/PGC-1α axis genes expression was downregulated at RNA and protein levels in ASD patients and LCLs. Besides, the translocation of cytochrome c and DIABLO from mitochondria to the cytosol was found in the ASD LCLs. Moreover, the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS and mitochondrial ROS and cell apoptosis were increased in the ASD LCLs. However, overexpression of PGC-1α upregulated the SIRT1/PGC-1α axis genes expression and reduced cytochrome c and DIABLO release in the ASD LCLs. Also, overexpression of PGC-1α reduced the ROS generation and cell apoptosis in the ASD LCLs. Overexpression of PGC-1α could reduce the oxidative injury in the ASD LCLs, and PGC-1α may act as a target for treatment. Keywords: autistic spectrum disorder, PGC-1α, SIRT1, mitochondria, oxidative stress
Miano, Silvia; Ferri, Raffaele
Insomnia is the predominant sleep concern in children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), and its nature is most likely multifactorial, with neurochemical (abnormalities in serotonergic transmission or melatonin levels), psychiatric (anxiety), and behavioral (poor sleep habits) etiological factors involved. Children with ASD experience sleep problems similar to those of typically developing children, although the prevalence is markedly higher, occurring in 44-83% of school-aged children with ASD. Caregivers usually report that insomnia is the most frequent sleep disorder, described as disorders of initiating and maintaining sleep, restless sleep, bedtime resistance, co-sleeping, alterations of sleep hygiene, and early awakenings in the morning. Many actigraphic studies have added information on sleep disorders, confirming the questionnaire findings in the majority of cases. There are relatively few polysomnographic data for ASD, compared with questionnaire studies, and most of these studies reported a reduction in total sleep time and more undifferentiated sleep in the youngest patients. These findings were associated with several sleep microstructure alterations during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, and with non-REM (NREM) sleep microstructure changes that appeared to be related to cognitive impairment rather than to the autistic core. Moreover, few data about other less frequent sleep disorders, such as periodic limb movements disorder and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, bruxism, and the influence of epilepsy and EEG abnormalities, are available. Both pharmacologic and behavioral interventions have been suggested for the treatment of sleep problems in autistic children. The most common types of behavioral interventions are complete extinction (removing reinforcement to reduce a behavior) and various forms of graduated extinction. Melatonin has shown promising results in the treatment of insomnia in children with ASD. Although controlled studies are limited
Groen, Yvonne; Wijers, Albertus A.; Mulder, Lambertus J. M.; Waggeveld, Brenda; Minderaa, Ruud B.; Althaus, Monika
Objective: Performance monitoring was investigated in typically developing (TD) children, children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and Methylphenidate (Mph)-treated and medication-free children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Methods: Subjects performed a feedback-based
Full Text Available Abstract Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASDs are a set of complex developmental disabilities defined by impairment in social interaction and communication, as well as by restricted interests or repetitive behaviors. Neuroimaging studies have substantially advanced our understanding of the neural mechanisms that underlie the core symptoms of ASDs. Nevertheless, a number of challenges still remain in the application of neuroimaging techniques to the study of ASDs. We review three major conceptual and methodological challenges that complicate the interpretation of findings from neuroimaging studies in ASDs, and that future imaging studies should address through improved designs. These include: (1 identification and implementation of tasks that more specifically target the neural processes of interest, while avoiding the confusion that the symptoms of ASD may impose on both the performance of the task and the detection of brain activations; (2 the inconsistency that disease heterogeneity in persons with ASD can generate on research findings, particularly heterogeneity of symptoms, symptom severity, differences in IQ, total brain volume, and psychiatric comorbidity; and (3 the problems with interpretation of findings from cross-sectional studies of persons with ASD across differing age groups. Failure to address these challenges will continue to hinder our ability to distinguish findings that outline the causes of ASDs from brain processes that represent downstream or compensatory responses to the presence of the disease. Here we propose strategies to address these issues: 1 the use of simple and elementary tasks, that are easier to understand for autistic subjects; 2 the scanning of a more homogenous group of persons with ASDs, preferably at younger age; 3 the performance of longitudinal studies, that may provide more straight forward and reliable results. We believe that this would allow for a better understanding of both the central pathogenic
Eliasen, Marie; Tolstrup, Janne S; Nybo Andersen, Anne-Marie
To examine whether maternal alcohol intake, including binge drinking (intake > or =5 drinks, equivalent to 60 g pure ethanol on a single occasion), is associated with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and infantile autism.......To examine whether maternal alcohol intake, including binge drinking (intake > or =5 drinks, equivalent to 60 g pure ethanol on a single occasion), is associated with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and infantile autism....
Perry, Anat; Levy-Gigi, Einat; Richter-Levin, Gal; Shamay-Tsoory, Simone G
An inherent feature of social interactions is the use of social space or interpersonal distance-the space between one individual and another. Because social deficits are core symptoms of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), we hypothesized that individuals on this spectrum will exhibit abnormal interpersonal distance preferences. The literature on interpersonal distance in ASD is not conclusive. While some studies show preferences for closer distances among this group, others show preferences for farther distances than controls. A common symptom of ASD that may explain the variance in responses to interpersonal distance in this population is social anxiety (SA), which has been shown to correlate with interpersonal distance preferences. In the current study, we investigated interpersonal distance preferences in a group of individuals with ASD using both behavioral and ERP measures. We found greater variance in interpersonal distance preferences in the ASD group than in the control group. Furthermore, we showed that this variance can be explained by differences in SA level and can be predicted by the N1 amplitude, an early ERP component related to attention and discrimination processes. These results hint at the early sensory and attentional processes that may be affecting higher social behaviors, both in subclinical and in clinical populations.
There are no treatments for the core symptoms of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), but there is now more knowledge on emerging mechanisms and on mechanism-based therapies. In autism there are altered synapses: genes affected are commonly related to synaptic and immune function. Dysregulation of activity-dependent signaling networks may have a key role the etiology of autism. There is an over-activation of IGF-AKT-mTor in autism spectrum disorders. Morphological and electro-physiological defects of the cerebellum are linked to system-wide ASD-like behavior defects. The molecular basis for a cerebellar contribution has been demonstrated in a mouse model. These have led to a potential mechanism-based use of drug targets and mouse models. Neurotrophic factors are potential candidates for the treatment. Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is altered in autism. It reduces neuro-inflammation: by causing changes of cytokines such as IL-6 and microglial function. IGF-1 reduces the defects in the synapse. It alleviates NMDA-induced neurotoxicity via the IGF-AKT-mTor pathway in microglia. IGF-1 may rescue function in Rett syndrome and ASD caused by changes of the SCHANK3 gene. There are recently pilot studies of the treatment of Rett syndrome and of SCHANK3 gene deficiency syndromes. The FDA has granted Orphan drug designations for Fragile X syndrome, SCHANK3 gene deficiency syndrome and Rett syndrome. Copyright © 2016 European Paediatric Neurology Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Rashid, Barnaly; Blanken, Laura M E; Muetzel, Ryan L; Miller, Robyn; Damaraju, Eswar; Arbabshirani, Mohammad R; Erhardt, Erik B; Verhulst, Frank C; van der Lugt, Aad; Jaddoe, Vincent W V; Tiemeier, Henning; White, Tonya; Calhoun, Vince
Recent advances in neuroimaging techniques have provided significant insights into developmental trajectories of human brain function. Characterizations of typical neurodevelopment provide a framework for understanding altered neurodevelopment, including differences in brain function related to developmental disorders and psychopathology. Historically, most functional connectivity studies of typical and atypical development operate under the assumption that connectivity remains static over time. We hypothesized that relaxing stationarity assumptions would reveal novel features of both typical brain development related to children on the autism spectrum. We employed a "chronnectomic" (recurring, time-varying patterns of connectivity) approach to evaluate transient states of connectivity using resting-state functional MRI in a population-based sample of 774 6- to 10-year-old children. Dynamic connectivity was evaluated using a sliding-window approach, and revealed four transient states. Internetwork connectivity increased with age in modularized dynamic states, illustrating an important pattern of connectivity in the developing brain. Furthermore, we demonstrated that higher levels of autistic traits and ASD diagnosis were associated with longer dwell times in a globally disconnected state. These results provide a roadmap to the chronnectomic organization of the developing brain and suggest that characteristics of functional brain connectivity are related to children on the autism spectrum. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Autistic disorders are categorized as neurodevelopmental disorders and are considered incurable. People with autistic disorders have issues on various fields of operation – one of those is also the occurrence of inappropriate behavioral patterns and the ability to communicate with the environment. Especially the occurrence of inappropriate behavioral patterns and the inability to communicate with the environment have a strong impact on the inclusion of people with autistic disorders in differ...
In this review, the history of the theory of mind (ToM) theory of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) is outlined (in which ToM is indexed by success on false belief tasks), and the explanatory power and psychological causes of impaired ToM in ASD are critically discussed. It is concluded that impaired ToM by itself has only limited explanatory…
Simashkova, N V; Iakupova, L P; Kliushnik, T P; Koval'-Zaĭtsev, A A
The current problem of heterogeneity of psychotic types of autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) is reviewed. The authors present results of a multidiscipline psychopathological, pathopsychological, neurophysiological and immunological examination of 87 patients, aged from 3 to 14 years, with psychotic types of ASD: childhood psychosis (CP) and atypical childhood psychosis (ACP). Significant differences in clinical presentations of CP and ACP that were correlated with pathopsychological, neurophysiological and immunological disorders were found. These findings support different nosological entities of these types of ASD.
Galán, Carmen; Sánchez, Soledad; Franco, Lourdes; Bravo, Rafael; Rivero, Montserrat; Rodríguez, Ana Beatriz; Barriga, Carmen
Theintake of foods rich in tryptophan produces beneficial effects on sleep. Themajority of children with neurological disorders like autistic spectrum disorder(ASD), cerebral palsy or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) havesleep problems. To evaluate the effect of tryptophan-enriched cereal intake onsleep of children with neurological disorders. Involving 7 children with ASD, 9children with cerebral palsy and 6 children with ADHD. They carried a wrist actimeterto record activity....
R. Bawazir; P. Jones
Social Stories are widely used to teach social and communication skills or concepts to individuals on the autistic spectrum. This paper presents a theoretical framework for using Social Stories in conjunction with the creative arts. The paper argues that Bandura's social learning theory can be used to explain the mechanisms behind Social Stories and the way they influence changes in response, while Gardner's multiple intelligences theory can be used simultaneously to demonstrate the role of t...
Jansen, Lucres M. C.; Gispen-de Wied, Christine C.; Wiegant, Victor M.; Westenberg, Herman G. M.; Lahuis, Bertine E.; van Engeland, Herman
Objective of the study was to replicate in adults our previous findings of decreased heart rate and normal endocrine responses to stress in autistic children and to elucidate the discrepancy between autonomic and endocrine stress responses by including epinephrine, norepinephrine, oxytocin and vasopressin measurements. Ten autistic spectrum…
Gottfried, Tali; Thompson, Grace; Elefant, Cochavit; Gold, Christian
For young children on the autism spectrum, the inclusion of shared parent-child music activities in everyday life may provide additional opportunities for social interactions in the home. However, no psychometrically validated assessment exists to measure the extent of shared music activity within family or community contexts. This study aimed to develop and test the reliability of a self-report assessment to measure the use of Music in Everyday Life (MEL) by parents with young children on the autism spectrum. A total of 45 mothers of children with autism aged between 4 and 7 years completed the MEL questionnaire. Internal consistency and item-total correlation were examined. Analysis confirmed the reliability of two predetermined subscales: Music in Everyday Life-Joint Activities using Music (MEL-JAM) and Music in Everyday Life-Routine Activities using Music (MEL-RAM). Internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha 0.63 and 0.75) and positive item-total correlation (Pearson's r between .23 to .62 for MEL-JAM and between .30 to .67 for MEL-RAM) were demonstrated. The reliability of the MEL assessment to measure the use of music in everyday life by parents with their children with autism was confirmed, filling an important gap in the availability of assessment tools.
Full Text Available This study analyzes the technologies most widely used to work on areas affected by the Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD. Technologies can focus on the strengths and weaknesses of this disorder as they make it possible to create controlled environments, reducing the anxiety produced by real social situations. Extensive research has proven the efficiency of technologies as support tools for therapy and their acceptation by ASD sufferers and the people who are with them on a daily basis. This article is organized by the types of systems developed: virtual reality applications, telehealth systems, social robots and dedicated applications, all of which are classified by the areas they center on: communication, social learning and imitation skills and other ASD-associated conditions. 40.5% of the research conducted is found to be focused on communication as opposed to 37.8% focused on learning and social imitation skills and 21.6% which underlines problems associated with this disorder. Although most of the studies reveal how useful these tools are in therapy, they are generic tools for ASD sufferers in general, which means there is a lack of personalised tools to meet each person’s needs.
Berryessa, Colleen M
In recent years, sensational media reporting focusing on crimes committed by those diagnosed with or thought to have High Functioning Autistic Spectrum Disorders (hfASDs) has caused societal speculation that there is a link between the disorder and violent criminality. No research exists on how and if the judiciary understands and is affected by this coverage. Therefore this study aims to examine how judges perceive and are influenced by media attention surrounding hfASDs and criminality. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 21 California Superior Court Judges, including questions on media portrayal. Judges perceived general media portrayals of hfASDs in both positive and negative ways. However, almost all judges who had experienced media coverage surrounding hfASDs and criminality identified it as misleading and harmful to public perceptions of the disorder. These findings suggest judges are not exempt from media attention surrounding violence and hfASDs, and they recognize the potential adverse effects of this negative coverage. Although judges' report their opinions are not affected, the results demonstrate that judges are worried that the public and potentially other criminal justice actors are adversely affected and will continue to be moving forward.
Srisawasdi, Pornpen; Vanwong, Natchaya; Hongkaew, Yaowaluck; Puangpetch, Apichaya; Vanavanan, Somlak; Intachak, Boontarika; Ngamsamut, Nattawat; Limsila, Penkhae; Sukasem, Chonlaphat; Kroll, Martin H
To evaluate the influence of dose and duration of risperidone treatment on cardiovascular and diabetes risk biomarkers in children and adolescents with autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs). In this cross-sectional analysis, a total of 168 ASDs patients (89% male) treated with a risperidone-based regimen for ≥12months were included. Blood samples were analyzed for glucose and lipid metabolic markers, adiponectin, leptin, prolactin, cortisol and high sensitive C-reactive protein. The mean concentrations of glucose, insulin, prolactin and leptin and HOMA-IR significantly rose with risperidone dosage (all P<0.025), but those of adiponectin and cortisol did not. Using regression analysis, insulin, leptin, prolactin and glucose concentrations and HOMA-IR show significant association with dosage. None of the markers except adiponectin showed dependence on duration of treatment. However, insulin and leptin concentrations and HOMA-IR clearly increased with increasing both dosage and duration. Dosage and duration of treatment had minimal effect on standard lipid profile and lipoprotein subclasses. Risperidone treatment disturbed glucose homeostasis and endocrine regulation (particularly leptin) in children and adolescents with ASDs, in a dose- and duration-dependent manner, being suggestive of leptin and insulin resistance mechanisms. Metabolic adverse effects, especially development of type 2 diabetes mellitus should be closely monitored, particularly in individuals receiving high doses and/or long-term risperidone treatment. Copyright © 2017 The Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Taurines, Regina; Dudley, Edward; Conner, Alexander C; Grassl, Julia; Jans, Thomas; Guderian, Frank; Mehler-Wex, Claudia; Warnke, Andreas; Gerlach, Manfred; Thome, Johannes
The pathophysiology of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) is not fully understood and there are no diagnostic or predictive biomarkers. Proteomic profiling has been used in the past for biomarker research in several non-psychiatric and psychiatric disorders and could provide new insights, potentially presenting a useful tool for generating such biomarkers in autism. Serum protein pre-fractionation with C8-magnetic beads and protein profiling by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation-time of flight-mass spectrometry (MALDI-ToF-MS) were used to identify possible differences in protein profiles in patients and controls. Serum was obtained from 16 patients (aged 8-18) and age-matched controls. Three peaks in the MALDI-ToF-MS significantly differentiated the ASD sample from the control group. Sub-grouping the ASD patients into children with and without comorbid Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD (ASD/ADHD+ patients, n = 9; ASD/ADHD- patients, n = 7), one peak distinguished the ASD/ADHD+ patients from controls and ASD/ADHD- patients. Our results suggest that altered protein levels in peripheral blood of patients with ASD might represent useful biomarkers for this devastating psychiatric disorder.
Full Text Available Purpose - This study aims to investigate teacher perspectives on teaching handwriting to children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD and collaboration with occupational therapists. Design/methodology/approach - A descriptive design was applied. Purpose-designed surveys were distributed to teachers of children with ASD (aged 4-12 years in the Republic of Ireland. A response rate of 35 per cent (N = 75 was obtained, with 25 responses analysed using descriptive statistics of closed questions and content analysis of open-ended questions. Findings - Of 139 children with ASD, 80 (58 per cent were reported to have difficulties with handwriting. Teachers reported specific difficulties with pencil grasp, letter formation and task concept among the children with ASD. Fourteen (56 per cent, N = 25 respondents did not give handwriting as homework. Teachers valued occupational therapy advice, individualised programmes and ongoing consultation during implementation. Interest in occupational therapy education regarding handwriting was reported. Practical implications - Occupational therapy collaboration to address handwriting difficulties for children with ASD should include involvement in teacher education, coordination of teacher–parent collaboration and the need for involvement in early intervention provision within an emergent literacy framework. Originality/value - Handwriting development is challenging for children with ASD. There is limited information on teaching or teacher–occupational therapy collaborative practices to address handwriting difficulties of children with ASD.
Carter, John C; Capone, George T; Gray, Robert M; Cox, Christiane S; Kaufmann, Walter E
The present study extends our previous work characterizing the behavioral features of autistic-spectrum disorder (ASD) in Down syndrome (DS) using the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC) and Autism Behavior Checklist (AutBehav). We examined which specific behaviors distinguished the behavioral phenotype of DS + ASD from other aberrant behavior disorders in DS, by determining the relative contribution of ABC and AutBehav subscales and items to the diagnosis of ASD. A total of 127 subjects (aged 2-24 years; mean age: 8.4 years; approximately 70% male), comprising: a cohort of 64 children and adolescents with DS and co-morbid ASD (DS + ASD), 19 with DS and stereotypic movement disorder (DS + SMD), 18 with DS and disruptive behaviors (DS + DB), and 26 with DS and no co-morbid behavior disorders (DS + none) were examined using the aforementioned measures of aberrant behavior. We found that subjects with DS + ASD showed the most severe aberrant behavior, especially stereotypy compared to DS + none and lethargy/social withdrawal and relating problems compared to DS + SMD. Specifically, relatively simple stereotypic behavior differentiated DS + ASD from DS + DB, whereas odd/bizarre stereotypic and anxious behavior characterized DS + ASD relative to DS + SMD and DS + none. Additionally, in a subset of subjects with DS + ASD and anxiety, social withdrawal was particularly pronounced. Overall, our findings indicate that a diagnosis of DS + ASD represents a distinctive set of aberrant behaviors marked by characteristic odd/bizarre stereotypic behavior, anxiety, and social withdrawal.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a set of neurodevelopmental disorders that is among the most severe in terms of prevalence, morbidity and impact to the society. It is characterized by complex behavioral phenotype and deficits in both social and cognitive functions. Although the exact cause of ASD is still not known, the main findings emphasize the role of genetic and environmental factors in the development of autistic behavior. Environmental factors are also likely to interact with the genetic profile and cause aberrant changes in brain growth, neuronal development, and functional connectivity. The past few years have seen an increase in the prevalence of ASD, as a result of enhanced clinical tests and diagnostic tools. Despite growing evidence for the involvement of endogenous biomarkers in the pathophysiology of ASD, early detection of this disorder remains a big challenge. This paper describes the main behavioral and cognitive features of ASD, as well as the symptoms that differentiate autism from other developmental disorders. An attempt will be made to integrate all the available evidence which point to reduced brain connectivity, mirror neurons deficits, and inhibition-excitation imbalance in individuals with ASD. Finally, this review discusses the main factors involved in the pathophysiology of ASD, and illustrates some of the most important markers used for the diagnosis of this debilitating disorder. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Aitken, Kenneth J
Intersubjectivity is an approach to the study of social interaction viewed from a perspective which rejects the view that reducing any such analysis to study at the level of the individual is adequate to address the issues of social functioning. It also stresses the view that social processes cannot be reduced to cognitive ones - most of the important questions in the study of developmental psychopathology deal with issues which have commonality with many other species and are patent well before the ontological emergence of 'cognitive' abilities. In this paper we review the evidence in this area, and discuss a range of issues relevant to autistic spectrum disorders. We focus in particular on social interaction; the role of the Intrinsic Motive Formation and recent work on mirror neurons in autism; genetic and teratogenic factors in the genesis of autism; and the role of a number of biological factors in pathogenesis - tryptophan; vitamin B12; sterol metabolism; glutamate and GABA; and the Fragile-X expansion.
Aresti-Bartolome, Nuria; Garcia-Zapirain, Begonya
This study analyzes the technologies most widely used to work on areas affected by the Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Technologies can focus on the strengths and weaknesses of this disorder as they make it possible to create controlled environments, reducing the anxiety produced by real social situations. Extensive research has proven the efficiency of technologies as support tools for therapy and their acceptation by ASD sufferers and the people who are with them on a daily basis. This article is organized by the types of systems developed: virtual reality applications, telehealth systems, social robots and dedicated applications, all of which are classified by the areas they center on: communication, social learning and imitation skills and other ASD-associated conditions. 40.5% of the research conducted is found to be focused on communication as opposed to 37.8% focused on learning and social imitation skills and 21.6% which underlines problems associated with this disorder. Although most of the studies reveal how useful these tools are in therapy, they are generic tools for ASD sufferers in general, which means there is a lack of personalised tools to meet each person’s needs. PMID:25093654
Georgiades, Stelios; Szatmari, Peter; Zwaigenbaum, Lonnie; Bryson, Susan; Brian, Jessica; Roberts, Wendy; Smith, Isabel; Vaillancourt, Tracy; Roncadin, Caroline; Garon, Nancy
The presence of autistic-like traits in relatives of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is well recognized, but, to our knowledge, the emergence of these traits early in development has not been studied. To prospectively investigate the emergence of autistic-like traits in unaffected (no ASD diagnosis) infant siblings of probands diagnosed as having ASD. Two groups of children unaffected with ASD were assessed prospectively-siblings of probands diagnosed as having ASD (high risk [HR]) and control subjects with no family history of ASD (low risk [LR]). Scores on a measure of autistic-like traits at 12 months of age were used in a cluster analysis of the entire sample. A prospective study of infant siblings of probands with ASD from 3 diagnostic centers in Canada. The study included 170 HR and 90 LR children, none of whom was diagnosed as having ASD at age 3 years. The Autism Observation Scale for Infants was used to measure autistic-like traits and derive clusters at 12 months of age. Clusters were compared on ASD symptoms, cognitive abilities, and social-emotional difficulties at age 3 years. Two clusters were identified. Cluster 1 (n = 37; 14.2% of total sample) had significantly higher levels of autistic-like traits compared with cluster 2. Within cluster 1, 33 children came from the siblings (19.4% of HR group) and only 4 came from the control subjects (4.5% of LR group). At age 3 years, children from cluster 1 had more social-communication impairment (effect size > 0.70; P autism phenotype by 12 months of age in approximately 19% of HR siblings who did not meet ASD diagnostic criteria at age 3 years.
This study focused on the coping strategies of parents' with children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and the relation between these strategies and parenting styles. Coping strategies were measured using the Sense of Coherence Scale (SOC) and the Purpose in Life Test (PIL-R). Parental attitudes toward loving care, stress, worry, and guilt feelings were assessed using the Family Impact Questionnaire. Two groups of participants were included: parents with children with ASD (EG) (n = 66) and a matched control group (CG) (n = 66). Paired Samples t-Test and Pearson's r correlation were used as methods of analysis. Main results distinguished significant (p fathers and probably an indicator of a stronger burnout effect of the mothers.
Obrenovich, Mark E; Shola, Dorjee; Schroedel, Kathleen; Agrahari, Aditya; Lonsdale, Derrick
Although there has been much research into autism or autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), there is room for considerable conjecture regarding the etiology of these developmental brain disorders. ASD is marked by a complex interaction between environmental factors and genetic predisposition, including epistasis. This manuscript argues that changes in oxidative metabolism, thiamine homeostasis, heavy metal deposition and cellular immunity have a role in the etiopathogenesis of autism and ASD. Recent findings from our group and others provide evidence for abnormal thiol metabolism, marked by significant alteration in the deposition of several trace heavy metal species. Together with these, we find differences in thiamine homeostasis in ASD patients, which can be corrected by supplementation. We hypothesize that altered thiol metabolism from heavy metal toxicity, one of the key mechanisms for oxidative stress production, may be responsible for the biochemical alterations in transketolase, dysautonomia and abnormal thiamine homeostasis. Although it is unknown why these particular metals accumulate, we suspect that children with ASD and forms of autism may have particular trouble excreting thiol-toxic heavy metal species, many of which exist as divalent cations. We maintain mercury accumulation is evidence of altered clearance. Together with concomitant oxidative stress, these findings may offer an intriguing component or possible mechanism for oxidative stress-mediated neurodegeneration in ASD patients. Regardless of the exact cause, these factors may be more important to the etiology of this symptomatically diverse disease spectrum. Here, we offer insight into new avenues of exploration as well as the development of novel treatment approaches for these growing and devastating diseases.
Bolton, Patrick F; Golding, Jean; Emond, Alan; Steer, Colin D
To chart the emergence of precursors and early signs of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autistic traits in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, a prospective longitudinal cohort study of the surviving offspring of 14,541 pregnant women from southwestern England with an expected delivery date between April 1991 and December 1992. Parents' contemporaneous reports of their infant's development (241 questionnaire responses collected up to 30 months of age) were examined in relation to the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder by age 11 years (n = 86) and a measure of autistic traits, derived by factor analysis. Among the children later diagnosed with ASD, concerns about vision and hearing were more often reported in the first year, and differences in social, communication, and fine motor skills were evident from 6 months of age. Repetitive behaviors and differences in play, imitation, and feeding habits were reported in the second year. Differences in temperament emerged at 24 months of age and bowel habit by 30 months. All of these early signs were strongly associated with the presence of autistic traits in the rest of the population and these differences were often evident in the first year of development. Over the first 30 months of development, the best predictors of both later ASD and autistic traits included the Social Achievement and Communication scores from the Denver Developmental Screening Test, measures of communicative skills (Vocabulary and Combines Words) from the MacArthur Infant Communicative Development Inventories, and a repetitive behavior score. Precursors, early signs, and other developmental differences were reported in the first year of development among children from the general population who later developed autism spectrum disorder and subtler autistic traits. Other differences emerged and unfolded as development progressed. The findings confirm the long-held suspicion that early differences underscore the multifaceted
Curtin, Suzanne; Vouloumanos, Athena
We examined whether infants' preference for speech at 12 months is associated with autistic-like behaviors at 18 months in infants who are at increased risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) because they have an older sibling diagnosed with ASD and in low-risk infants. Only low-risk infants listened significantly longer to speech than to nonspeech at 12 months. In both groups, relative preference for speech correlated positively with general cognitive ability at 12 months. However, in high-risk infants only, preference for speech was associated with autistic-like behavior at 18 months, while in low-risk infants, preference for speech correlated with language abilities. This suggests that in children at risk for ASD an atypical species-specific bias for speech may underlie atypical social development.
Full Text Available Diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder (ASD and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD are increasingly being made in adulthood. However, assessments can fail to address the diverse range of problems that patients have experienced. The current study applied an early symptomatic syndromes eliciting neurodevelopmental clinical examinations (ESSENCE framework to explore retrospectively reported childhood developmental and behavioral problems. It examined if adult ASD and ADHD patients would show problems outside those reflected in the respective diagnostic criteria, and also if these patient groups would show more extensive childhood problems than other psychiatric patients. Parents of adults with ADHD (n = 130, ASD (n = 57, coexisting ADHD and ASD (n = 38, and other psychiatric disorders (n = 56 reported on a range of childhood problems. Descriptions of the ADHD, ASD, and ADHD+ASD groups reflected greater impairment than descriptions for patients with other psychiatric disorders in most problem areas. Although differences were observed between ADHD and ASD patients in the core diagnostic areas, these syndromes also shared a number of childhood difficulties. The ESSENCE approach can assist in understanding the symptom history of adult ADHD and ASD patients and can be helpful to distinguish their childhood experiences from other psychiatric patients' experiences.
Stevenson, Jennifer L; Hart, Kari R
The current study systematically investigated the effects of scoring and categorization methods on the psychometric properties of the Autism-Spectrum Quotient. Four hundred and three college students completed the Autism-Spectrum Quotient at least once. Total scores on the Autism-Spectrum Quotient had acceptable internal consistency and test-retest reliability using a binary or Likert scoring method, but the results were more varied for the subscales. Overall, Likert scoring yielded higher internal consistency and test-retest reliability than binary scoring. However, agreement in categorization of low and high autistic traits was poor over time (except for a median split on Likert scores). The results support using Likert scoring and administering the Autism-Spectrum Quotient at the same time as the task of interest with neurotypical participants.
Investigation of the Association Between Motor Stereotypy Behavior With Fundamental Movement Skills, Adaptive Functioning, and Autistic Spectrum Disorder Symptomology in Children With Intellectual Disabilities.
Powell, Joanne L; Pringle, Lydia; Greig, Matt
Motor stereotypy behaviors are patterned, coordinated, repetitive behaviors that are particularly evident in those with an autistic spectrum disorder and intellectual disabilities. The extent to which motor stereotypy behavior severity is associated with motor skills and maladaptive behavior, measures of adaptive functioning, along with fundamental movement skills and degree of autistic spectrum disorder symptomology is assessed in this preliminary report. Twelve participants, aged 7 to 16 years, with a reported motor stereotypy behavior and either mild or severe intellectual disability comprising developmental or global delay took part in the study. Spearman rho correlational analysis showed that severity of motor stereotypy behavior was significantly positively correlated with autistic spectrum disorder symptomology ( P = .008) and maladaptive behavior ( P = .008) but not fundamental movement skills ( P > .05). An increase in fundamental movement skills score was associated with a decrease in autistic spectrum disorder symptomology ( P = .01) and an increase in motor skills ( P = .002). This study provides evidence showing a significant relationship between motor stereotypy behavior severity with degree of autistic spectrum disorder symptomology and maladaptive behavior.
Reid, David B
Despite volumes of published studies supporting the efficacy of hypnosis for ego-strengthening, performance, and physical and psychological disorders, the precise nature of hypnosis, and in particular, the neurobiological underpinnings of trance-phenomenon, remains tenuous at best. With his empathic involvement theory of hypnosis, Wickramasekera II (2015) brings us closer to an understanding of the elusive nature of hypnotic processes by proposing a bridging of two long-standing and seemingly incongruent theories of hypnosis (i.e., neodissociative versus socio-cognitive). Borrowing from neuroscientific studies of empathy, the empathic involvement theory maintains that empathy, beyond any other human dynamic (including emotions, behavior, personality, and imagination), facilitates and enhances hypnotic experiences for both recipient and provider alike. By the same token, one can reasonably infer from the empathic involvement theory that non-empathic individuals are less likely to benefit from hypnosis. With this perspective in mind, the empathic involvement theory's identification of empathy as an apparent "Holy Grail" of the neural underpinnings and precise nature of hypnosis may be challenged on a number of grounds. Individuals with autistic spectrum disorder, especially those suffering from alexithymia, have been identified as empathy deficient, and therefore according to the empathic involvement theory would be classified as "low-hypnotizable," yet empirical studies, albeit limited in number, suggest otherwise. Furthermore, hypnotic inductions of audience volunteers by stage hypnotists challenge the empathic involvement theory's supposition that empathy is a required component of hypnosis. It is this author's contention that empathy is a beneficial, though not essential, element of successful hypnosis.
Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a mental disorder that retards acquisition of linguistic, communication, cognitive, and social skills and abilities. Despite being diagnosed with ASD, some individuals exhibit outstanding scholastic, non-academic, and artistic capabilities, in such cases posing a challenging task for scientists to provide answers. In the last few years, ASD has been investigated by social and computational intelligence scientists utilizing advanced technologies such as machine learning to improve diagnostic timing, precision, and quality. Machine learning is a multidisciplinary research topic that employs intelligent techniques to discover useful concealed patterns, which are utilized in prediction to improve decision making. Machine learning techniques such as support vector machines, decision trees, logistic regressions, and others, have been applied to datasets related to autism in order to construct predictive models. These models claim to enhance the ability of clinicians to provide robust diagnoses and prognoses of ASD. However, studies concerning the use of machine learning in ASD diagnosis and treatment suffer from conceptual, implementation, and data issues such as the way diagnostic codes are used, the type of feature selection employed, the evaluation measures chosen, and class imbalances in data among others. A more serious claim in recent studies is the development of a new method for ASD diagnoses based on machine learning. This article critically analyses these recent investigative studies on autism, not only articulating the aforementioned issues in these studies but also recommending paths forward that enhance machine learning use in ASD with respect to conceptualization, implementation, and data. Future studies concerning machine learning in autism research are greatly benefitted by such proposals.
Lian, Wee Bin; Ho, Selina Kah Ying
There has been a rising trend in childhood developmental and behavioural disorders (CDABD). This study reports the profile of children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) initially referred for evaluation of CDABD. The CDABD database prospectively collected data of all consenting children referred in 2003 to the then Child Development Unit at KK Women's and Children's Hospital. All received medical consultation, followed by further assessments and intervention. Patients were tracked for one year. Among 542 referred children, 32% (n = 170) received a diagnosis of ASD one year after the first consultation. Most were male, with a male to female ratio of 4.5:1. The median age at the first consultation was 41 (19,109) months. The main presenting concern was a delay in the development of speech and language skills in 78% of the children. A significant number had behavioural (63%) and social interaction (34%) issues. Criteria for the diagnosis of ASD according to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual IV-Revised were fulfilled in almost 90%. With the remaining refusing or deferring evaluation, only 74% received a psychological assessment. ASD was assessed to be severe or moderate in 86% of the children. Three-quarters remained on follow-up one year after the first consultation. The majority were referred for either centre- or school-based intervention programmes, with 70% assessed to have improved at the one-year mark. This is the first presentation of local data that aids programme planning and resource allocation. Children with ASD have varied outcomes. It is important to identify and intervene early in order to optimise development and functionality.
Grzadzinski, Rebecca; Dick, Catherine; Lord, Catherine; Bishop, Somer
Children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often present with social difficulties, though the extent to which these clearly overlap with symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is not well understood. We explored parent-reported and directly-observed ASD symptoms on the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) in children referred to ASD-specialty clinics who received diagnoses of either ADHD (n = 48) or ASD (n = 164). Of the ADHD sample, 21 % met ASD cut-offs on the ADOS and 30 % met ASD cut-offs on all domains of the ADI-R. Four social communication ADOS items (Quality of Social Overtures, Unusual Eye Contact, Facial Expressions Directed to Examiner, and Amount of Reciprocal Social Communication) adequately differentiated the groups while none of the items on the ADI-R met the criteria for adequate discrimination. Results of this work highlight the challenges that clinicians and researchers face when distinguishing ASD from other disorders in verbally fluent, school-age children.
Chiang, Huey-Ling; Kao, Wei-Chih; Chou, Mei-Chun; Chou, Wen-June; Chiu, Yen-Nan; Wu, Yu-Yu; Gau, Susan Shur-Fen
School dysfunction is observed in youths with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but the factors moderating their school dysfunction have not been well explored. This study investigated school functions in youths with ASD in Taiwan, stratified by personal characteristics including demographics, ASD subtypes, intelligence profiles, and the presence of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We recruited 160 youths (aged 6-18 years, 87.5% boys) with a clinical diagnosis of ASD and 160 age and gender-matched typically developing (TD) youths. Their parents received a semi-structured psychiatric interview for their ASD and ADHD diagnoses and reported their school functions. Youths with ASD were further grouped into low-functioning autism (LFA, ASD with intellectual disability and developmental language delay, n = 44), high-functioning autism (HFA, ASD with no intellectual disability, n = 55) and Asperger's syndrome (AS, ASD with neither language delay nor intellectual disability, n = 61). Compared to TD, ASD had worse school functions in the domains of academic performance, attitude toward schoolwork, social interaction, and behavioral problems except for no academic differences from TD in HFA and ASD without ADHD. Subgroup analysis revealed that HFA and AS had better academic performance but showed worse attitude toward school than LFA. Comorbidity of ADHD negatively impacted all domains of school functions. Besides autistic and ADHD symptoms, oppositional symptoms, lower intelligence, older age, and female gender in youths also predicted school dysfunction. Although youths with ASD have school dysfunction in several domains, this study specifically addresses the role of intelligence and comorbid ADHD on their school dysfunction. Autism Res 2018. © 2018 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Impaired school functions varied in ASD youths with different characteristics. Youths with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) encounter
Bora, Emre; Aydın, Aydan; Saraç, Tuğba; Kadak, Muhammed Tayyib; Köse, Sezen
Clinical diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be conceptualized as the extreme end of the distribution of subclinical autistic traits related to genetic susceptibility factors (broad autism phenotype (BAP)) in the general population. Subclinical autistic traits are significantly more common among unaffected first-degree relatives of probands with autism. However, there is a significant heterogeneity of autistic traits in family members of individuals with ASD and severity of autistic traits are not significantly different from controls in the majority of these relatives. The current study investigated the heterogeneity of autistic traits using latent class analysis (LCA) of the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) ratings of 673 parents of children with ASD and 147 parents of typically developing children. Two distinct subgroups, including a "low-scoring" and a "high-scorer (BAP)" groups, were found. In comparison to control parents, a significantly larger proportion (21.1% vs. 7.5%) of parents of ASD were members of BAP group. Communication subscale made a distinctive contribution to the separation of high and low-scoring groups (d = 2.77). Further studies investigating neurobiological and genetic biomarkers and stability of these two subgroups over time are important for understanding the nature of autistic traits in the general population. Autism Res 2017, 10: 321-326. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Ko, Chanyoung; Kim, Namwook; Kim, Eunjoo; Song, Dong Ho; Cheon, Keun-Ah
As the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders in people with epilepsy ranges from 15 to 47 % (Clarke et al. in Epilepsia 46:1970-1977, 2005), it is speculated that there is a special relationship between the two disorders, yet there has been a lack of systematic studies comparing the behavioral phenotype between autistic individuals and autistic individuals with epilepsy. This study aims to investigate how the co-occurrence of epilepsy and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects autistic characteristics assessed by the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), which has been used as a measure of autism symptoms in previous studies. In this research we referred to all individuals with Autism or Autistic Disorder as individuals with ASD. We reviewed the complete medical records of 182 participants who presented to a single tertiary care referral center from January 1, 2013 to July 28, 2015, and subsequently received complete child and adolescent psychiatric assessments. Of the 182 participants, 22 were diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and epilepsy. Types of epilepsy observed in these individuals included complex partial seizure, generalized tonic-clonic seizure, or infantile spasm. Using 'Propensity Score Matching' we selected 44 children, diagnosed with only Autism Spectrum Disorder, whose age, gender, and intelligence quotient (IQ) were closely matched with the 22 children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and epilepsy. Social functioning of participants was assessed by the social responsiveness scale, which consists of five categories: social awareness, social cognition, social communication, social motivation, and autistic mannerisms. Bivariate analyses were conducted to compare the ASD participants with epilepsy group with the ASD-only group on demographic and clinical characteristics. Chi square and t test p values were calculated when appropriate. There was no significant difference in age (p = 0.172), gender (p > 0.999), IQ (FSIQ, p = 0.139; VIQ
Rebecca E. Rosenberg
Full Text Available We used a national online registry to examine variation in cumulative prevalence of community diagnosis of psychiatric comorbidity in 4343 children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD. Adjusted multivariate logistic regression models compared influence of individual, family, and geographic factors on cumulative prevalence of parent-reported anxiety disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder or attention deficit disorder. Adjusted odds of community-assigned lifetime psychiatric comorbidity were significantly higher with each additional year of life, with increasing autism severity, and with Asperger syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder—not otherwise specified compared with autistic disorder. Overall, in this largest study of parent-reported community diagnoses of psychiatric comorbidity, gender, autistic regression, autism severity, and type of ASD all emerged as significant factors correlating with cumulative prevalence. These findings could suggest both underlying trends in actual comorbidity as well as variation in community interpretation and application of comorbid diagnoses in ASD.
Ludvigsson, Jonas F; Reichenberg, Abraham; Hultman, Christina M; Murray, Joseph A
Most case reports suggest an association between autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs) and celiac disease (CD) or positive CD serologic test results, but larger studies are contradictory. To examine the association between ASDs and CD according to small intestinal histopathologic findings. Nationwide case-control study in Sweden. Through 28 Swedish biopsy registers, we collected data about 26,995 individuals with CD (equal to villous atrophy, Marsh stage 3), 12,304 individuals with inflammation (Marsh stages 1-2), and 3719 individuals with normal mucosa (Marsh stage 0) but positive CD serologic test results (IgA/IgG gliadin, endomysium, or tissue transglutaminase) and compared them with 213,208 age- and sex-matched controls. Conditional logistic regression estimated odds ratios (ORs) for having a prior diagnosis of an ASD according to the Swedish National Patient Register. In another analysis, we used the Cox proportional hazards regression model to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) for future ASDs in individuals undergoing small intestinal biopsy. A prior ASD was not associated with CD (OR, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.51-1.68) or inflammation (OR 1.03; 95% CI, 0.40-2.64) but was associated with a markedly increased risk of having a normal mucosa but a positive CD serologic test result (OR, 4.57; 95% CI, 1.58-13.22). Restricting our data to individuals without a diagnosis of an ASD at the time of biopsy, CD (HR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.13-1.71) and inflammation (HR, 2.01; 95% CI, 1.29-3.13) were both associated with moderate excess risks of later ASDs, whereas the HR for later ASDs in individuals with normal mucosa but positive CD serologic test results was 3.09 (95% CI, 1.99-4.80). Although this study found no association between CD or inflammation and earlier ASDs, there was a markedly increased risk of ASDs in individuals with normal mucosa but a positive CD serologic test result.
Zeglam, Adel M; Al-Ogab, Marwa F; Al-Shaftery, Thouraya
To evaluate the routine usage of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of brain and estimate the prevalence of brain abnormalities in children presenting to the Neurodevelopment Clinic of Al-Khadra Hospital (NDC-KH), Tripoli, Libya with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). The records of all children with ASD presented to NDC-KH over 4-year period (from January 2009 to December 2012) were reviewed. All MRIs were acquired with a 1.5-T Philips (3-D T1, T2, FLAIR coronal and axial sequences). MRIs were reported to be normal, abnormal or no significant abnormalities by a consultant neuroradiologist. One thousand and seventy-five children were included in the study. Seven hundred and eighty-two children (72.7 %) had an MRI brain of whom 555 (71 %) were boys. 26 children (24 males and 2 females) (3.3 %) demonstrated MRI abnormalities (8 leukodystrophic changes, 4 periventricular leukomalacia, 3 brain atrophy, 2 tuberous sclerosis, 2 vascular changes, 1 pineoblastoma, 1 cerebellar angioma, 1 cerebellar hypoplasia, 3 agenesis of corpus callosum, 1 neuro-epithelial cyst). An unexpectedly high rate of MRI abnormalities was found in the first large series of clinical MRI investigations in children with autism. These results could contribute to further research into the pathogenesis of autistic spectrum disorder.
Deonna, Thierry; Roulet, Eliane
The onset of epilepsy in brain systems involved in social communication and/or recognition of emotions can occasionally be the cause of autistic symptoms or may aggravate preexisting autistic symptoms. Knowing that cognitive and/or behavioral abnormalities can be the presenting and sometimes the only symptom of an epileptic disorder or can even be caused by paroxysmal EEG abnormalities without recognized seizures, the possibility that this may apply to autism has given rise to much debate. Epilepsy and/or epileptic EEG abnormalities are frequently associated with autistic disorders in children but this does not necessarily imply that they are the cause; great caution needs to be exercised before drawing any such conclusions. So far, there is no evidence that typical autism can be attributed to an epileptic disorder, even in those children with a history of regression after normal early development. Nevertheless, there are several early epilepsies (late infantile spasms, partial complex epilepsies, epilepsies with CSWS, early forms of Landau-Kleffner syndrome) and with different etiologies (tuberous sclerosis is an important model of these situations) in which a direct relationship between epilepsy and some features of autism may be suspected. In young children who primarily have language regression (and who may have autistic features) without evident cause, and in whom paroxysmal focal EEG abnormalities are also found, the possible direct role of epilepsy can only be evaluated in longitudinal studies.
Distinguishing and Improving Mouse Behavior With Educational Computer Games in Young Children With Autistic Spectrum Disorder or Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder : An Executive Function-Based Interpretation
Koning - Veenstra ,de Baukje; van Geert, Paul L. C.; van der Meulen, Bieuwe F.
In this exploratory multiple case study, it is examined how a computer game focused on improving ineffective learning behavior can be used as a tool to assess, improve, and study real-time mouse behavior (MB) in different types of children: 18 children (3.86.3 years) with Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Robinson, Lee; Bond, Caroline
The most thoroughly researched topic in relation to autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs) is the evaluation of interventions. Educational psychology in the United Kingdom and Ireland is the most closely allied profession to school psychology in the United States. In considering what is published by and for the profession, it is important to include…
Distinguishing and Improving Mouse Behavior with Educational Computer Games in Young Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder or Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: An Executive Function-Based Interpretation
Veenstra, Baukje; van Geert, Paul L. C.; van der Meulen, Bieuwe F.
In this exploratory multiple case study, it is examined how a computer game focused on improving ineffective learning behavior can be used as a tool to assess, improve, and study real-time mouse behavior (MB) in different types of children: 18 children (3.8-6.3 years) with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder…
Efstratopoulou, Maria; Janssen, Rianne; Simons, Johan
The study was designed to investigate the discriminant validity of the Motor Behavior Checklist (MBC) for distinguishing four group of children independently classified with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, (ADHD; N = 22), Conduct Disorder (CD; N = 17), Learning Disabilities (LD; N = 24) and Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD; N = 20).…
Zeglam, Adel M.; Maouna, Ameena
Background: Autism is a global disorder, but relatively little is known about its presentation and occurrence in many developing countries, including Libya. Aims: 1.) To estimate the prevalence of autistic spectrum disorders in children referred to Al-Khadra hospital (KH). 2.) To increase the awareness among pediatrician and primary health care…
Mintz, Joseph; Branch, Corinne; March, Caty; Lerman, Stephen
Of late there has been growing interest in the potential of technology to support children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) with social and life skills. There has also been a burgeoning interest in the potential use of mobile technology in the classroom and in the use of such technology to support children with ASD. Building on these…
Pajareya, Kingkaew; Nopmaneejumruslers, Kaewta
This pilot study was designed to test the efficacy of adding home-based Developmental, Individual-Difference, Relationship-Based (DIR)/Floortime[TM] intervention to the routine care of preschool children with autistic spectrum disorder. Measures of functional emotional development and symptom severity were taken. It was found that after the…
Hamilton, Antonia F. de C.; Brindley, Rachel M.; Frith, Uta
The motor mirror neuron system supports imitation and goal understanding in typical adults. Recently, it has been proposed that a deficit in this mirror neuron system might contribute to poor imitation performance in children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and might be a cause of poor social abilities in these children. We aimed to test…
Hidding, E.; Swaab, H.; de Sonneville, L. M J; van Engeland, H.; Vorstman, J. A S
This paper examines how COMT158 genotypes and plasma proline levels are associated with variable penetrance of social behavioural and social cognitive problems in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS). Severity of autistic spectrum symptoms of 45 participants with 22q11DS was assessed using the Autism
López, José María; Moreno-Rodríguez, Ricardo; Alcover, Carlos-María; Garrote, Inmaculada; Sánchez, Sergio
Individuals with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) present learning difficulties and limited performance of social skills, besides lower motor skills performance in comparison with their peers. Owing to these difficulties, most of children with ASD are at risk of social exclusion or a poor inclusion due to their behavior, mainly playing with other…
Reed, Phil; Broomfield, Laura; McHugh, Louise; McCausland, Aisling; Leader, Geraldine
Two experiments examined whether over-selectivity is the product of a post-acquisition performance deficit, rather than an attention problem. In both experiments, children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder were presented with a trial-and-error discrimination task using two, two-element stimuli and over-selected in both studies. After behavioral…
Full Text Available Auditory Scene Analysis provides a useful framework for understanding atypical auditory perception in autism. Specifically, a failure to segregate the incoming acoustic energy into distinct auditory objects might explain the aversive reaction autistic individuals have to certain auditory stimuli or environments. Previous research with non-autistic participants has demonstrated the presence of an Object Related Negativity (ORN in the auditory event related potential that indexes pre-attentive processes associated with auditory scene analysis. Also evident is a later P400 component that is attention dependent and thought to be related to decision-making about auditory objects. We sought to determine whether there are differences between individuals with and without autism in the levels of processing indexed by these components. Electroencephalography (EEG was used to measure brain responses from a group of 16 autistic adults, and 16 age- and verbal-IQ-matched typically-developing adults. Auditory responses were elicited using lateralized dichotic pitch stimuli in which inter-aural timing differences create the illusory perception of a pitch that is spatially separated from a carrier noise stimulus. As in previous studies, control participants produced an ORN in response to the pitch stimuli. However, this component was significantly reduced in the participants with autism. In contrast, processing differences were not observed between the groups at the attention-dependent level (P400. These findings suggest that autistic individuals have difficulty segregating auditory stimuli into distinct auditory objects, and that this difficulty arises at an early pre-attentive level of processing.
Full Text Available Background The study was carried out within the research “Reading comprehension – typical development and its risks”. The article contains data from a component study focused on 4th grade students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD who were incorporated into a group of readers with reading comprehension development risks. The main aim was to establish whether variable results in children’s reading and comprehension tests relate to the level of understanding of social relations. Participants and procedure We tested 20 students with ASD in two phases: T1 and T2. Each phase consisted of 2 individual sessions. Under the leadership of a research assistant, during each of these sessions a student would carry out the test focused on general intellectual skills, language skills, reading, and reading comprehension. For students with autistic spectrum disorder the Strange Stories test was added in order to ascertain the level of social relations understanding. Results The results in reading and reading comprehension tests among students with ASD varied significantly. Based on a correlation analysis it was found that the Strange Stories results substantially correlate with tests focused on reading, text comprehension and language skill levels. Conclusions Our research proved the following: the Strange Stories test results show that the level to which an individual is able to understand social relations and social behavior is significantly related to his/her ability to comprehend a text. Consequently, this can influence his/her learning skills as well as the quality of life in society. Cultivation of social abilities, social communication and understanding of social situations and relations is therefore necessary for compensation of autistic spectrum disorder expressions.
Kadak, Muhammed Tayyib; Demirel, Omer Faruk; Yavuz, Mesut; Demir, Türkay
Research findings debate about features of broad autism phenotype. In this study, we tested whether parents of children with autism have problems recognizing emotional facial expression and the contribution of such an impairment to the broad phenotype of autism. Seventy-two parents of children with autistic spectrum disorder and 38 parents of control group participated in the study. Broad autism features was measured with Autism Quotient (AQ). Recognition of Emotional Face Expression Test was assessed with the Emotion Recognition Test, consisting a set of photographs from Ekman & Friesen's. In a two-tailed analysis of variance of AQ, there was a significant difference for social skills (F(1, 106)=6.095; p<.05). Analyses of variance revealed significant difference in the recognition of happy, surprised and neutral expressions (F(1, 106)=4.068, p=.046; F(1, 106)=4.068, p=.046; F(1, 106)=6.064, p=.016). According to our findings, social impairment could be considered a characteristic feature of BAP. ASD parents had difficulty recognizing neutral expressions, suggesting that ASD parents may have impaired recognition of ambiguous expressions as do autistic children. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Parés, Narcís; Carreras, Anna; Durany, Jaume; Ferrer, Jaume; Freixa, Pere; Gómez, David; Kruglanski, Orit; Parés, Roc; Ribas, J Ignasi; Soler, Miquel; Sanjurjo, Alex
On starting to think about interaction design for low-functioning persons in the autistic spectrum (PAS), especially children, one finds a number of questions that are difficult to answer: Can we typify the PAS user? Can we engage the user in interactive communication without generating frustrating or obsessive situations? What sort of visual stimuli can we provide? Will they prefer representational or abstract visual stimuli? Will they understand three-dimensional (3D) graphic representation? What sort of interfaces will they accept? Can we set ambitious goals such as education or therapy? Unfortunately, most of these questions have no answer yet. Hence, we decided to set an apparently simple goal: to design a "fun application," with no intention to reach the level of education or therapy. The goal was to be attained by giving the users a sense of agency--by providing first a sense of control in the interaction dialogue. Our approach to visual stimuli design has been based on the use of geometric, abstract, two-dimensional (2D), real-time computer graphics in a full-body, non-invasive, interactive space. The results obtained within the European-funded project MultiSensory Environment Design for an Interface between Autistic and Typical Expressiveness (MEDIATE) have been extremely encouraging.
Saito, Daisuke N.; Mano, Yoko; Jung, Minyoung; Fujii, Takeshi; Yanaka, Hisakazu T.; Munesue, Toshio; Ishitobi, Makoto; Sato, Makoto; Okazawa, Hidehiko
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are thought to lack self-awareness and to experience difficulty empathizing with others. Although these deficits have been demonstrated in previous studies, most of the target stimuli were constructed for typically developing (TD) individuals. We employed judgment tasks capable of indexing self-relevant processing in individuals with and without ASD. Fourteen Japanese men and 1 Japanese women with high-functioning ASD (17–41 years of age) and 13 Japanese men and 2 TD Japanese women (22–40 years of age), all of whom were matched for age and full and verbal intelligence quotient scores with the ASD participants, were enrolled in this study. The results demonstrated that the ventromedial prefrontal cortex was significantly activated in individuals with ASD in response to autistic characters and in TD individuals in response to non-autistic characters. Although the frontal–posterior network between the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and superior temporal gyrus participated in the processing of non-autistic characters in TD individuals, an alternative network was involved when individuals with ASD processed autistic characters. This suggests an atypical form of empathy in individuals with ASD toward others with ASD. PMID:25332405
Oliver, Catherine J
The purpose of this project was to design and implement a case management framework for the benefit of children diagnosed with an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). The process consisted of selecting two children exhibiting symptoms of an ASD and managing them across a continuum of care. Methodological structure was derived from case management standards of practice and Orem's Nursing Theories. Although some objectives sustained a slight delay because of variances, findings revealed successful outcomes based on progression toward measurable case management goals. The children were directed to appropriate school placements and habilitative therapies in an efficient manner. Their parents received support and education related to special needs children. The process yielded assurance that Orem's Nursing Theories and case management concepts articulate seamlessly within nursing care boundaries.
In this review, the history of the theory of mind (ToM) theory of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) is outlined (in which ToM is indexed by success on false belief tasks), and the explanatory power and psychological causes of impaired ToM in ASD are critically discussed. It is concluded that impaired ToM by itself has only limited explanatory power, but that explorations of the psychological precursors of impaired ToM have been fruitful in increasing understanding of mindreading impairments in ASD (where 'mindreading' refers those abilities that underlie triadic interaction as well as ToM). It is argued that early explanations of impaired mindreading are untenable for various reasons, but that impairments of dyadic interaction in ASD that could lead to impaired ability to represent others' mental states may be the critical psychological cause, or causes, of impaired ToM. The complexity of causal routes to impaired ToM is emphasized.
Emerson, Eric; Blacher, Jan; Einfeld, Stewart; Hatton, Chris; Robertson, Janet; Stancliffe, Roger J
We investigated the association between exposure to environmental risks in early childhood and the prevalence and persistence of conduct difficulties (CD) in children with intellectual disability (ID) who did not have autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), children with ASD and typically developing (TD) children. Results indicated that: (1) exposure to risk was associated with elevated prevalence of CD at age three and, for TD children and children with ID, increased risk of CD persisting to ages five and seven; (2) at all levels of risk, children with ASD were more likely to show persistent CD than other children; (3) children with ID were no more likely to show persistent CD than TD children at low levels of exposure to environmental risk. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Lugnegård, Tove; Hallerbäck, Maria Unenge; Gillberg, Christopher
In clinical practice, the differential diagnosis of Asperger syndrome (AS) versus schizophrenia can be a challenge. Some self-report instruments-such as the Autism-spectrum Quotient (AQ)-have been portrayed as proxies for the diagnosis of AS. However, it has not been demonstrated to what extent autistic traits-as measured by the AQ-separate AS from schizophrenia. To examine the AS-schizophrenia discriminating ability of the AQ. The AQ is a 50-item self-administered questionnaire (with score range 0-50) for measuring "autistic traits" in adults. Here, it was completed by 136 individuals: 36 with schizophrenic psychosis, 51 with AS and 49 non-clinical comparison cases. A receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis for the total AQ score was performed to examine the discriminating power of the instrument. Both individuals with schizophrenia and individuals with AS scored significantly higher on AQ than the non-clinical group. The mean total AQ score (± standard deviation) of the AS group (26.7 ± 8.9; range 9-44) was significantly higher than that of the schizophrenia group (22.7 ± 6.2; range 10-35) (P = 0.041). However, when using the full Likert scale for scoring, the difference did not reach significance. In the ROC analysis of total AQ scores for AS versus schizophrenia, the area under the curve (AUC) was 0.65 (P = 0.02). Although mean AQ scores separated AS and schizophrenia at a group comparison level, significant overlap of AQ scores across the two diagnostic groups clearly reduces the discriminating power of the AQ in the separation of schizophrenia from AS.
Via, Esther; Radua, Joaquim; Cardoner, Narcis; Happé, Francesca; Mataix-Cols, David
Studies investigating abnormalities of regional gray matter volume in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have yielded contradictory results. It is unclear whether the current subtyping of ASD into autistic disorder and Asperger disorder is neurobiologically valid. To conduct a quantitative meta-analysis of voxel-based morphometry studies exploring gray matter volume abnormalities in ASD, to examine potential neurobiological differences among ASD subtypes, and to create an online database to facilitate replication and further analyses by other researchers. We retrieved studies from PubMed, ScienceDirect, Scopus, and Web of Knowledge databases between June 3, 1999, the date of the first voxel-based morphometry study in ASD, and October 31, 2010. Studies were also retrieved from reference lists and review articles. We contacted authors soliciting additional data. Twenty-four data sets met inclusion criteria, comprising 496 participants with ASD and 471 healthy control individuals. Peak coordinates of clusters of regional gray matter differences between participants with ASD and controls, as well as demographic, clinical, and methodologic variables, were extracted from each study or obtained from the authors. No differences in overall gray matter volume were found between participants with ASD and healthy controls. Participants with ASD were found to have robust decreases of gray matter volume in the bilateral amygdala-hippocampus complex and the bilateral precuneus. A small increase of gray matter volume in the middle-inferior frontal gyrus was also found. No significant differences in overall or regional gray matter volumes were found between autistic disorder and Asperger disorder. Decreases of gray matter volume in the right precuneus were statistically higher in adults than in adolescents with ASD. These results confirm the crucial involvement of structures linked to social cognition in ASD. The absence of significant differences between ASD subtypes may have
Bolis, Dimitris; Schilbach, Leonhard
Autism is a developmental condition, characterized by difficulties of social interaction and communication, as well as restricted interests and repetitive behaviors. Although several important conceptions have shed light on specific facets, there is still no consensus about a universal yet specific theory in terms of its underlying mechanisms. While some theories have exclusively focused on sensory aspects, others have emphasized social difficulties. However, sensory and social processes in autism might be interconnected to a higher degree than what has been traditionally thought. We propose that a mismatch in sensory abilities across individuals can lead to difficulties on a social, i.e. interpersonal level and vice versa. In this article, we, therefore, selectively review evidence indicating an interrelationship between perceptual and social difficulties in autism. Additionally, we link this body of research with studies, which investigate the mechanisms of action control in social contexts. By doing so, we highlight that autistic traits are also crucially related to differences in integration, anticipation and automatic responding to social cues, rather than a mere inability to register and learn from social cues. Importantly, such differences may only manifest themselves in sufficiently complex situations, such as real-life social interactions, where such processes are inextricably linked. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Hagedorn, Victoria S.
Many autistic students think and learn in pictures, not language. Visual representation of tasks, objects, and songs can greatly assist the autistic student. Using picture books in the music class is a popular strategy for many teachers. This article provides a list of books that a teacher has used with success in classes for children with…
Veatch, Olivia J; Reynolds, Ann; Katz, Terry; Weiss, Shelly K; Loh, Alvin; Wang, Lily; Malow, Beth A
Sleep disturbance is common in children with autism, resulting in a great need for effective treatments. To evaluate treatments for sleep disturbance in this population, it is critical to understand the relationship between measures of sleep captured by parent report and objective measures. The Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ) and actigraphy-measured data from 80 children with autism and sleep-onset delay were evaluated. Reported problems with sleep-onset delay were concurrent with sleep duration problems in 66% of children, night wakings in 72% of children, and bedtime resistance in 66% of children; 38% of children were reported to have problems with all CSHQ insomnia domains. Actigraphy-measured sleep duration was correlated with estimates using CSHQ-reported bed and wake times.
Freitag, Christine M; Agelopoulos, Konstantin; Huy, Ellen; Rothermundt, Matthias; Krakowitzky, Petra; Meyer, Jobst; Deckert, Jürgen; von Gontard, Alexander; Hohoff, Christa
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are heterogeneous disorders presenting with increased rates of anxiety. The adenosine A(2A) receptor gene (ADORA2A) is associated with panic disorder and is located on chromosome 22q11.23. Its gene product, the adenosine A(2A) receptor, is strongly expressed in the caudate nucleus, which also is involved in ASD. As autistic symptoms are increased in individuals with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, and large 22q11.2 deletions and duplications have been observed in ASD individuals, in this study, 98 individuals with ASD and 234 control individuals were genotyped for eight single-nucleotide polymorphisms in ADORA2A. Nominal association with the disorder was observed for rs2236624-CC, and phenotypic variability in ASD symptoms was influenced by rs3761422, rs5751876 and rs35320474. In addition, association of ADORA2A variants with anxiety was replicated for individuals with ASD. Findings point toward a possible mediating role of ADORA2A variants on phenotypic expression in ASD that need to be replicated in a larger sample.
Tan, Catherine D
Building on Michael Bury's "biographical disruption" and Kathy Charmaz's "loss of self," which describe the deteriorative impacts of chronic illness on perceptions of selfhood, I propose "biographical illumination"-a transformed conceptualization of self and identity that is facilitated by but extends beyond medical meaning, enriching personal biography and social relationships. The concept is perhaps most applicable to experiences with neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions in which brain difference and personhood are perceived to be closely intertwined. In this study, biographical illumination is used to describe the experiences of autistic adults who learned of their Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis during teen years or adulthood. Through an ASD lens, participants found explanation for their atypicality and developed a more valued self-concept. Learning of the condition did not disrupt their biography; rather, it became integral to and constitutive of it. With a new self-concept, participants re-gauged personal expectations for normalization and accessed communities of alike others, forging relationships that affirmed identity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Irwanto; Rehatta, Nancy Margarita; Hartini, Sri; Takada, Satoshi
Sleep problems are associated with problems of cognitive functioning, learning, attention and school performance. It has been found that sleep problems are highly prevalent in children with Autistic spectrum disorders (ASD), with rates ranging from 40% to 80%. We aimed to identify the prevalence of sleep problems on children with ASD in Indonesia and Japan. A cross-sectional study was conducted in Surabaya, Indonesia and Kobe, Japan. Children aged 4 -10 years old were enrolled using stratified cluster sampling. Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire-Abbreviated (CSHQ-A) was used in this research to assess the sleep problems, consisted of 22 questions (NICHD SECCYD-Wisconsin). Data were analyzed with Mann-Whitney U test to compare the CSHQ-A scores between Indonesian and Japanese children, while the proportion of sleep problems was evaluated by chi-square test with 95% confidence interval. Fifty children with ASD were included in this study, 25 children from Kobe, Japan and 25 children from Surabaya, Indonesia. The prevalence of sleep problems on children with ASD was 60% (15 children) in Indonesia and 16% (4 children) in Japan respectively. There were significant differences in total waking during the night and in morning wake for the CSHQ-A between children from Indonesia and Japan (psleep problems on children with ASD was higher in children from Indonesia than from Japan.
Ohan, Jeneva L; Ellefson, Sarah E; Corrigan, Patrick W
In the DSM-5, 'Asperger's Disorder' was incorporated into 'Autistic Spectrum Disorder' (ASD). One key concern in this change has been that the ASD label will increase negative attitudes relative to the Asperger's label. To test this, we asked 465 American adults to read a vignette describing a child with autistic symptoms that included an ASD label, an Asperger's label, or no label, and rate their stigma and treatment attitudes (help-seeking and perceived effectiveness). Contrary to predictions, label did not impact stigma. Label did impact treatment attitudes, with greater help-seeking and perceived treatment effectiveness for both Asperger's and ASD labels. In sum, concern that the ASD label will increase negative perceptions, at least amongst the general public, is not supported.
Efstratopoulou, Maria; Janssen, Rianne; Simons, Johan
The study was designed to investigate the discriminant validity of the Motor Behavior Checklist (MBC) for distinguishing four group of children independently classified with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, (ADHD; N=22), Conduct Disorder (CD; N=17), Learning Disabilities (LD; N=24) and Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD; N=20). Physical education teachers used the MBC for children to rate their pupils based on their motor related behaviors. A multivariate analysis revealed significant differences among the groups on different problem scales. The results indicated that the MBC for children may be effective in discriminating children with similar disruptive behaviors (e.g., ADHD, CD) and autistic disorders, based on their motor behavior characteristics, but not children with Learning Disabilities (LD), when used by physical education teachers in school settings. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Betts, Stephanie R.
This literature review describes research based teaching strategies for general education teachers to provide equal education for students diagnosed with autism. General education classrooms are often made up of students with a broad spectrum of abilities, and it is the teacher's job to meet the needs of those students. Strategies addressed in…
Medeiros, Kristen; Winsler, Adam
This study examined the relationship between child language skills and parent and child gestures of 58 youths with and without an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis. Frequencies and rates of total gesture use as well as five categories of gestures (deictic, conventional, beat, iconic, and metaphoric) were reliably coded during the…
Lortie, Melissa; Proulx-Bégin, Léa; Saint-Amour, Dave; Cousineau, Dominique; Théoret, Hugo; Lepage, Jean-François
There is debate whether social impairments in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are truly domain-specific, or if they reflect generalized deficits in lower-level cognitive processes. To solve this issue, we used auditory-evoked EEG responses to assess novelty detection (MMN component) and involuntary attentional orientation (P3 component) induced by…
Amin, Noor A.; Oweini, Ahmad
The purpose of this case study was to determine the effectiveness of a combined intervention in remediating the social skills in a first-grader with a disorder from the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The researcher also aimed to identify the changes observed during the intervention period. The combined intervention consisted of reading…
Stevenson, Jennifer L.; Dern, Sebastian
Many of the personality and behavioral traits (e.g., social imperviousness, directness in conversation, lack of imagination, affinity for solitude, difficulty displaying emotions) that are known to be sensitive to context (with whom?) and reference group (according to whom?) also appear in questionnaire-based assessments of autistic traits. Therefore, two experiments investigated the effects of specifying contexts and reference groups when assessing autistic traits in autistic and non-autistic participants. Experiment 1 (124 autistic and 124 non-autistic participants) demonstrated that context matters when assessing autistic traits (F(1,244) = 267.5, p autistic people” or “I like being around autistic people”), both autistic and non-autistic participants self-reported having more autistic traits; when the context was specified as the participants’ in-group, participants reported having fewer autistic traits. Experiment 2 (82 autistic and 82 non-autistic participants) demonstrated that reference group matters when assessing autistic traits (F(2,160) = 94.38, p autistic people, I have unusual eye contact”), autistic participants reported having more autistic traits; when the reference group was their in-group, autistic participants reported having fewer autistic traits. Non-autistic participants appeared insensitive to reference group on the Social Responsiveness Scale. Exploratory analyses suggested that when neither the context nor the reference group is specified (for assessing autistic traits on the Autism-Spectrum Quotient), both autistic and non-autistic participants use the majority (“non-autistic people”) as the implied context and reference group. PMID:28192464
Yoram S Bonneh
Full Text Available Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD who can speak often exhibit abnormal voice quality and speech prosody, but the exact nature and underlying mechanisms of these abnormalities, as well as their diagnostic power are currently unknown. Here we quantified speech abnormalities in terms of the properties of the long-term average spectrum (LTAS and pitch variability in speech samples of 83 children (41 with ASD, 42 controls ages 4-6.5 years, recorded while they named a sequence of daily-life pictures for 60 sec. We found a significant difference in the group’s average spectra, with ASD spectra being shallower and exhibiting less harmonic structure. Contrary to the common impression of monotonic speech in autism, the ASD children had a significantly larger pitch range and variability across time. A measure of this variability, optimally tuned for the sample, yielded 86% success (90% specificity, 80% sensitivity in classifying ASD in the sample. These results indicate that speech abnormalities in ASD are reflected in its spectral content and pitch variability. This variability could imply abnormal processing of auditory feedback or elevated noise and instability in the mechanisms that control pitch. The current results are a first step towards developing speech-spectrum-based bio-markers for early diagnosis of ASD.
Nader, Anne-Marie; Jelenic, Patricia; Soulières, Isabelle
The cognitive profile and measured intellectual level vary according to assessment tools in children on the autism spectrum, much more so than in typically developing children. The recent inclusion of intellectual functioning in the diagnostic process for autism spectrum disorders leads to the crucial question on how to assess intelligence in autism, especially as some tests and subtests seem more sensitive to certain neurodevelopmental conditions. Our first aim was to examine the cognitive profile on the current version of the most widely used test, the Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children (WISC-IV), for a homogenous subgroup of children on the autism spectrum, i.e. corresponding to DSM-IV diagnosis of “autism”. The second aim was to compare cognitive profiles obtained on the third edition versus 4th edition of WISC, in order to verify whether the WISC-IV yields a more distinctive cognitive profile in autistic children. The third aim was to examine the impact of the WISC-IV on the cognitive profile of another subgroup, children with Asperger’s Syndrome. 51 autistic, 15 Asperger and 42 typically developing children completed the WISC-IV and were individually matched to children who completed the WISC-III. Divergent WISC-IV profiles were observed despite no significant intelligence quotient difference between groups. Autistic children scored significantly higher on the Perceptual Reasoning Index than on the Verbal Comprehension Index, a discrepancy that nearly tripled in comparison to WISC-III results. Asperger children scored higher on the VCI than on other indexes, with the lowest score found on the Processing Speed Index. WISC-IV cognitive profiles were consistent with, but more pronounced than WISC-III profiles. Cognitive profiles are a valuable diagnostic tool for differential diagnosis, keeping in mind that children on the autism spectrum might be more sensitive to the choice of subtests used to assess intelligence. PMID:26673881
Nader, Anne-Marie; Jelenic, Patricia; Soulières, Isabelle
The cognitive profile and measured intellectual level vary according to assessment tools in children on the autism spectrum, much more so than in typically developing children. The recent inclusion of intellectual functioning in the diagnostic process for autism spectrum disorders leads to the crucial question on how to assess intelligence in autism, especially as some tests and subtests seem more sensitive to certain neurodevelopmental conditions. Our first aim was to examine the cognitive profile on the current version of the most widely used test, the Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children (WISC-IV), for a homogenous subgroup of children on the autism spectrum, i.e. corresponding to DSM-IV diagnosis of "autism". The second aim was to compare cognitive profiles obtained on the third edition versus 4th edition of WISC, in order to verify whether the WISC-IV yields a more distinctive cognitive profile in autistic children. The third aim was to examine the impact of the WISC-IV on the cognitive profile of another subgroup, children with Asperger's Syndrome. 51 autistic, 15 Asperger and 42 typically developing children completed the WISC-IV and were individually matched to children who completed the WISC-III. Divergent WISC-IV profiles were observed despite no significant intelligence quotient difference between groups. Autistic children scored significantly higher on the Perceptual Reasoning Index than on the Verbal Comprehension Index, a discrepancy that nearly tripled in comparison to WISC-III results. Asperger children scored higher on the VCI than on other indexes, with the lowest score found on the Processing Speed Index. WISC-IV cognitive profiles were consistent with, but more pronounced than WISC-III profiles. Cognitive profiles are a valuable diagnostic tool for differential diagnosis, keeping in mind that children on the autism spectrum might be more sensitive to the choice of subtests used to assess intelligence.
Full Text Available The cognitive profile and measured intellectual level vary according to assessment tools in children on the autism spectrum, much more so than in typically developing children. The recent inclusion of intellectual functioning in the diagnostic process for autism spectrum disorders leads to the crucial question on how to assess intelligence in autism, especially as some tests and subtests seem more sensitive to certain neurodevelopmental conditions. Our first aim was to examine the cognitive profile on the current version of the most widely used test, the Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children (WISC-IV, for a homogenous subgroup of children on the autism spectrum, i.e. corresponding to DSM-IV diagnosis of "autism". The second aim was to compare cognitive profiles obtained on the third edition versus 4th edition of WISC, in order to verify whether the WISC-IV yields a more distinctive cognitive profile in autistic children. The third aim was to examine the impact of the WISC-IV on the cognitive profile of another subgroup, children with Asperger's Syndrome. 51 autistic, 15 Asperger and 42 typically developing children completed the WISC-IV and were individually matched to children who completed the WISC-III. Divergent WISC-IV profiles were observed despite no significant intelligence quotient difference between groups. Autistic children scored significantly higher on the Perceptual Reasoning Index than on the Verbal Comprehension Index, a discrepancy that nearly tripled in comparison to WISC-III results. Asperger children scored higher on the VCI than on other indexes, with the lowest score found on the Processing Speed Index. WISC-IV cognitive profiles were consistent with, but more pronounced than WISC-III profiles. Cognitive profiles are a valuable diagnostic tool for differential diagnosis, keeping in mind that children on the autism spectrum might be more sensitive to the choice of subtests used to assess intelligence.
Full Text Available Intra-participant variability in clinical conditions such as autistic spectrum disorder (ASD is an important indicator of pathophysiological processing. The data reported here illustrate that trial-by-trial variability can be reliably measured from EEG, and that intra-participant EEG variability is significantly greater in those with ASD than in neuro-typical matched controls. EEG recorded at the scalp is a linear mixture of activity arising from muscle artifacts and numerous concurrent brain processes. To minimise these additional sources of variability, EEG data were subjected to two different methods of spatial filtering. (i The data were decomposed using infomax Independent Component Analysis (ICA, a method of blind source separation which un-mixes the EEG signal into components with maximally independent time-courses, and (ii a surface Laplacian transform was performed (Current Source Density interpolation in order to reduce the effects of volume conduction. Data are presented from thirteen high functioning adolescents with ASD without co-morbid ADHD, and twelve neuro-typical age- IQ- and gender-matched controls. Comparison of variability between the ASD and neuro-typical groups indicated that intra-participant variability of P1 latency and P1 amplitude was greater in the participants with ASD, and inter-trial α-band phase coherence was lower in the participants with ASD. These data support the suggestion that individuals with ASD are less able to synchronise the activity of stimulus-related cell assemblies than neuro-typical individuals, and provide empirical evidence in support of theories of increased neural noise in ASD.
Honaga, Eiko; Ishii, Ryouhei; Kurimoto, Ryu; Canuet, Leonides; Ikezawa, Koji; Takahashi, Hidetoshi; Nakahachi, Takayuki; Iwase, Masao; Mizuta, Ichiro; Yoshimine, Toshiki; Takeda, Masatoshi
The mu rhythm is regarded as a physiological indicator of the human mirror neuron system (MNS). The dysfunctional MNS hypothesis in patients with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) has often been tested using EEG and MEG, targeting mu rhythm suppression during action observation/execution, although with controversial results. We explored neural activity related to the MNS in patients with ASD, focusing on power increase in the beta frequency band after observation and execution of movements, known as post-movement beta rebound (PMBR). Multiple source beamformer (MSBF) and BrainVoyager QX were used for MEG source imaging and statistical group analysis, respectively. Seven patients with ASD and ten normal subjects participated in this study. During the MEG recordings, the subjects were asked to observe and later execute object-related hand actions performed by an experimenter. We found that both groups exhibited pronounced PMBR exceeding 20% when observing and executing actions with a similar topographic distribution of maximal activity. However, significantly reduced PMBR was found only during the observation condition in the patients relative to controls in cortical regions within the MNS, namely the sensorimotor area, premotor cortex and superior temporal gyrus. Reduced PMBR during the observation condition was also found in the medial prefrontal cortex. These results support the notion of a dysfunctional execution/observation matching system related to MNS impairment in patients with ASD, and the feasibility of using MEG to detect neural activity, in particular PMBR abnormalities, as an index of MNS dysfunction during performance of motor or cognitive tasks. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Saad, Khaled; Abdel-Rahman, Ahmed A; Elserogy, Yasser M; Al-Atram, Abdulrahman A; Cannell, John J; Bjørklund, Geir; Abdel-Reheim, Mohamed K; Othman, Hisham A K; El-Houfey, Amira A; Abd El-Aziz, Nafisa H R; Abd El-Baseer, Khaled A; Ahmed, Ahmed E; Ali, Ahmed M
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder characterized by pervasive deficits in social interaction, impairment in verbal and non-verbal communication, and stereotyped patterns of interests and activities. Vitamin-D deficiency was previously reported in autistic children. However, the data on the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and the severity of autism are limited. We performed a case-controlled cross-sectional analysis conducted on 122 ASD children, to assess their vitamin D status compared to controls and the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and the severity of autism. We also conducted an open trial of vitamin D supplementation in ASD children. Fifty-seven percent of the patients in the present study had vitamin D deficiency, and 30% had vitamin D insufficiency. The mean 25-OHD levels in patients with severe autism were significantly lower than those in patients with mild/moderate autism. Serum 25-OHD levels had significant negative correlations with Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) scores. Of the ASD group, 106 patients with low-serum 25-OHD levels (<30 ng/ml) participated in the open label trial. They received vitamin D3 (300 IU/kg/day not to exceed 5000 IU/day) for 3 months. Eighty-three subjects completed 3 months of daily vitamin D treatment. Collectively, 80.72% (67/83) of subjects who received vitamin D3 treatment had significantly improved outcome, which was mainly in the sections of the CARS and aberrant behavior checklist subscales that measure behavior, stereotypy, eye contact, and attention span. Vitamin D is inexpensive, readily available and safe. It may have beneficial effects in ASD subjects, especially when the final serum level is more than 40 ng/ml. UMIN-CTR Study Design: trial Number: R000016846.
Hanaie, Ryuzo; Mohri, Ikuko; Kagitani-Shimono, Kuriko; Tachibana, Masaya; Azuma, Junji; Matsuzaki, Junko; Watanabe, Yoshiyuki; Fujita, Norihiko; Taniike, Masako
Many studies have reported motor impairments in autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). However, the brain mechanism underlying motor impairment in ASD remains unclear. Recent neuroimaging studies have suggested that underconnectivity between the cerebellum and other brain regions contributes to the features of ASD. In this study, we investigated the microstructural integrity of the cerebellar pathways, including the superior, middle, and inferior cerebellar peduncles, of children with and without ASD by using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) tractography to determine whether the microstructural integrity of the cerebellar pathways is related to motor function in children with ASD. Thirteen children with ASD and 11 age-, gender-, handedness-, and IQ-matched typically developing (TD) controls were enrolled in this study. DTI outcome measurements, such as fractional anisotropy (FA), axial diffusivity (AD), and radial diffusivity (RD), for the cerebellar pathways were calculated. The Movement Assessment Battery for Children 2 (M-ABC 2) was used for assessing motor functions. There were no significant differences between the two groups in RD. However, compared to the TD subjects, patients with ASD had a significantly lower FA in the right superior cerebellar peduncle and lower AD in the left superior cerebellar peduncle, in addition to a significantly lower score in ball skills and the total test score of M-ABC 2. There was a significant positive correlation between the total test score of M-ABC 2 and FA in the right superior cerebellar peduncle in the ASD group. These findings suggest that the altered microstructural integrity of the superior cerebellar peduncle may be related to motor impairment in ASD.
Stokes, M A; Kornienko, L; Scheeren, A M; Koot, H M; Begeer, S
PURPOSE: Children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are understood to experience a reduced quality of life compared to typically developing (TD) peers. The evidence to support this has largely been derived from proxy reports, in turn which have been evaluated by Cronbach's alpha
Brignell, Amanda; Williams, Katrina; Prior, Margot; Donath, Susan; Reilly, Sheena; Bavin, Edith L.; Eadie, Patricia; Morgan, Angela T.
We compared loss and gain in communication from 1 to 2 years in children later diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (n = 41), language impairment (n = 110) and in children with typical language development at 7 years (n = 831). Participants were selected from a prospective population cohort study of child language (the Early Language in…
Lawson, Rebecca P; Aylward, Jessica; Roiser, Jonathan P; Rees, Geraint
Perceptual constancy strongly relies on adaptive gain control mechanisms, which shift perception as a function of recent sensory history. Here we examined the extent to which individual differences in magnitude of adaptation aftereffects for social and non-social directional cues are related to autistic traits and sensory sensitivity in healthy participants (Experiment 1); and also whether adaptation for social and non-social directional cues is differentially impacted in adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) relative to neurotypical (NT) controls (Experiment 2). In Experiment 1, individuals with lower susceptibility to adaptation aftereffects, i.e. more 'veridical' perception, showed higher levels of autistic traits across social and non-social stimuli. Furthermore, adaptation aftereffects were predictive of sensory sensitivity. In Experiment 2, only adaptation to eye-gaze was diminished in adults with ASD, and this was related to difficulties categorizing eye-gaze direction at baseline. Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) scores negatively predicted lower adaptation for social (head and eye-gaze direction) but not non-social (chair) stimuli. These results suggest that the relationship between adaptation and the broad socio-cognitive processing style captured by 'autistic traits' may be relatively domain-general, but in adults with ASD diminished adaptation is only apparent where processing is most severely impacted, such as the perception of social attention cues. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Grayson, Dennis R; Guidotti, Alessandro
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by a wide range of cognitive and behavioral abnormalities. Genetic research has identified large numbers of genes that contribute to ASD phenotypes. There is compelling evidence that environmental factors contribute to ASD through influences that differentially impact the brain through epigenetic mechanisms. Both genetic mutations and epigenetic influences alter gene expression in different cell types of the brain. Mutations impact the expression of large numbers of genes and also have downstream consequences depending on specific pathways associated with the mutation. Environmental factors impact the expression of sets of genes by altering methylation/hydroxymethylation patterns, local histone modification patterns and chromatin remodeling. Herein, we discuss recent developments in the research of ASD with a focus on epigenetic pathways as a complement to current genetic screening.
Toscano, Chrystiane V A; Carvalho, Humberto M; Ferreira, José P
This study examined the effects of a 48-week exercise-based intervention on the metabolic profile, autism traits, and perceived quality of life in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We randomly allocated 64 children with ASD (aged 6-12 years) to experimental ( n = 46) and control groups ( n = 18) and used multilevel regression modeling to examine responses to receiving or not receiving the intervention. The experimental group showed beneficial effects on metabolic indicators (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and total cholesterol), autism traits, and parent-perceived quality of life. Our results provide support for exercise and physical activity, including basic coordination and strength exercises, as important therapeutic interventions for children with ASD.
Full Text Available The article presents a generalized overview of international approaches to the evaluation and formation of communication in children with autism spectrum disor ders (ASD. Described radicals communication disorders in children with ASD. Analyzed foreign approaches (Communication system for the exchange of images (PECS Lori Frost and Andrew Bondy; options piktogramme6ideogrammic communication (bliss6symbolism, Loeb system, a system of sign language; Program in Applied verbal behavior; a Method of facilitating communication (FC and others used for the development of communication in children with ASD and donditions underlying these approaches. Examined differences in focus for the development of communication in children with ASD in domestic and foreign schools. The main conditions for the development of communication in children with ASD described in the framework of cultural historical psychology and activity approach, ensuring the inclusion of children with ASD in education.
Deruelle, C; Hubert, B; Santos, A; Wicker, B
Recent empirical findings suggest a significant influence of emotion on memory processes. Surprisingly, although emotion-processing difficulties appear to be a hallmark feature in autism spectrum disorders (ASD), their impact on higher-level cognitive functions, such as memory, has not been directly studied in this population. The aim of this study was to address this issue by assessing whether the emotional valence of visual scenes affects recall skills in high-functioning individuals with ASD. To this purpose, their recall performance of neutral and emotional pictures was compared with that of typically developing adults (control group). Results revealed that while typically developing individuals showed enhanced recall skills for negative relative to positive and neutral pictures, individuals with ASD recalled the neutral pictures as well as the emotional ones. Findings of this study thus point to reduced influence of emotion on memory processes in ASD than in typically developing individuals, possibly owing to amygdala dysfunctions.
Multiple functional imaging techniques help to a better understanding of the neurobiological basis of autism-spectrum disorders (ASD). The early functional imaging studies on ASD focused on task-specific methods related to core symptom domains and explored patterns of activation in response to face processing, theory of mind tasks, language processing and executive function tasks. On the other hand, fMRI research in ASD focused on the development of functional connectivity methods and has provided evidence of alterations in cortical connectivity in ASD and establish autism as a disorder of under-connectivity among the brain regions participating in cortical networks. This atypical functional connectivity in ASD results in inefficiency and poor integration of processing in network connections to achieve task performance. The goal of this review is to summarise the actual neuroimaging functional data and examine their implication for understanding of the neurobiology of ASD.
Garofoli, Francesca; Lombardi, Giuseppina; Orcesi, Simona; Pisoni, Camilla; Mazzucchelli, Iolanda; Angelini, Micol; Balottin, Umberto; Stronati, Mauro
The aim of this retrospective study, with prospective data collection, was to correlate congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and to define its prevalence. Seventy proven congenitally-infected infants, born between 2007 and 2012, were referred to our centre for CMV diagnosis and follow-up, which consisted of a consolidated protocol allowing an early evaluation of autism. We considered four children 2-year old, two of whom, at the age of 3, were diagnosed with ASD demonstrating a 2-3 fold higher prevalence (2.86%), than that in general Italian population (0.66-1.36%).Our protocol enabled us to make the earliest diagnosis and highlight the role of the virus among other causes of autism, which may be a long term sequela of congenital CMV.
Robert, Cyrille; Pasquier, Laurent; Cohen, David; Fradin, Mélanie; Canitano, Roberto; Damaj, Léna; Odent, Sylvie; Tordjman, Sylvie
Progress in epidemiological, molecular and clinical genetics with the development of new techniques has improved knowledge on genetic syndromes associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The objective of this article is to show the diversity of genetic disorders associated with ASD (based on an extensive review of single-gene disorders, copy number variants, and other chromosomal disorders), and consequently to propose a hierarchical diagnostic strategy with a stepwise evaluation, helping general practitioners/pediatricians and child psychiatrists to collaborate with geneticists and neuropediatricians, in order to search for genetic disorders associated with ASD. The first step is a clinical investigation involving: (i) a child psychiatric and psychological evaluation confirming autism diagnosis from different observational sources and assessing autism severity; (ii) a neuropediatric evaluation examining neurological symptoms and developmental milestones; and (iii) a genetic evaluation searching for dysmorphic features and malformations. The second step involves laboratory and if necessary neuroimaging and EEG studies oriented by clinical results based on clinical genetic and neuropediatric examinations. The identification of genetic disorders associated with ASD has practical implications for diagnostic strategies, early detection or prevention of co-morbidity, specific treatment and follow up, and genetic counseling.
Robert, Cyrille; Pasquier, Laurent; Cohen, David; Fradin, Mélanie; Canitano, Roberto; Damaj, Léna; Odent, Sylvie; Tordjman, Sylvie
Progress in epidemiological, molecular and clinical genetics with the development of new techniques has improved knowledge on genetic syndromes associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The objective of this article is to show the diversity of genetic disorders associated with ASD (based on an extensive review of single-gene disorders, copy number variants, and other chromosomal disorders), and consequently to propose a hierarchical diagnostic strategy with a stepwise evaluation, helping general practitioners/pediatricians and child psychiatrists to collaborate with geneticists and neuropediatricians, in order to search for genetic disorders associated with ASD. The first step is a clinical investigation involving: (i) a child psychiatric and psychological evaluation confirming autism diagnosis from different observational sources and assessing autism severity; (ii) a neuropediatric evaluation examining neurological symptoms and developmental milestones; and (iii) a genetic evaluation searching for dysmorphic features and malformations. The second step involves laboratory and if necessary neuroimaging and EEG studies oriented by clinical results based on clinical genetic and neuropediatric examinations. The identification of genetic disorders associated with ASD has practical implications for diagnostic strategies, early detection or prevention of co-morbidity, specific treatment and follow up, and genetic counseling. PMID:28287497
Full Text Available A central diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder (ASD is the qualitative impairment in reciprocal social interaction and a prominent hypotheses that tried to explain this impairment is the Theory of Mind (ToM deficit hypotheses. On a behavioral level the critical test for having a ToM, the understanding of false beliefs (FB, is often used for testing ToM abilities in individuals with ASD. Investigating the neural underpinnings several neuroimaging studies revealed a network of areas involved in FB reasoning in neurotypical individuals. For ASD individuals the neural correlates of false belief processing are largely unknown. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging and an adapted unexpected transfer task, that makes it possible to distinguish between the computation of diverging beliefs and the selection of a belief-associated response, we investigated a group of adult high-functioning individuals with ASD (N = 15 and an age and IQ matched group of neurotypical adults (NT; N = 15. On the behavioral level we found no group differences. On the neural level, results were two-fold: In the story phase, in which participants had to compute whether the character's belief is congruent or incongruent to their own belief, there were no differences between neurotypical participants and those diagnosed with ASD. But, in the subsequent question phase, participants with ASD showed increased activity in the bilateral anterior prefrontal cortex, the left posterior frontal cortex, the left superior temporal gyrus, and the left temporoparietal area. These results suggest that during the story phase in which the participants processed observable actions the neural correlates do not differ between adult individuals with ASD and NT individuals. But in the question phase in which participants had to infer an unobservable mental state results revealed neural differences between the two groups. Possibly, these subtle neural processing differences may
Arkush, Leo; Smith-Collins, Adam P R; Fiorentini, Chiara; Skuse, David H
The ability to remember faces is critical for the development of social competence. From childhood to adulthood, we acquire a high level of expertise in the recognition of facial images, and neural processes become dedicated to sustaining competence. Many people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have poor face recognition memory; changes in hairstyle or other non-facial features in an otherwise familiar person affect their recollection skills. The observation implies that they may not use the configuration of the inner face to achieve memory competence, but bolster performance in other ways. We aimed to test this hypothesis by comparing the performance of a group of high-functioning unmedicated adolescents with ASD and a matched control group on a "surprise" face recognition memory task. We compared their memory for unfamiliar faces with their memory for images of houses. To evaluate the role that is played by peripheral cues in assisting recognition memory, we cropped both sets of pictures, retaining only the most salient central features. ASD adolescents had poorer recognition memory for faces than typical controls, but their recognition memory for houses was unimpaired. Cropping images of faces did not disproportionately influence their recall accuracy, relative to controls. House recognition skills (cropped and uncropped) were similar in both groups. In the ASD group only, performance on both sets of task was closely correlated, implying that memory for faces and other complex pictorial stimuli is achieved by domain-general (non-dedicated) cognitive mechanisms. Adolescents with ASD apparently do not use domain-specialized processing of inner facial cues to support face recognition memory. © 2013 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Rohmani Nur Indah
Full Text Available This research focuses on the semantics acquisition of a child with language delay diagnosed as autistic spectrum disorder (ASD. The research problem is on how the child acquired the ability to comprehend meaning. It aims at answering the questions on how the child identified lexical meanings and how he labeled targeted lexicons of his first language. The approach employed in this research is descriptive qualitative to get adequate explanation on a specific language phenomenon, namely semantics acquisition. Its design is case study with the type neo-ethnographic. As the data collection method, it uses participant observation of longitudinal study considering that the research subject has familial relation with the researcher. The data analysis shows that the semantic acquisition of the research subject has complexity in vocabulary enrichment. The research subject often performs echolalic speech when he is asked to identify or label certain object given. The typical idiosyncratic speech is shown by the unique feature of limited syllable and prosody. In general, his ability to identify lexical meanings is far exceeding his ability to label objects. He also has sensitivity to perceive the non-verbal symbol performed by the people he knows well. The use of verbal language supported by non-verbal language facilitates his perception. He finds it difficult to comprehend the lexicons having similar sound as he assumes that one lexicon represents one object which typically belongs to concrete object. In addition, the ability of the research subject in labeling objects cannot be developed easily because of his difficulty in expressing ideas through words. To pronounce the words correctly, he shows high anxiety by lowering down his speech. In selecting the lexicon he also finds it hard to use pronoun, to label homonyms and to apply both polysemy and hyponym. Accordingly, he tends to communicate only to fulfill his needs by asking things, asking the
Lehnhardt, Fritz-Georg; Falter, Christine Michaela; Gawronski, Astrid; Pfeiffer, Kathleen; Tepest, Ralf; Franklin, Jeremy; Vogeley, Kai
Females with high-functioning ASD are known to camouflage their autistic symptoms better than their male counterparts, making them prone to being under-ascertained and delayed in diagnostic assessment. Thus far the underlying cognitive processes that enable such successful socio-communicative adaptation are not well understood. The current results…
Iseminger, Scott H.
Early childhood and elementary music teachers face particular challenges when including children with special needs in the music classroom. Children with autism act out and misbehave not because they are autistic, but because their fears and anxieties are so great. Knowing that children with autism and other neurological disorders have distinct…
"I Think Autism Is Like Running on Windows While Everyone Else Is a Mac": Using a Participatory Action Research Approach with Students on the Autistic Spectrum to Rearticulate Autism and the Lived Experience of University
Vincent, Jonathan; Potts, Megan; Fletcher, Daniel; Hodges, Simon; Howells, Jenny; Mitchell, Alex; Mallon, Brett; Ledger, Thomas
This co-authored article outlines the research process and key findings from the Stratus Writers Project, a participatory action research project with a group of seven students on the autistic spectrum at a university in the North of England. The project explores their experiences of university through critical autobiographies and offers unique…
Buitelaar, J K; van der Wees, M; Swaab-Barneveld, H; van der Gaag, R J
The hypothesis was tested that weak theory of mind (ToM) and/or emotion recognition (ER) abilities are specific to subjects with autism. Differences in ToM and ER performance were examined between autistic (n = 20), pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) (n = 20), psychiatric control (n = 20), and normal children (n = 20). The clinical groups were matched person-to-person on age and verbal IQ. We used tasks for the matching and the context recognition of emotional expressions, and a set of first- and second-order ToM tasks. Autistic and PDD-NOS children could not be significantly differentiated from each other, nor could they be differentiated from the psychiatric controls with a diagnosis of ADHD (n = 9). The psychiatric controls with conduct disorder or dysthymia performed about as well as normal children. The variance in second-order ToM performance contributed most to differences between diagnostic groups.
Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorder (ASD has been widely recognized as a complex neurodevelopmental disorder. A large number of neuroimaging studies suggest abnormalities in brain structure and function of patients with ASD, but there is still no consistent conclusion. We sought to investigate both of the structural and functional brain changes in 3–7-year-old children with ASD compared with typically developing controls (TDs, and to assess whether these alterations are associated with autistic behavioral symptoms. Firstly, we applied an optimized method of voxel-based morphometry (VBM analysis on structural magnetic resonance imaging (sMRI data to assess the differences of gray matter volume (GMV between 31 autistic boys aged 3–7 and 31 age- and handness-matched male TDs. Secondly, we used clusters with between-group differences as seed regions to generate intrinsic functional connectivity maps based on resting-state functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fcMRI in order to evaluate the functional impairments induced by structural alterations. Brain-behavior correlations were assessed among GMV, functional connectivity and symptom severity in children with ASD. VBM analyses revealed increased GMV in left superior temporal gyrus (STG and left postcentral gyrus (PCG in ASD children, comparing with TDs. Using left PCG as a seed region, ASD children displayed significantly higher positive connectivity with right angular gyrus (AG and greater negative connectivity with right superior parietal gyrus (SPG and right superior occipital gyrus (SOG, which were associated with the severity of symptoms in social interaction, communication and self-care ability. We suggest that stronger functional connectivity between left PCG and right AG, SPG, and SOG detected in young boys with ASD may serve as important indicators of disease severity. Our study provided preliminary functional evidence that may underlie impaired higher-order multisensory
Wang, Jia; Fu, Kuang; Chen, Lei; Duan, Xujun; Guo, Xiaonan; Chen, Heng; Wu, Qiong; Xia, Wei; Wu, Lijie; Chen, Huafu
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been widely recognized as a complex neurodevelopmental disorder. A large number of neuroimaging studies suggest abnormalities in brain structure and function of patients with ASD, but there is still no consistent conclusion. We sought to investigate both of the structural and functional brain changes in 3-7-year-old children with ASD compared with typically developing controls (TDs), and to assess whether these alterations are associated with autistic behavioral symptoms. Firstly, we applied an optimized method of voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analysis on structural magnetic resonance imaging (sMRI) data to assess the differences of gray matter volume (GMV) between 31 autistic boys aged 3-7 and 31 age- and handness-matched male TDs. Secondly, we used clusters with between-group differences as seed regions to generate intrinsic functional connectivity maps based on resting-state functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fcMRI) in order to evaluate the functional impairments induced by structural alterations. Brain-behavior correlations were assessed among GMV, functional connectivity and symptom severity in children with ASD. VBM analyses revealed increased GMV in left superior temporal gyrus (STG) and left postcentral gyrus (PCG) in ASD children, comparing with TDs. Using left PCG as a seed region, ASD children displayed significantly higher positive connectivity with right angular gyrus (AG) and greater negative connectivity with right superior parietal gyrus (SPG) and right superior occipital gyrus (SOG), which were associated with the severity of symptoms in social interaction, communication and self-care ability. We suggest that stronger functional connectivity between left PCG and right AG, SPG, and SOG detected in young boys with ASD may serve as important indicators of disease severity. Our study provided preliminary functional evidence that may underlie impaired higher-order multisensory integration in ASD
Dou, Yanmei; Yang, Xiaoxu; Li, Ziyi; Wang, Sheng; Zhang, Zheng; Ye, Adam Yongxin; Yan, Linlin; Yang, Changhong; Wu, Qixi; Li, Jiarui; Zhao, Boxun; Huang, August Yue; Wei, Liping
The roles and characteristics of postzygotic single-nucleotide mosaicisms (pSNMs) in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) remain unclear. In this study of the whole exomes of 2,361 families in the Simons Simplex Collection, we identified 1,248 putative pSNMs in children and 285 de novo SNPs in children with detectable parental mosaicism. Ultra-deep amplicon resequencing suggested a validation rate of 51%. Analyses of validated pSNMs revealed that missense/loss-of-function (LoF) pSNMs with a high mutant allele fraction (MAF≥ 0.2) contributed to ASD diagnoses (P = 0.022, odds ratio [OR] = 5.25), whereas missense/LoF pSNMs with a low MAF (MAF<0.2) contributed to autistic traits in male non-ASD siblings (P = 0.033). LoF pSNMs in parents were less likely to be transmitted to offspring than neutral pSNMs (P = 0.037), and missense/LoF pSNMs in parents with a low MAF were transmitted more to probands than to siblings (P = 0.016, OR = 1.45). We estimated that pSNMs in probands or de novo mutations inherited from parental pSNMs increased the risk of ASD by approximately 6%. Adding pSNMs into the transmission and de novo association test model revealed 13 new ASD risk genes. These results expand the existing repertoire of genes involved in ASD and shed new light on the contribution of genomic mosaicisms to ASD diagnoses and autistic traits. © 2017 The Authors. Human Mutation published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Neil, Louise; Olsson, Nora Choque; Pellicano, Elizabeth
Guided by a recent theory that proposes fundamental differences in how autistic individuals deal with uncertainty, we investigated the extent to which the cognitive construct "intolerance of uncertainty" and anxiety were related to parental reports of sensory sensitivities in 64 autistic and 85 typically developing children aged…
Lodhi, Shaia Kan; Thaver, Danyal; Akhtar, Irfan Nake; Javaid, Hina; Masoor, Maman; Bano, Shah; Malik, Fatima Noor; Iqbal, Mehreen Rizwana; Hashmi, Hassan Raza; Siddiqullah, Syed; Saleem, Sarah
Learning impairments in children consist of a spectrum of disorders that are under diagnosed in Pakistan. Most learning disorders have long term consequences for a child and early detection is thus imperative. Teachers may be able to play a key role in such identification. The objective of our study was to survey knowledge, attitudes and practices of school teachers regarding dyslexia, Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autistic spectrum disorder, and assess their ability to identify learning disabilities. A cross-sectional study was conducted with 233 primary school teachers from Karachi using a self-administered questionnaire. Mean scores for the knowledge test and the ability to identify learning- impaired children were 58.8% and 53.3%, respectively. Better qualified teachers scored significantly more on the knowledge and ability to identify learning impairments sections. Most teachers believed that these students should study in mainstream schools with special educators. Majority of the teachers belonged to schools where children with learning disabilities were detected using teachers' judgment. Most teachers manage these children by involving them in discussions, seating them at the front of the class, and giving them extra time. Knowledge about learning disabilities is very low amongst school teachers, which may limit their ability to identify learning impairments.
Matson, Johnny L.; Kozlowski, Alison M.
Autistic regression is one of the many mysteries in the developmental course of autism and pervasive developmental disorders not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). Various definitions of this phenomenon have been used, further clouding the study of the topic. Despite this problem, some efforts at establishing prevalence have been made. The purpose of…
Full Text Available This paper addresses UI (User Interface designing based on multi-touch collaborative gesture recognition meant for ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder - affected children. The present user interfaces (in the context of behavioral interventions for Autism Spectrum disorder are investigated in detail. Thorough comparison has been made among various groups of these UIs. Advantages and limitations of these interfaces are discussed and future directions for the design of such interfaces are suggested.
Hassan, A.; Shafi, M.; Khattak, M.
This paper addresses UI (User Interface) designing based on multi-touch collaborative gesture recognition meant for ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) - affected children. The present user interfaces (in the context of behavioral interventions for Autism Spectrum disorder) are investigated in detail. Thorough comparison has been made among various groups of these UIs. Advantages and limitations of these interfaces are discussed and future directions for the design of such interfaces are suggested. (author)
Metsu, Sofie; Rainger, Jacqueline K; Debacker, Kim; Bernhard, Birgitta; Rooms, Liesbeth; Grafodatskaya, Daria; Weksberg, Rosanna; Fombonne, Eric; Taylor, Martin S; Scherer, Stephen W; Kooy, R Frank; FitzPatrick, David R
We report de novo occurrence of the 7p11.2 folate-sensitive fragile site FRA7A in a male with an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) due to a CGG-repeat expansion mutation (∼450 repeats) in a 5' intron of ZNF713. This expanded allele showed hypermethylation of the adjacent CpG island with reduced ZNF713 expression observed in a proband-derived lymphoblastoid cell line (LCL). His unaffected mother carried an unmethylated premutation (85 repeats). This CGG-repeat showed length polymorphism in control samples (five to 22 repeats). In a second unrelated family, three siblings with ASD and their unaffected father were found to carry FRA7A premutations, which were partially or mosaically methylated. In one of the affected siblings, mitotic instability of the premutation was observed. ZNF713 expression in LCLs in this family was increased in three of these four premutation carriers. A firm link cannot yet be established between ASD and the repeat expansion mutation but plausible pathogenic mechanisms are discussed. © 2014 WILEY PERIODICALS, INC.
De Andrés-García, S; Moya-Albiol, L; González-Bono, E
In the caregiving model of chronic stress, few studies have been conducted with young middle-aged samples and no data exists about acute stress response in this population. To extend knowledge in this issue, health complaints and psychological, endocrine, and immunological responses to stress have been assessed in a cross-sectional sample of 41 parents of offspring with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) in comparison with 37 non-caregiver parents. Salivary cortisol and immunoglobulin A (IgA) levels were measured before, during, and after a mental psychosocial stressor, while mood and state anxiety were evaluated before and after the stress. Health complaints, personality traits, socio-economic status, and characteristics of the care recipient were assessed. Caregivers reported more health complaints showing buffered cortisol and IgA responses and greater increases in fatigue to acute stress than the controls. In terms of predictive power of health complaints, IgA levels, care status, and severity of the care recipient are especially relevant for caregivers. Results strongly suggest a dysregulation in the immune and hormonal stress-induced responses in middle-aged caregivers, with immune component and care characteristics as the main modulators of health complaints. A deficit in the adaptive capability of stress response is plausible in this population, emphasizing the need to consider family approaches when planning protocols for assistance to ASD patients. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Levels and Correlations with Symptoms in Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Typically Developing Controls.
Parletta, Natalie; Niyonsenga, Theophile; Duff, Jacques
There is evidence that children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have lower omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) levels compared with controls and conflicting evidence regarding omega-6 (n-6) PUFA levels. This study investigated whether erythrocyte n-3 PUFAs eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) were lower and n-6 PUFA arachidonic acid (AA) higher in children with ADHD, ASD and controls, and whether lower n-3 and higher n-6 PUFAs correlated with poorer scores on the Australian Twin Behaviour Rating Scale (ATBRS; ADHD symptoms) and Test of Variable Attention (TOVA) in children with ADHD, and Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) in children with ASD. Assessments and blood samples of 565 children aged 3-17 years with ADHD (n = 401), ASD (n = 85) or controls (n = 79) were analysed. One-way ANOVAs with Tukey's post-hoc analysis investigated differences in PUFA levels between groups and Pearson's correlations investigated correlations between PUFA levels and ATBRS, TOVA and CARS scores. Children with ADHD and ASD had lower DHA, EPA and AA, higher AA/EPA ratio and lower n-3/n-6 than controls (Pdisorders.
O'Reilly, Michelle; Karim, Khalid; Lester, Jessica Nina
Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) is a life-long condition. In recent years, there has been a rise in the number of children diagnosed with ASD and a greater recognition that parents need clear, accessible information communicated through different modalities. The objective of this research was to explore the views of stakeholders regarding their information needs, current information modalities and the perceived barriers and complexities of information. Three focus groups with the same stakeholders were conducted with a range of individuals from a variety of backgrounds, all of whom had a personal and/or professional interest in ASD. The same stakeholders were included in all three groups to promote depth of analysis and to facilitate rapport. All focus groups were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. Three main issues were identified, including (1) the value of particular information sources; (2) the vulnerability of families and (3) the need for validated evidence. It was concluded, therefore, that information should be available through a multitude of modalities, accounting for the educational ability and economic status of families. The information should also be communicated in an accessible style, should be presented as trustworthy and clinical professionals may play a key role in translating information. Such information also needs to account for practical problems inherent to having a child with ASD, including time constraints and fatigue. © The Author(s) 2014.
Hidding, E; Swaab, H; de Sonneville, L M J; van Engeland, H; Vorstman, J A S
This paper examines how COMT 158 genotypes and plasma proline levels are associated with variable penetrance of social behavioural and social cognitive problems in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS). Severity of autistic spectrum symptoms of 45 participants with 22q11DS was assessed using the Autism Diagnostic Interview Revised. Face and facial emotion recognition was evaluated using standardized computer-based test-paradigms. Associations with COMT 158 genotypes and proline levels were examined. High proline levels and poor face recognition in individuals with the COMT MET allele, and poor facial emotion recognition, explained almost 50% of the variance in severity of autism symptomatology in individuals with 22q11DS. High proline levels and a decreased capacity to break down dopamine as a result of the COMT MET variant are both relevant in the expression of the social phenotype in patients. This epistatic interaction effect between the COMT 158 genotype and proline on the expression of social deficits in 22q11DS shows how factors other than the direct effects of the deletion itself can modulate the penetrance of associated cognitive and behavioural outcomes. These findings are not only relevant to our insight into 22q11DS, but also provide a model to better understand the phenomenon of variable penetrance in other pathogenic genetic variants. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Physiological responses to social and nonsocial stimuli in neurotypical adults with high and low levels of autistic traits: implications for understanding nonsocial drive in autism spectrum disorders.
Singleton, Clarence J; Ashwin, Chris; Brosnan, Mark
Researchers have suggested that the two primary cognitive features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a drive toward nonsocial processing and a reduced drive toward social processing, may be unrelated to each other in the neurotypical (NT) population and may therefore require separate explanations. Drive toward types of processing may be related to physiological arousal to categories of stimuli, such as social (e.g., faces) or nonsocial (e.g., trains). This study investigated how autistic traits in an NT population might relate to differences in physiological responses to nonsocial compared with social stimuli. NT participants were recruited to examine these differences in those with high vs. low degrees of ASD traits. Forty-six participants (21 male, 25 female) completed the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) to measure ASD traits before viewing a series of 24 images while skin conductance response (SCR) was recorded. Images included six nonsocial, six social, six face-like cartoons, and six nonsocial (relating to participants' personal interests). Analysis revealed that those with a higher AQ had significantly greater SCR arousal to nonsocial stimuli than those with a low AQ, and the higher the AQ, the greater the difference between SCR arousal to nonsocial and social stimuli. This is the first study to identify the relationship between AQ and physiological response to nonsocial stimuli, and a relationship between physiological response to both social and nonsocial stimuli, suggesting that physiological response may underlie the atypical drive toward nonsocial processing seen in ASD, and that at the physiological level at least the social and nonsocial in ASD may be related to one another. © 2014 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Hiroki C Tanabe
Full Text Available Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD are known to have difficulty with eye contact. This might make it difficult for partners to communicate with them face-to-face. To elucidate the neural substrates of live inter-subject interactions of ASD patients and typically-developed (normal subjects, we conducted hyper-scanning functional MRI with 21 subjects with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD paired with normal subjects, and with 19 pairs of normal subjects as a control. Baseline eye contact was maintained while subjects performed a real-time joint-attention task. The task-related effects were modeled out, and inter-individual correlation analysis was performed on the residual time-course data. ASD–Normal pairs were less accurate at detecting gaze direction than Normal–Normal pairs. Performance was impaired both in ASD subjects and in their normal partners. The left occipital pole activation caused by gaze processing was reduced in ASD subjects, suggesting that deterioration of eye-cue detection in ASD is related to impairment of early visual processing of gaze. By contrast, their normal partners showed greater activity in the bilateral occipital cortex and the right prefrontal area, indicating a compensatory workload. Inter-brain coherence in the right IFG reported previously in Normal–Normal pairs during eye contact was diminished in ASD–Normal pairs. Intra-brain functional connectivity between the right IFG and right superior temporal sulcus (STS in normal subjects paired with ASD subjects was reduced compared with in Normal–Normal pairs. This functional connectivity was positively correlated with performance of normal partners in eye-cue detection. Considering the integrative role of the right STS in gaze processing, inter-subject synchronization during eye contact might be a prerequisite for eye-cue detection by the normal partner.
Global methylation profiling of lymphoblastoid cell lines reveals epigenetic contributions to autism spectrum disorders and a novel autism candidate gene, RORA, whose protein product is reduced in autistic brain
Nguyen, AnhThu; Rauch, Tibor A.; Pfeifer, Gerd P.; Hu, Valerie W.
Autism is currently considered a multigene disorder with epigenetic influences. To investigate the contribution of DNA methylation to autism spectrum disorders, we have recently completed large-scale methylation profiling by CpG island microarray analysis of lymphoblastoid cell lines derived from monozygotic twins discordant for diagnosis of autism and their nonautistic siblings. Methylation profiling revealed many candidate genes differentially methylated between discordant MZ twins as well as between both twins and nonautistic siblings. Bioinformatics analysis of the differentially methylated genes demonstrated enrichment for high-level functions including gene transcription, nervous system development, cell death/survival, and other biological processes implicated in autism. The methylation status of 2 of these candidate genes, BCL-2 and retinoic acid-related orphan receptor alpha (RORA), was further confirmed by bisulfite sequencing and methylation-specific PCR, respectively. Immunohistochemical analyses of tissue arrays containing slices of the cerebellum and frontal cortex of autistic and age- and sex-matched control subjects revealed decreased expression of RORA and BCL-2 proteins in the autistic brain. Our data thus confirm the role of epigenetic regulation of gene expression via differential DNA methylation in idiopathic autism, and furthermore link molecular changes in a peripheral cell model with brain pathobiology in autism.—Nguyen, A., Rauch, T. A., Pfeifer, G. P., Hu, V. W. Global methylation profiling of lymphoblastoid cell lines reveals epigenetic contributions to autism spectrum disorders and a novel autism candidate gene, RORA, whose protein product is reduced in autistic brain. PMID:20375269
Reed, P.; Staytom, L.; Stott, S.; Truzoli, R.
Background: This study investigated the relative ease of learning across four tasks suggested by an adaptation of Thomas's hierarchy of learning in children with Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorders and mental age-matched controls. Methods: Learning trials were carried out to investigate observational learning, instrumental learning, reversal…
Begeer, S.; Rieffe, C.J.; Meerum Terwogt, M.; Stockmann, L.
In this study we investigated whether task interest facilitated the application of Theory of Mind capacities in high-functioning children from the autism spectrum. Children were invited to carry out two simple tasks. Sabotage of both tasks by a third party resulted in the experimenter appearing to
Dekker, Linda P.; Hartman, Catharina A.; van der Vegt, Esther J. M.; Verhulst, Frank C.; van Oort, Floor V. A.; Greaves-Lord, Kirstin
Individuals with autistic traits are considered to be prone to develop psychosexual problems due to their limited social skills and insight. This study investigated the longitudinal relation between autistic traits in childhood (T1; age 10-12 years) and parent-reported psychosexual problems in early adolescence (T2; age 12-15 years). In a general…
Dekker, Linda P.; Hartman, Catharina A.; van der Vegt, Esther J. M.; Verhulst, Frank C.; van Oort, Floor V. A.; Greaves-Lord, Kirstin
Individuals with autistic traits are considered to be prone to develop psychosexual problems due to their limited social skills and insight. This study investigated the longitudinal relation between autistic traits in childhood (T1; age 10-12 years) and parent-reported psychosexual problems in early
Omega-3 and Omega-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Levels and Correlations with Symptoms in Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Typically Developing Controls
Niyonsenga, Theophile; Duff, Jacques
Background There is evidence that children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have lower omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) levels compared with controls and conflicting evidence regarding omega-6 (n-6) PUFA levels. Objectives This study investigated whether erythrocyte n-3 PUFAs eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) were lower and n-6 PUFA arachidonic acid (AA) higher in children with ADHD, ASD and controls, and whether lower n-3 and higher n-6 PUFAs correlated with poorer scores on the Australian Twin Behaviour Rating Scale (ATBRS; ADHD symptoms) and Test of Variable Attention (TOVA) in children with ADHD, and Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) in children with ASD. Methods Assessments and blood samples of 565 children aged 3–17 years with ADHD (n = 401), ASD (n = 85) or controls (n = 79) were analysed. One-way ANOVAs with Tukey’s post-hoc analysis investigated differences in PUFA levels between groups and Pearson’s correlations investigated correlations between PUFA levels and ATBRS, TOVA and CARS scores. Results Children with ADHD and ASD had lower DHA, EPA and AA, higher AA/EPA ratio and lower n-3/n-6 than controls (PADHD and controls: P = 0.047). Children with ASD had lower DHA, EPA and AA than children with ADHD (PADHD and ASD had low levels of EPA, DHA and AA and high ratio of n-6/n-3 PUFAs and these correlated significantly with symptoms. Future research should further investigate abnormal fatty acid metabolism in these disorders. PMID:27232999
Agius, May M; Vance, Margaret
Few studies have compared the efficacy of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and iPads used as speech generating devices (SGDs), and none have targeted preschoolers. This study compares the relative efficacy of PECS and an iPad/SGD with three preschool-aged children with autism spectrum disorder and limited functional speech who lived in Malta. The study utilized an adapted alternating treatment design embedded in a multiple baseline design, with requesting of reinforcers as the dependent variable. Visual analysis of the results indicated that all participants required more prompted trials and sessions for the iPad/SGD condition. All participants learned a three step navigational sequence on the iPad. Participant preference probes were inconclusive and were not linked to speed of acquisition of requesting skills. Results suggest that both PECS and an iPad could be appropriate for teaching requesting skills to beginning communicators.
Operto, Francesca Felicia; Martino, Federica; Rinaldi, Annalisa; Cerracchio, Angelo; Salvati, Giovanni; Orza, Mariano; Lembo, Claudia; Panzarino, Gianvito; Di Paolantonio, Claudia; Verrotti, Alberto; Farello, Giovanni; Coppola, Giangennaro
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder, characterized by impaired social communication and restricted and repetitive behaviours, as well as associated features including intellectual disability and impaired sensorimotor function. Despite a growing interest in this devastating disorder for families and young parents, there are no certainties as regards its aetiology, although a significant genetic background is considered to be important. Since there is little information about the social adaptation and quality of life of patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder, we decided to study and evaluate the long-term outcome and quality of life in a sample of children, adolescent and young adults. This is a case study of subjects diagnosed with ASD and followed by clinics and rehabilitation centers in Campania region, in the south of Italy. The study sample was composed by 110 patients (83 males, 27 females), aged between 8.1 and 28.0 years (mean 20.6; median 21.2; SD ± 4.85), recruited in 8 rehabilitation centers of Campania region. A follow-up interview was performed by means of a questionnaire administered to the parents/caregivers of patients at a mean age of their son/daughter of 20.6 years (median 21.2 years; range 8.1-28.0). Reports from parents or caregivers show an overall improvement with regard to social and adaptive abilities in a group of teen-agers and young adults with ASD. Major concerns on significant quality of life parameters such as independent living, work experiences, friendships and relationships, accommodation type, recreational activities and personal autonomy were persisting. The present study shows an overall improvement with regard to social and adaptive abilities in a large number of subjects. Considerable problems are related to autonomy, employment opportunities and social relationships of these patients. Parents need more recreational activities and continuous support with facilities for families.
Mark T W Handley
Full Text Available Neuronal calcium sensor-1 (NCS-1 is a Ca(2+ sensor protein that has been implicated in the regulation of various aspects of neuronal development and neurotransmission. It exerts its effects through interactions with a range of target proteins one of which is interleukin receptor accessory protein like-1 (IL1RAPL1 protein. Mutations in IL1RAPL1 have recently been associated with autism spectrum disorders and a missense mutation (R102Q on NCS-1 has been found in one individual with autism. We have examined the effect of this mutation on the structure and function of NCS-1. From use of NMR spectroscopy, it appeared that the R102Q affected the structure of the protein particularly with an increase in the extent of conformational exchange in the C-terminus of the protein. Despite this change NCS-1(R102Q did not show changes in its affinity for Ca(2+ or binding to IL1RAPL1 and its intracellular localisation was unaffected. Assessment of NCS-1 dynamics indicated that it could rapidly cycle between cytosolic and membrane pools and that the cycling onto the plasma membrane was specifically changed in NCS-1(R102Q with the loss of a Ca(2+ -dependent component. From these data we speculate that impairment of the normal cycling of NCS-1 by the R102Q mutation could have subtle effects on neuronal signalling and physiology in the developing and adult brain.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Levels and Correlations with Symptoms in Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Typically Developing Controls.
Full Text Available There is evidence that children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD and Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD have lower omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA levels compared with controls and conflicting evidence regarding omega-6 (n-6 PUFA levels.This study investigated whether erythrocyte n-3 PUFAs eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA were lower and n-6 PUFA arachidonic acid (AA higher in children with ADHD, ASD and controls, and whether lower n-3 and higher n-6 PUFAs correlated with poorer scores on the Australian Twin Behaviour Rating Scale (ATBRS; ADHD symptoms and Test of Variable Attention (TOVA in children with ADHD, and Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS in children with ASD.Assessments and blood samples of 565 children aged 3-17 years with ADHD (n = 401, ASD (n = 85 or controls (n = 79 were analysed. One-way ANOVAs with Tukey's post-hoc analysis investigated differences in PUFA levels between groups and Pearson's correlations investigated correlations between PUFA levels and ATBRS, TOVA and CARS scores.Children with ADHD and ASD had lower DHA, EPA and AA, higher AA/EPA ratio and lower n-3/n-6 than controls (P<0.001 except AA between ADHD and controls: P = 0.047. Children with ASD had lower DHA, EPA and AA than children with ADHD (P<0.001 for all comparisons. ATBRS scores correlated negatively with EPA (r = -.294, P<0.001, DHA (r = -.424, P<0.001, n-3/n-6 (r = -.477, P<0.001 and positively with AA/EPA (r = .222, P <.01. TOVA scores correlated positively with DHA (r = .610, P<0.001, EPA (r = .418, P<0.001 AA (r = .199, P<0.001, and n-3/n-6 (r = .509, P<0.001 and negatively with AA/EPA (r = -.243, P<0.001. CARS scores correlated significantly with DHA (r = .328, P = 0.002, EPA (r = -.225, P = 0.038 and AA (r = .251, P = 0.021.Children with ADHD and ASD had low levels of EPA, DHA and AA and high ratio of n-6/n-3 PUFAs and these correlated significantly with symptoms. Future research should further
The presented thesis deals with drawing of children with autism. It is divided into two parts, the theoretical and the empirical. In the theoretical parts there are four chapters. Three chapters deal with problem of autism spectrum disorders, types of autism, options of diagnostics, frequency and possible causes of autism. The fourth chapter deals with basic information about children's drawing, unique manifestation of the autistic disablement in the children's drawing. In the empirical part ...
Halpin, Julia; Pitt, Sally; Dodd, Emma
In this article three education and health services professionals, Julia Halpin, Sally Pitt and Emma Dodd, describe and reflect upon the way in which a small group of professionals from health and education services worked in collaboration to meet the need to inform and empower parents of preschool children with a diagnosis of autistic spectrum…
Autism is a lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by early onset of impairments in social interaction and communication and unusual, stereotyped behaviors. Autism (i.e., autistic disorder) often is classified with two related, although less severe, developmental disorders: Asperger disorder and pervasive developmental disorder--not otherwise specified. These three constitute the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Diagnosis of ASDs is based exclusively on developmental pattern and behavioral observation. Two population-based studies conducted by CDC in selected U.S. locations reported ASD prevalence of 3.4 and 6.7 per 1,000 children, respectively. CDC also conducts two nationally representative surveys, the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH), in which parents are asked whether their child ever received a diagnosis of autism. Because of similarities in methodology used by the two surveys, CDC analyzed 2003-2004 data from NHIS and data from the first-ever NSCH (collected during January 2003-July 2004) to 1) estimate the population-based prevalence of parental report of diagnosed autism in the United States and 2) assess parental reporting of child social, emotional, and behavioral strengths and difficulties and special-health care needs among children with and without reported autism. This report describes the results of that analysis, which indicated that the prevalence of parent-reported diagnosis of autism was 5.7 per 1,000 children in NHIS and 5.5 per 1,000 children in NSCH. Prevalence estimates in the two studies were similar across age, sex, and racial/ethnic populations. The consistency in estimates between the two surveys suggests high reliability for parental report of autism. These estimates suggest that, as of 2003-2004, autism had been diagnosed in at least 300,000 U.S. children aged 4-17 years. In addition, parental reports of autism were associated with reported social, emotional, and
Psychosexual functioning of cognitively-able adolescents with autism spectrum disorder compared to typically developing peers : The development and testing of the teen transition inventory- a self- and parent report questionnaire on psychosexual functioning
Dekker, Linda P; van der Vegt, Esther J M; van der Ende, Jan; Tick, Nouchka; Louwerse, Anneke; Maras, Athanasios; Verhulst, Frank C.; Greaves-Lord, Kirstin
To gain further insight into psychosexual functioning, including behaviors, intrapersonal and interpersonal aspects, in adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), comprehensive, multi-informant measures are needed. This study describes (1) the development of a new measure of psychosexual
Psychosexual Functioning of Cognitively-able Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder Compared to Typically Developing Peers : The Development and Testing of the Teen Transition Inventory- a Self- and Parent Report Questionnaire on Psychosexual Functioning
L.P. Dekker; E.J.M. Vegt, van der (Esther); J. van der Ende (Jan); N.T. Tick (Nouchka Tamar); I. Louwerse (Ilse); A. Maras (Athanasios); F.C. Verhulst (Frank); K. Greaves-Lord (Kirstin)
textabstractTo gain further insight into psychosexual functioning, including behaviors, intrapersonal and interpersonal aspects, in adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), comprehensive, multi-informant measures are needed. This study describes (1) the development of a new measure of
Begeer, Sander; Ma, Yujie; Koot, Hans M.; Wierda, Marlies; van Beijsterveldt, C.E.M.; Boomsma, Dorret I.; Bartels, Meike
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are associated with reduced Subjective well-being (SWB). To examine the influence of gender and age on well-being we collected parent reported SWB in children with or without ASD (total n = 1030), aged 8–14 years. Parents reported lower SWB for children with ASD
Boucher, Jill; Mayes, Andrew; Bigham, Sally
Behavioral evidence concerning memory in forms of high-functioning autism (HFA) and in moderately low-functioning autism (M-LFA) is reviewed and compared. Findings on M-LFA are sparse. However, it is provisionally concluded that memory profiles in HFA and M-LFA (relative to ability-matched controls) are similar but that declarative memory impairments are more extensive in M-LFA than in HFA. Specifically, both groups have diminished memory for emotion- or person-related stimuli. Regarding memory for nonsocial stimuli, both groups probably have mental-age-appropriate nondeclarative memory, and within declarative memory, both groups have mental-age-appropriate immediate free recall of within-span or supraspan lists of unrelated items, as well as cued recall and paired associate learning. By contrast, recognition is largely unimpaired in HFA but moderately impaired in M-LFA, and free recall of meaningful or structured stimuli is moderately impaired in HFA but more severely impaired in M-LFA. Theoretical explanations of data on declarative memory in HFA identify problems in the integrative processing, or the consolidation and storage, of complex stimuli or a specific problem of recollection. Proposed neural substrates include the following: disconnectivity of primary sensory and association areas; dysfunctions of medial prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, or posterior parietal lobe; or combinations of these associated with neural disconnectivity. Hypothetically, perirhinal dysfunction might explain the more extensive declarative memory impairments in M-LFA. Foreseeable consequences of uneven memory abilities in HFA and M-LFA are outlined, including possible effects on language and learning in M-LFA. Finally, priorities for future research are identified, highlighting the urgent need for research on memory in lower functioning individuals. 2012 APA, all rights reserved
Blumberg, Stephen J.; Bramlett, Matthew D.; Kogan, Michael D.; Schieve, Laura A.; Jones, Jessica R.; Lu, Michael C.
Objectives: This report presents data on the prevalence of diagnosed autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as reported by parents of school-aged children (ages 6-17 years) in 2011-2012. Prevalence changes from 2007 to 2011-2012 were evaluated using cohort analyses that examine the consistency in the 2007 and 2011-2012 estimates for children whose…
Full Text Available A distinctively uneven profile of intelligence is a feature of the autistic spectrum. Within the spectrum, Asperger individuals differ from autistics in their early speech development and in being less likely to be characterized by visuospatial peaks. While different specific strengths characterize different autistic spectrum subgroups, all such peaks of ability have been interpreted as deficits: isolated, aberrant, and irreconcilable with real human intelligence. This view has recently been challenged by findings of autistic strengths in performance on Raven's Progressive Matrices (RPM, an important marker of general and fluid intelligence. We investigated whether these findings extend to Asperger syndrome, an autistic spectrum subgroup characterized by verbal peaks of ability, and whether the cognitive mechanisms underlying autistic and Asperger RPM performance differ. Thirty-two Asperger adults displayed a significant advantage on RPM over Wechsler Full-Scale and Performance scores relative to their typical controls, while in 25 Asperger children an RPM advantage was found over Wechsler Performance scores only. As previously found with autistics, Asperger children and adults achieved RPM scores at a level reflecting their Wechsler peaks of ability. Therefore, strengths in RPM performance span the autistic spectrum and imply a common mechanism advantageously applied to different facets of cognition. Autistic spectrum intelligence is atypical, but also genuine, general, and underestimated.
Soulières, Isabelle; Dawson, Michelle; Gernsbacher, Morton Ann; Mottron, Laurent
A distinctively uneven profile of intelligence is a feature of the autistic spectrum. Within the spectrum, Asperger individuals differ from autistics in their early speech development and in being less likely to be characterized by visuospatial peaks. While different specific strengths characterize different autistic spectrum subgroups, all such peaks of ability have been interpreted as deficits: isolated, aberrant, and irreconcilable with real human intelligence. This view has recently been challenged by findings of autistic strengths in performance on Raven's Progressive Matrices (RPM), an important marker of general and fluid intelligence. We investigated whether these findings extend to Asperger syndrome, an autistic spectrum subgroup characterized by verbal peaks of ability, and whether the cognitive mechanisms underlying autistic and Asperger RPM performance differ. Thirty-two Asperger adults displayed a significant advantage on RPM over Wechsler Full-Scale and Performance scores relative to their typical controls, while in 25 Asperger children an RPM advantage was found over Wechsler Performance scores only. As previously found with autistics, Asperger children and adults achieved RPM scores at a level reflecting their Wechsler peaks of ability. Therefore, strengths in RPM performance span the autistic spectrum and imply a common mechanism advantageously applied to different facets of cognition. Autistic spectrum intelligence is atypical, but also genuine, general, and underestimated. PMID:21991394
Full Text Available Background: Hyperlexia is a super ability demonstrated by a very specific group of individuals with developmental disorders. This term is used to describe the children with high ability in word recognition, but low reading comprehension skills, despite the problems in language, cognitive and social skills. The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of improving the semantic aspect of language (increase in understanding and expression vocabulary on reading comprehension in an autistic child with hyperlexia.Case: The child studied in this research was an autistic child with hyperlexia. At the beginning of this study he was 3 years and 11 months old. He could read, but his reading comprehension was low. In a period of 12 therapy session, understanding and expression of 160 words was taught to child. During this period, the written form of words was eliminated. After these sessions, the reading comprehension was re-assessed for the words that child could understand and express.Conclusion: Improving semantic aspect of language (understanding and expression of vocabulary increase reading comprehension of written words.
Ardizzone, Ignazio; Soletti, Laura; Panunzi, Sara; Carratelli, Teresa I
This study examines the obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) with normal and poor insight of illness and it detects the presence of autistic traits. The aim is to establish the relationship between OCD and Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD): comorbidity or subtype of OCD? The sample consists of 48 adolescents (aged 12-18) with a clinical diagnosis of OCD (according DSM-IV-TR). After administering the Children's Yale Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (CYBOCS) and the Brown Assessement Beliefs Scale (BABS), the sample is divided into two groups according to insight of illness. Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) and Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ) were used to assist in the ASD diagnosis; Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis II Personality Disorders (SCID-II) was administered to assess personality disorders. 47% of subjects presents poor insight and 27% are included within the diagnostic criteria for autistic spectrum disorder. Poor insight in obsessive-compulsive symptoms is significantly associated with the presence of autistic traits. There is also a significant association between cluster hoarding and poor insight. This study suggests the existence of an obsessive autistic atypical subtype, where the compulsive dimension of repetitive behaviours vanishes in an autistic dimension with stereotyped manifestations. Further research should be conducted to better understand this obsessive autistic atypical subtype and to put it in the obsessive-compulsive spectrum in adolescence.
Miller, Lauren E; Perkins, Kayla A; Dai, Yael G; Fein, Deborah A
There are unique challenges associated with measuring development in early childhood. Two primary sources of information are used: parent report and direct assessment. Each approach has strengths and weaknesses, particularly when used to identify and diagnose developmental delays. The present study aimed to evaluate consistency between parent report and direct assessment of child skills in toddlers with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) across receptive language, expressive language, and fine motor domains. 109 children were evaluated at an average age of two years; data on child skills were collected via parent report and direct assessment. Children were classified into three groups (i.e., ASD, Other Developmental Disorder, or Typical Development) based on DSM-IV-TR diagnosis. Mixed design ANOVAs, with data source as a within subjects factor and diagnostic group as a between subjects factor, were used to assess agreement. Chi square tests of agreement were then used to examine correspondence at the item level. Results suggested that parent report of language and fine motor skills did not significantly differ from direct assessment, and this finding held across diagnostic groups. Item level analyses revealed that, in most cases of significant disagreement, parents reported a skill as present, but it was not seen on direct testing. Results indicate that parents are generally reliable reporters of child language and fine motor abilities in toddlerhood, even when their children have developmental disorders such as ASD. However, the fullest picture may be obtained by using both parent report and direct assessment.
Iniciativas de comunicação na interação entre crianças com distúrbios do espectro autístico e suas mães: análise pragmática Communication initiatives in the interaction among children with autistic spectrum disorders and their mothers: pragmatic analysis
Maria Cláudia Brito
Full Text Available OBJETIVOS: investigar as iniciativas de comunicação na interação entre crianças com distúrbios do espectro autístico (DEA e suas mães, por meio de uma análise pragmática. MÉTODO: cinco crianças com DEA, de ambos os gêneros, idades entre cinco e 12 anos juntamente com suas mães. O grupo controle constou de cinco crianças com desenvolvimento normal, pareadas com as crianças com DEA de acordo com gênero e idade e suas respectivas mães, totalizando 20 participantes. Para a caracterização da amostra foram utilizadas uma Ficha informativa e a Escala de Avaliação de Traços Autísticos. Cada díade foi filmada por 30 minutos durante as interações lúdicas, analisadas a partir do Protocolo de Pragmática. Este instrumento avalia as iniciativas de comunicação, meios e funções comunicativas expressas. Os dados foram tratados estatisticamente (p PURPOSE: to investigate the communication initiatives among children with autistic spectrum disorders and their mothers, employing a pragmatic analysis. METHOD: five children with autistic spectrum disorders, both genders, ages ranging between five and 12-year and their mothers. The control group comprised 5 children with normal development, paired with children with autistic spectrum disorders, according to gender and age and their respective mothers, totaling 20 participants. For the characterization of the sample, an Information Form and a Scale for the Assessment of Autistic Behavior were employed. Each dyad was filmed for 30 minutes during ludic interactions and analyzed according to the Pragmatic Protocol. This instrument evaluates communication initiatives, means and communicative functions. Data were analyzed statistically (p < 0.05; non-parametric tests of Wilcoxon and Mann-Whitney were employed. RESULTS: statistically significant differences were observed between the communicative initiatives of children with autistic spectrum disorders and their mothers, when compared to the
Oswald, Donald P.; Haworth, Shannon M.; Mackenzie, Bernadette K.; Willis, Janet H.
Parents report that the process of getting an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis is arduous, lengthy, and fraught with difficulties. This analysis of the Pathways survey data set examined the experiences of parents who said, at the time of the survey, that their child currently had ASD compared with parents who said, at the time of the…
Autism is a disability that affects how a person communicates and relates to the world around them. Patients on the autistic spectrum may be referred to a Special Care Dentistry service to be managed under sedation or general anaesthetic, as their visit to the dentist can be stressful and disruptive to their routine. As it is a spectrum disorder, each patient needs to be assessed individually in order to determine whether sedation or general anaesthetic would be appropriate for them. Some autistic patients may have good verbal communication and mild learning difficulties, and may be able to tolerate treatment under local anaesthetic with behavioural management alone. On the other end of the spectrum, patients with severe autism and learning difficulties may not permit the dentist to even examine them and will require a general anaesthetic. There will also be patients on the autistic spectrum who are suitable for conscious sedation depending on their level of learning difficulty and cooperation. Oral and transmucosal sedation can also be useful for providing presedation to a patient to facilitate venous access. In order to minimise distress to the patient, it is important that adequate sedation, anaesthesia and analgesia are achieved both perioperatively and post-operatively.
Cage, Eilidh; Di Monaco, Jessica; Newell, Victoria
Mental health difficulties are highly prevalent in individuals on the autism spectrum. The current study examined how experiences and perceptions of autism acceptance could impact on the mental health of autistic adults. 111 adults on the autism spectrum completed an online survey examining their experiences of autism acceptance, along with…
Full Text Available Difficulties in appropriate social interaction are characteristic of both children with autism spectrum disorders and children with callous-unemotional traits (who are at risk of developing psychopathy. Extant experimental studies suggest that the nature of atypical social cognition that characterises these two profiles is not identical. However, 'empathizing' difficulties have been hypothesised for both groups, raising questions about the degree of aetiological separation between social impairments that characterize each disorder. This study explored the relative contribution of independent vs. shared aetiological influences to social and communication impairments associated with autistic traits and callous-unemotional traits, indexed by parent-report in a population-based cohort of twins.Participants were over 5,000 twin pairs from a UK cohort (the Twins Early Development Study; TEDS, assessed for callous-unemotional traits at 7 years and autistic social and communication impairments at 8 years. Multivariate model-fitting was used to explore the relative contribution of independent vs. overlapping genetic/environmental influences on these traits.Both social and communication impairments and callous-unemotional traits were highly heritable, although the genetic and environmental influences accounting for individual differences on each domain were predominantly independent.Extant evidence from experimental and neuro-imaging studies has suggested that, despite some superficially overlapping behaviours, the social difficulties seen in children with autism spectrum disorders and callous-unemotional traits are largely distinct. The current study is the first to demonstrate considerable aetiological independence of the social interaction difficulties seen in children with autism spectrum disorders and those with callous-unemotional traits.
Alunos com distúrbios do espectro autístico em interação com professores na educação inclusiva: descrição de habilidades pragmáticas Students with autistic spectrum disorders in the interaction with teachers in inclusive education: description of pragmatic skills
Maria Claudia Brito
Full Text Available OBJETIVO: Investigar as habilidades pragmáticas de alunos com distúrbios do espectro autístico durante a interação com suas professoras em salas comuns de escolas públicas. MÉTODOS: Participaram 14 alunos com distúrbios do espectro autístico, de ambos os gêneros, com idade entre três e oito anos (média=5,9; DP=1,8. Como parte do procedimento, foram realizadas filmagens em situações de sala de aula e para análise dos aspectos pragmáticos da comunicação dos participantes, foi utilizado o Protocolo de Pragmática. Os resultados foram tratados estatisticamente (pPURPOSE: To investigate the pragmatic skills of students with autistic spectrum disorders during interaction with their teachers, in regular classrooms of public schools. METHODS: Fourteen students with autistic spectrum disorders, both male and female, with ages between three and eight years (mean=5.9; SD=1.8, participated in the study. As part of the procedure, classroom situations were filmed for the analysis of the children's pragmatic aspects of communication, using the Pragmatic Protocol. Data were statistically analyzed using Wilcoxon, Friedman, Kruskal-Wallis, and Spearman tests, with a significance level of p<0.05 and, in some cases, p<0.01. RESULTS: In average, the number of communicative acts expressed per minute by the teachers (3.4 acts/minute was superior (p<0.05 to the number presented by the students with autistic spectrum disorders (2.7 acts/minute. The students demonstrated prevalence in the use of the gestural communication mean, with an average of 36.2 occurrences, and of less interactive communicative functions, with an average of 24.1 occurrences. Moreover, there was positive correlation between students' and teachers' acts/minute (p=0.01. It was also observed that age and level of education did not present correlations with communication establishment in the dyads. CONCLUSION: It was possible to identify deficits and abilities of students with
Wakeford, SallyAnn Rose
The prevalence of autism spectrum disorders [ASD] in epilepsy is approximately 20%-32%, with previous research reporting high rates of under-diagnosis of ASD in epilepsy. Current psychological assessments were adapted to provide epilepsy-specific measures of behaviour, which increased validity by addressing specific methodological problems highlighted by several researchers. The initial experiments provided a comprehensive investigation of autistic traits and characteristics in a heterogeneou...
Koolschijn, P. Cédric M. P.; Geurts, Hilde M.; van der Leij, Andries R.; Scholte, H. Steven
There is accumulating evidence that autistic-related traits in the general population lie on a continuum, with autism spectrum disorders representing the extreme end of this distribution. Here, we tested the hypothesis of a possible relationship between autistic traits and brain morphometry in the general population. Participants completed the…
Høgfeldt Hansen, Leif
The publication functions as a proces description of the development and construction of an urban furniture SPECTRUM in the city of Gwangju, Republic of Korea. It is used as the cataloque for the exhibition of Spectrum.......The publication functions as a proces description of the development and construction of an urban furniture SPECTRUM in the city of Gwangju, Republic of Korea. It is used as the cataloque for the exhibition of Spectrum....
May, Tamara; Cornish, Kim; Rinehart, Nicole
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…
May, Tamara; Cornish, Kim; Rinehart, Nicole J
The attention profile of girls with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is unclear compared with boys with ASD and typical children. This study aimed to investigate parent-reported ASD and ADHD symptoms in a large sample of boys and girls with and without ASD. A total of 124 normally intelligent children, half of them girls, 64 with autistic disorder or Asperger's disorder, and 60 age- and gender-matched typically developing, aged 7 to 12 years, were recruited. Parents completed questionnaires regarding autistic and ADHD symptoms. No gender differences in social difficulties but more repetitive motor movements, communication difficulties, and inattention were reported in males, regardless of group. Younger boys with ASD had more elevated levels of hyperactivity-impulsivity than younger girls with ASD. Gender differences in autistic symptoms and inattention in ASD reflected gender differences in typical children. More pronounced hyperactivity in younger boys with ASD could contribute to higher rates of clinical referral than girls. © The Author(s) 2012.
Aline Abreu e Andrade
Full Text Available Theory of mind is the people ability to understand their own mental states and the others. People with autism have significant deficit in this ability. The objective of this study was to conduct a systematic literature review about theory of mind studies conducted with relatives of people with autistic spectrum disorders. We used as databases BVS Medline, Web of Science, Academic Search Premier and Psy Articles in search of articles. Nine articles were selected and the results indicated inconclusive data on the existence of theory of mind deficits in relatives of people with autistic spectrum disorders. Thus, future studies are aimed to shed light on the topic.
Priscilla Faria Sousa-Morato
information sources, in this case, parents and therapists, is effective to identify individual differences in children of the autistic spectrum. METHODS: Subjects were 48 children, with ages ranging from three to 11 years and ten months, with psychiatric diagnosis included in the autistic spectrum. The parents of those children (46 mothers and two fathers and 15 speech therapists, who were, respectively, legal caregivers and responsible for their speech-language therapy for at least 12 months, were also subjects of the study. They answered a questionnaire regarding each child's social relation performance. RESULTS: Generically, it is possible to say that the answers obtained from different sources (parents and therapists were similar. However, the analysis of raw data showed that parents consistently presented higher number of positive answers when compared to therapists, in questions regarding social performance. CONCLUSION: The determination of data about social-communicative adaptation could characterize these subjects, demonstrating that this protocol can be used with different information sources; the answers provided by parents and therapists were homogeneous, confirming data reliability despite of significant differences in the comparison among social-communicative stages and levels. The application of the questionnaire and the social communicative protocol to different information sources can provided homogeneous results, allowing a reliable characterization of these children's social abilities.
Mohammad Reza Khakzad
Full Text Available Background: Despite many efforts, the etiology of autism remains unknown. Food allergy has been suggested as a pathogenic factor in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD. Our aim in this study was to determine whether food allergy could be considered as a risk factor for autistic children. Methods: Thirty-nine autistic children were examined by the skin prick test (SPT, and total serum IgE was evaluated by ELISA. SPTs were performed for egg whites, oranges, peanuts, tomatoes, tuna fish, walnuts, aubergines, melons, grapes, and cow milk. Parents and teachers were then asked to exclude these items from the childrens’ diets for six months. After the treatment period, the autistic children who tested positive for food allergies were re-assessed by a standard questionnaire to obtain further information about their medical histories. Results: Three of the study’s 39 autistic children (7.7% tested positive on the SPT. Total serum IgE levels were elevated in 56.4% of the subjects (mean=164±24.5, cut-off >155 IU/ml. The results showed a decreased mean in the childrens’ autistic behaviors on the Children Autism Rating Scale (CARS after both eight weeks and six months; however, this decrease was not statistically significant. Conclusion: Food allergy may play a role in the pathophysiology of autism. We conclude that avoidance of certain foods benefits the behavior of autistic children.
Sonya Freeman Loftis
Full Text Available Sherlock Holmes has long been rumored to be on the autism spectrum. Yet the significance of the great detective's autism "diagnosis" has been largely overlooked. While it would be impossible to diagnose a fictional character with a neurological difference, it says something about the way that the public imagines autism that Holmes is consistently imagined and described as a person on the spectrum. Indeed, Conan Doyle's character popularized the stereotype of the detective with autistic traits, thus perpetuating several common tropes about autism. Emulating Conan Doyle's famous tales, contemporary crime fiction frequently creates detective characters with autistic characteristics. For example, popular television shows such as Criminal Minds present detectives with autistic traits who are clearly constructed to remind audiences of Holmes. While figures such as Spenser Reid (and other crime fighters following in Holmes's shadow may seem to counteract fears of people with cognitive disabilities as deviant, criminal, or dangerous, they may actually reinforce those stereotypes.
Chen, Kuan-Lin; Lin, Chien-Ho; Yu, Tzu-Ying; Huang, Chien-Yu; Chen, Ying-Dar
This study aimed to compare symptoms of autism spectrum disorder using the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) and the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS™-2) and to investigate their influencing factors. The diagnostic agreement was 92.7%, but with a fair Kappa value (0.247). Children's verbal comprehension was related to the CARS scores, and no variables were related to the SRS™-2 scores. Generally, significant small correlations were found between the two measures in children with normal or borderline to below average verbal comprehension (rs = 0.32 ~ 0.49, p < .005), but not in those with impaired verbal comprehension. The CARS and the SRS™-2 may contain different explicit behaviors and collect different perspectives (i.e., those of caregivers and professionals). Therefore, they appear to complement each other.
Stevenson, Jennifer L; Lindley, Caitlin E; Murlo, Nicole
Autistic individuals often struggle developmentally, even in areas that are not explicit diagnostic criteria, such as motor skills. This study explored the relation between early motor skills, assessed retrospectively, and current pragmatic language skills. Caregivers of neurotypical and autistic children, matched on gender and age, completed assessments of their child's early motor development and current language abilities. Early motor skills were correlated with later pragmatic language skills, and autistic children exhibited fewer motor skills than neurotypical children. In fact, motor skills were a better predictor of an autism spectrum diagnosis than were scores on a measure of current pragmatic language. These results highlight the important role of motor skills in autism spectrum disorders.
Avaliação da comunicação no espectro autístico: interferência da familiaridade no desempenho de linguagem Assessing communication in the autistic spectrum: interference of familiarity in language performance
Camila Ramos Moreira
Full Text Available OBJETIVO: Analisar a interferência da familiaridade da situação de avaliação na funcionalidade da comunicação de sujeitos com diagnóstico incluído no Espectro Autístico, buscando o melhor procedimento para avaliação da comunicação desta população. MÉTODOS: Participaram da presente pesquisa 18 sujeitos com diagnóstico incluído nos Distúrbios do Espectro Autístico, com idades entre três anos e 11 meses e 17 anos e 11 meses, com média etária de oito anos e nove meses (DP: 3,6 anos. Inicialmente foi realizada a filmagem da interação de cada participante com sua terapeuta em situação rotineira de avaliação (Situação Familiar, semelhante às sessões semanais de atendimento, e nas sessões seguintes foi realizada outra filmagem de cada sujeito em interação com uma fonoaudióloga não-familiar, com materiais lúdicos pré-determinados (Situação Não-Familiar. Os dados de interação foram transcritos e analisados e as variáveis foram selecionadas a partir do protocolo do Perfil Funcional da Comunicação (PFC. RESULTADOS: A comparação entre as situações demonstrou diferença apenas para quatro variáveis (23%, dentre as dezessete analisadas; três dessas mostraram resultado superior na Situação Familiar: atos comunicativos expressados por minuto, número de respostas e porcentagem de utilização da função comunicativa Não-Focalizada, e uma delas se mostrou superior na Situação Não-Familiar: porcentagem de utilização da função comunicativa Jogo. CONCLUSÃO: A interferência da familiaridade da situação comunicativa no desempenho comunicativo de sujeitos autistas é mínima, sendo que o procedimento de avaliação nos mesmos moldes da Situação Familiar mostrou-se ligeiramente melhor para a avaliação da comunicação dessa população.PURPOSE: To identify the best technique to assess the communication of autistic spectrum individuals, analyzing the interference of the familiarity of the situation
Anthony J Russo
Full Text Available Anthony J Russo1, Arthur Krigsman2, Bryan Jepson2, Andy Wakefield21Research Director, Health Research Institute/Pfeiffer Treatment Center, Warrenville, IL, USA; 2Thoughtful House Center for Children, Austin, TX, USAAim: To assess serum myeloperoxidase (MPO levels in autistic children with severe gastrointestinal (GI disease and to test the hypothesis that there is an association between serum MPO concentration and inflammatory GI disease, including antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA, previously seen in a subgroup of autistic children.Subjects and methods: Serum from 40 autistic children with chronic digestive disease (most with ileo-colonic lymphoid nodular hyperplasia (LNH and inflammation of the colorectum, small bowel and/or stomach, and 48 controls (12 age-matched autistic children with no GI disease, 20 age-matched children without autism or GI disease, and 16 nonautistic individuals with no family history of autism were tested using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays designed to quantitate serum MPO levels. MPO serum concentration of autistic children with GI disease was compared to GI disease severity (including LNH and erythema and presence of ANCA.Results: We found that a significant number of autistic children with chronic digestive disease had low serum levels of MPO. However, there was no significant relationship between these levels and severity of GI disease, including the presence of ANCA.Discussion: These results suggest a relationship between low MPO levels and GI disease seen in a subpopulation of autism spectrum disorders individuals. MPO concentration may therefore be a useful biomarker for GI disease in this group of autistic children.Keywords: autism spectrum disorders, autism, myeloperoxidase, GI disease, oxidative stress
Tchanturia, Kate; Smith, Emma; Weineck, Felicitas; Fidanboylu, Eliz; Kern, Nikola; Treasure, Janet; Baron Cohen, Simon
The objectives of this study were to explore associations between autistic traits and self-reported clinical symptoms in a population with anorexia nervosa (AN). Experimental and self-report evidence reveals similarities between AN and autism spectrum condition (ASC) populations in socio-emotional and cognitive domains; this includes difficulties with empathy, set-shifting and global processing. Focusing on these similarities may lead to better tailored interventions for both conditions. A cross-sectional independent-groups design was employed. Participants with AN (n = 66) and typical controls (n = 66) completed self-report questionnaires including the Short (10-Item) Version Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ-10) questionnaire (the first time this has been implemented in this population), the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Work and Social Adjustment Scale. Group differences and the relationship between autistic traits and other questionnaire measures were investigated. The AN group had a significantly higher AQ-10 total score and a greater proportion scored above the clinical cut-off than the control group. Seven out of ten AQ-10 items significantly discriminated between groups. In the AN group, levels of autistic traits correlated with a greater self-reported anxiety and depression and a lower ability to maintain close relationships; however, eating disorder symptoms were not associated with autistic traits. Women with anorexia possess a greater number of autistic traits than typical women. AQ-10 items that discriminated between groups related to 'bigger picture' (global) thinking, inflexibility of thinking and problems with social interactions, suggesting that autistic traits may exacerbate factors that maintain the eating disorder rather than cause the eating disorder directly. Using screening instruments may improve understanding of patients' problems, leading to better tailoring of intervention. We
Sitholey, Prabhat; Agarwal, Vivek; Pargaonkar, Amol
Recovery in autistic disorder is rare. There are few reports of recovery from autistic disorder after a few years of therapeutic intervention. We report here a case of autistic disorder who recovered spontaneously without any intervention in 13 days.
Full Text Available Parent carers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD often report increased levels of stress, depression, and anxiety. Unmet parent carer mental health needs pose a significant risk to the psychological, physical, and social well-being of the parents of the child affected by ASD and jeopardize the adaptive functioning of the family as well as the potential of the child affected by ASD. This systematic review identifies key qualities of interventions supporting the mental health of parent carers and proposes practitioner-parent carer support guidelines. A search of four databases (Medline, PubMed, PsycINFO, and Social Science Data was conducted to identify studies that met the following criteria: (1 an intervention was delivered to parent carers of a child with ASD under the age of 18 years; (2 the research design allowed for a comparison on outcomes across groups; and (3 outcome measures of the parent carers’ mental health were used. A total of 23 studies met the inclusion criteria. A critical interpretive synthesis approach was used to produce an integrated conceptualization of the evidence. Findings suggest practitioner guidelines to support the mental health and wellbeing of parent carers should include addressing the parent’s self-perspective taking and skill for real time problem-solving.
Catalano, Denise; Holloway, Linda; Mpofu, Elias
Parent carers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often report increased levels of stress, depression, and anxiety. Unmet parent carer mental health needs pose a significant risk to the psychological, physical, and social well-being of the parents of the child affected by ASD and jeopardize the adaptive functioning of the family as well as the potential of the child affected by ASD. This systematic review identifies key qualities of interventions supporting the mental health of parent carers and proposes practitioner-parent carer support guidelines. A search of four databases (Medline, PubMed, PsycINFO, and Social Science Data) was conducted to identify studies that met the following criteria: (1) an intervention was delivered to parent carers of a child with ASD under the age of 18 years; (2) the research design allowed for a comparison on outcomes across groups; and (3) outcome measures of the parent carers' mental health were used. A total of 23 studies met the inclusion criteria. A critical interpretive synthesis approach was used to produce an integrated conceptualization of the evidence. Findings suggest practitioner guidelines to support the mental health and wellbeing of parent carers should include addressing the parent's self-perspective taking and skill for real time problem-solving.
Full Text Available Mutations in the X-linked genes neuroligin 3 (NLGN3 and neuroligin 4X (NLGN4X were first implicated in the pathogenesis of X-linked autism in Swedish families. However, reports of mutations in these genes in autism spectrum disorder (ASD patients from various ethnic backgrounds present conflicting results regarding the etiology of ASD, possibly because of genetic heterogeneity and/or differences in their ethnic background. Additional mutation screening study on another ethnic background could help to clarify the relevance of the genes to ASD. We scanned the entire coding regions of NLGN3 and NLGN4X in 62 Japanese patients with ASD by polymerase chain reaction-high-resolution melting curve and direct sequencing analyses. Four synonymous substitutions, one in NLGN3 and three in NLGN4X, were identified in four of the 62 patients. These substitutions were not present in 278 control X-chromosomes from unrelated Japanese individuals and were not registered in the database of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms build 132 or in the Japanese Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms database, indicating that they were novel and specific to ASD. Though further analysis is necessary to determine the physiological and clinical importance of such substitutions, the possibility of the relevance of both synonymous and nonsynonymous substitutions with the etiology of ASD should be considered.
Bora, E; Pantelis, C
Impairment in social cognition is an established finding in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Emerging evidence suggests that attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) might be also associated with deficits in theory of mind (ToM) and emotion recognition. However, there are inconsistent findings, and it has been debatable whether such deficits persist beyond childhood and how similar social cognitive deficits are in ADHD v. ASD. We conducted a meta-analysis of social cognition, including emotion recognition and ToM, studies in ADHD compared with healthy controls and ASD. The current meta-analysis involved 44 studies comparing ADHD (n = 1999) with healthy controls (n = 1725) and 17 studies comparing ADHD (n = 772) with ASD (n = 710). Facial and vocal emotion recognition (d = 0.40-0.44) and ToM (d = 0.43) abilities were significantly impaired in ADHD. The most robust facial emotion recognition deficits were evident in anger and fear. Social cognitive deficits were either very subtle (emotion recognition) or non-significant (ToM) in adults with ADHD. Deficits in social cognition, especially ToM, were significantly more pronounced in ASD compared with ADHD. General cognitive impairment has contributed to social cognitive deficits in ADHD. Performance of individuals with ADHD on social cognition lies intermediate between ASD and healthy controls. However, developmental trajectories of social cognition probably differ between ADHD and ASD as social cognitive deficits in ADHD might be improving with age in most individuals. There is a need for studies investigating a potential subtype of ADHD with persistent social cognitive deficits and exploring longitudinal changes in social cognition during development.
Al-Farsi, Yahya M.; Al-Sharbati, Marwan M.; Waly, Mostafa I.; Al-Farsi, Omar A.; Al Shafaee, Mohammed A.; Deth, Richard C.
To assess prevalence of malnutrition indicators among preschool children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) a cross-sectional study was conducted among 128 Omani autistic children 3-5 years of age. Based on standardized z-scores, the overall prevalence of malnutrition was 9.2 per 100 preschool ASD children (95% CI 4.1, 11.6). The most common type…
Nader, Anne-Marie; Courchesne, Valérie; Dawson, Michelle; Soulières, Isabelle
Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) is widely used to estimate autistic intelligence (Joseph in The neuropsychology of autism. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2011; Goldstein et al. in "Assessment of autism spectrum disorders." Guilford Press, New York, 2008; Mottron in "J Autism Dev Disord" 34(1):19-27, 2004).…
Tetteroo, D.; Shirzad, A.; Serras Pereira, M.; Zwinderman, M.J.; Duy, L.; Barakova, E.I.
Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)have marked impairments in social interaction. Imitation is a basic social interaction behavior, and mimicking as an element of imitation can be a diagnostic marker for autism and thus a skill that can be targeted by behavioral training. In a comparative
Ratto, Allison B.; Anthony, Bruno J.; Kenworthy, Lauren; Armour, Anna Chelsea; Dudley, Katerina; Anthony, Laura Gutermuth
There is a lack of research examining differences in functioning in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) across ethnicity, particularly among those without intellectual disability (ID). This study investigated ethnic differences in parent-reported impairment in executive function, adaptive behavior, and social-emotional functioning. White and Black…
Schopler, Eric; Olley, J. Gregory
The article describes a statewide program (NC) for autistic and communication impaired children--Division TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication Handicapped Children). (PHR)
Full Text Available Autistic traits can help people gain and sustain power, and has probably done so throughout history, says the present paper. A number of testable claims follow from this assumption. First, the powerful should have more autistic traits than others – which they do appear to have. Among other things, powerful people, and those with many autistic traits, tend to prefer solitary activities and are often aloof. Moreover, they are often rigid and socially insensitive, low on empathy and with low scores on the trait of agreeableness -- and as a rule they do not have many friends. Both groups are also more self-centered than others, more honest, less submissive, more sensitive to slights, and with a stronger tendency to engage in abstract thinking. They tend to behave in bossy or dominant ways, and their moral judgment is more based on rules than on feelings. In addition to experimental evidence, I cite biographies showing that a surprising number of presidents, prime ministers and other powerful people seem to have had traits like those in question – and interestingly, in animals, leaders are often rigid and insensitive to group members’ needs and feelings, mostly acting the way they are themselves inclined to, not responding much to others. Problem solving is important in leadership, and people with many autistic traits appear often to be better thinkers than typical subjects with similar IQs. However, these and other congruities could be coincidences. Hence the question of whether traits the two groups have in common also have a common cause constitutes a strong test of the paper’s thesis – and a common cause does appear to exist, in the form of testosterone’s effects on the central nervous system. Finally, there is evidence that, other things equal, powerful men have more reproductive success than others. If men wielding power do indeed have more autistic traits than those less powerful, this will lead to, other things equal, such traits
Autistic traits can help people gain and sustain power, and has probably done so throughout history, says the present paper. A number of testable claims follow from this assumption. First, the powerful should have more autistic traits than others – which they do appear to have. Among other things, powerful people, and those with many autistic traits, tend to prefer solitary activities and are often aloof. Moreover, they are often rigid and socially insensitive, low on empathy and with low scores on the trait of agreeableness – and as a rule they do not have many friends. Both groups are also more self-centered than others, more honest, less submissive, more sensitive to slights, and with a stronger tendency to engage in abstract thinking. They tend to behave in bossy or dominant ways, and their moral judgment is more based on rules than on feelings. In addition to experimental evidence, I cite biographies showing that a surprising number of presidents, prime ministers and other powerful people seem to have had traits like those in question – and interestingly, in animals, leaders are often rigid and insensitive to group members’ needs and feelings, mostly acting the way they are themselves inclined to, not responding much to others. Problem solving is important in leadership, and people with many autistic traits appear often to be better thinkers than typical subjects with similar IQs. However, these and other congruities could be coincidences. Hence the question of whether traits the two groups have in common also have a common cause constitutes a strong test of the paper’s thesis – and a common cause does appear to exist, in the form of testosterone’s effects on the central nervous system. Finally, there is evidence that, other things equal, powerful men have more reproductive success than others. If men wielding power do indeed have more autistic traits than those less powerful, this will lead to, other things equal, such traits becoming more
Begeer, Sander; Howlin, Patricia; Hoddenbach, Elske; Clauser, Cassandra; Lindauer, Ramon; Clifford, Pamela; Gevers, Carolien; Boer, Frits; Koot, Hans M
Limited perspective taking or "Theory of Mind" (ToM) abilities are a core deficit of autism, and many interventions are aimed to improve ToM abilities. In this study, we investigated the effectiveness of a ToM treatment for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and, for the first time, the moderating roles of social interaction style (SIS) and disruptive behavior (DB), to determine which children are most likely to respond to this intervention. The trial protocol is registered at www.trialregister.nl, trial number 2327 and published before the data collection was finished (www.trialsjournal.com). Children with autism aged 7-12 years (n = 97) were randomized over a waitlist control or a treatment condition. Outcome measures included ToM and emotion understanding, parent and teacher questionnaires on children's social skills, ToM-related social behavior, and autistic traits. Six-month follow-up parent reported data were collected for the treatment group. The treatment had a positive effect on ToM understanding, parent-reported ToM behavior, and autistic traits, but not on parent or teacher-reported social behavior. Passive SIS was associated with diminished treatment effects on autistic traits, but DB was unrelated to outcomes. The ToM intervention improved conceptual social understanding and ToM-related behavior of children with ASD. However, broader application of learned skills to other domains of functioning was limited. Individual differences with regard to treatment response are discussed. © 2015 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Duvekot, Jorieke; van der Ende, Jan; Verhulst, Frank C; Slappendel, Geerte; van Daalen, Emma; Maras, Athanasios; Greaves-Lord, Kirstin
In order to shed more light on why referred girls are less likely to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder than boys, this study examined whether behavioral characteristics influence the probability of an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis differently in girls versus boys derived from a multicenter sample of consecutively referred children aged 2.5-10 years. Based on information from the short version of the Developmental, Dimensional and Diagnostic Interview and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, 130 children (106 boys and 24 girls) received a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed., text rev.) criteria and 101 children (61 boys and 40 girls) did not. Higher overall levels of parent-reported repetitive and restricted behavior symptoms were less predictive of an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis in girls than in boys (odds ratio interaction = 0.41, 95% confidence interval = 0.18-0.92, p = 0.03). In contrast, higher overall levels of parent-reported emotional and behavioral problems increased the probability of an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis more in girls than in boys (odds ratio interaction = 2.44, 95% confidence interval = 1.13-5.29, p = 0.02). No differences were found between girls and boys in the prediction of an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis by overall autistic impairment, sensory symptoms, and cognitive functioning. These findings provide insight into possible explanations for the assumed underidentification of autism spectrum disorder in girls in the clinic.
Finkenauer, Catrin; Pollmann, Monique M. H.; Begeer, Sander; Kerkhof, Peter
Individuals with autism spectrum disorders or autistic traits may profit from Internet and computer-mediated interactions, but there is concern about their Internet use becoming compulsive. This study investigated the link between autistic traits and Internet use in a 2-wave longitudinal study with a non-clinical community sample (n = 390). As…
Finkenauer, C.; Pollmann, M.M.H.; Begeer, S.; Kerkhof, P.
Individuals with autism spectrum disorders or autistic traits may profit from Internet and computer-mediated interactions, but there is concern about their Internet use becoming compulsive. This study investigated the link between autistic traits and Internet use in a 2-wave longitudinal study with
Dunn, Stephanie A.; Freeth, Megan; Milne, Elizabeth
Selective attention is atypical in individuals with autism spectrum conditions. Evidence suggests this is also the case for those with high levels of autistic traits. Here we investigated the neural basis of spatial attention in those with high and low levels of self-reported autistic traits via analysis of ERP deflections associated with covert…
Möricke, Esmé; Buitelaar, Jan K.; Rommelse, Nanda N. J.
This study focused on the degree of report bias in assessing autistic traits. Both parents of 124 preschoolers completed the Social Communication Questionnaire and the Autism-spectrum Quotient. Acceptable agreement existed between mother and father reports of children's mean scores of autistic traits, but interrater reliability for rank-order…
DeNigris, Danielle; Brooks, Patricia J.; Obeid, Rita; Alarcon, Maria; Shane-Simpson, Christina; Gillespie-Lynch, Kristen
Reduced cognitive empathy may put autistic people at risk for bullying. We compared interpretations of bullying provided by 22 autistic and 15 non-autistic college students. Autistic (and non-autistic) students reported less severe bullying in college relative to earlier in development. Chronic bullying was associated with improvements in…
Jones, Catherine R G; Simonoff, Emily; Baird, Gillian; Pickles, Andrew; Marsden, Anita J S; Tregay, Jenifer; Happé, Francesca; Charman, Tony
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.
Wakeford, SallyAnn; Hinvest, Neal; Ring, Howard; Brosnan, Mark
The prevalence of autism spectrum disorders in epilepsy is approximately 15%-47%, with previous research by Wakeford and colleagues reporting higher autistic traits in adults with epilepsy. The aim of this study was to investigate autistic characteristics and their relationship to having seizures by employing two behavioral assessments in two samples: adults with epilepsy and controls. The study employed the Social Responsiveness Scale - Shortened (SRS-S) (patients with epilepsy (n=76), control (n=19)) and the brief Repetitive Behavior Scale - Revised (RBS-R) (patients with epilepsy (n=47), control (n=21)). This study employed a unique method to quantify the extent to which autistic characteristics are related to perceived mild seizure activity. Adults with epilepsy were instructed to rate their usual behavior on each assessment and, at the same time, rate their behavior again when they perceived that they were having mild seizure activity. Significantly higher SRS-S scores were related to having a diagnosis of epilepsy and were perceived by adults with epilepsy to increase during mild seizure activity. These scores positively correlated with antiepileptic drug control. No difference was found for RBS-R scores in adults with epilepsy compared with controls. Together, these results suggest that adults with epilepsy have higher autistic characteristics measured by the social responsiveness scale, while sameness behaviors remain unimpaired. The autistic characteristics measured by the social responsiveness scale were reported by adults with epilepsy to be more severe during their mild seizure activity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Deaton, Ann Virginia
Discussed is the language impairment of children with infantile autism. The speech patterns of autistic children, including echolalia, pronomial reversal, silent language, and voice imitation, are described. The clinical picture of the autistic child is compared to that of children with such other disorders as deafness, retardation, and…
This paper deals with autistic syntax and its expressions both in the fully fledged autistic structure and in the autistic zones of other personality structures. The musical notion of the organ point serves as a point of departure in an attempt to describe how autistic syntax transforms what was meant to constitute the substrate for linguistic…
Radford, Jo; Anderson, Maggie
Outlines problems faced by parents and caregivers of a child with encopresis. Differentiates between knowledge, skill, and volition issues when dealing with the encoprectic child; and suggests possible causal frameworks for the behavior. Concludes with suggestions for managing the teaching/learning situation arising from this behavior. (Author/KB)
Kawabe, Kentaro; Horiuchi, Fumie; Oka, Yasunori; Ueno, Shu-Ichi
Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), including autistic disorder, frequently suffer from comorbid sleep problems. An altered melatonin rhythm is considered to underlie the impairment in sleep onset and maintenance in ASD. We report three cases with autistic disorder in whom nocturnal symptoms improved with ramelteon, a selective melatonin receptor agonist. Insomnia and behavior, assessed using the Clinical Global Impression-Improvement Scale, improved in two cases with 2 mg ramelteon and in the third case with 8 mg ramelteon. Our findings demonstrate that ramelteon is effective not only for insomnia, but for behavioral problems as well, in patients with autistic disorder.
There are debates whether autistic disorder (autism) and Asperger's disorder are two distinct disorders. Moreover, interventional sensory occupational therapy should consider the clinical characteristics of patients. Already, commonalities and differences between Asperger's disorder and autistic disorder are not well studied. The aim of this study is to compare tactile sensory function of children with autistic disorder and children with Asperger's disorder. Tactile sensory function was compared between 36 children with autism and 19 children with Asperger's disorder. The two disorders were diagnosed based on Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition, Text Revision. The parent-reported Tactile Dysfunction Checklist was used to assess the three aspects of hypersensitivity, hyposensitivity, and poor tactile perception and discrimination. Developmental coordination was also assessed. Developmental coordination problems total score was not associated with group. The mean (standard deviation) score of tactile hyper-responsivity was not different between the groups. Tactile hyporesponsivity and poor tactile perception and discrimination scores were statistically higher in autistic disorder than Asperger's disorder group. These results for the first time indicated that at least some aspects of tactile perception can differentiate these two disorders. Children with autistic disorder have more tactile sensory seeking behaviors than children with Asperger's disorder. Moreover, the ability of children with autistic disorder for tactile discrimination and sensory perception is less than those with Asperger's disorder. Interventional sensory therapy in children with autistic disorder should have some characteristics that can be different and specific for children with Asperger's disorder. Formal intelligence quotient testing was not performed on all of the children evaluated, which is a limitation to this study. In some cases, a clinical estimation of
Taylor, Mark J.; Robinson, Elise B.; Happ?, Francesca; Bolton, Patrick; Freeman, Daniel; Ronald, Angelica
Background: This twin study investigated whether autistic traits during childhood were associated with adolescent psychotic experiences. Methods: Data were collected from a community sample of approximately 5000 twin pairs, which included 32 individuals with diagnosed autism spectrum conditions (ASC). Parents rated autistic traits in the twins at four points between ages 8–16 years. Positive, negative, and cognitive psychotic experiences were assessed at age 16 years using self- and parent-re...
This study investigated the associations between emotion recognition ability and autistic traits in a sample of non-clinical young adults. Two hundred and forty nine individuals took part in an emotion recognition test, which assessed recognition of 12 emotions portrayed by actors. Emotion portrayals were presented as short video clips, both with and without sound, and as sound only. Autistic traits were assessed using the Autism Spectrum Quotient (ASQ) questionnaire. Results showed that men ...
Morozov S.A.Morozova T.I.
Full Text Available Children with autism spectrum disorders are considered a highly heterogeneous group by clinical signs, which makes it impossible to develop a common method of correctional and educational development for them. In this article, results of an analysis of clinical, psychological and pedagogic polymorphism in autism spectrum disorders are shown, emphasized are its main components and basic consequences necessary for organizing education. Results are viewed in the context of the principle of variability in education. A dual structure of variability in education of autistic children has been discovered. Shortly reviewed are some topical problems of correctional education process for autism spectrum disorders
Jameel, Leila; Vyas, Karishma; Bellesi, Giulia; Roberts, Victoria; Channon, Shelley
Few studies have explored how the cognitive differences associated with autistic spectrum disorder translate into everyday social behaviour. This study investigated pro-social behaviour in students scoring high and low on the autism-spectrum quotient (AQ), using a novel scenario task: "Above and Beyond." Each scenario involved an…
Crewther, Daniel P.; Crewther, David P.
In addition to its core social deficits, autism is characterized by altered visual perception, with a preference for local percept in those high in autistic tendency. Here, the balance of global vs. local percepts for the perceptually rivalrous diamond illusion was assessed between groups scoring high and low on the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ). The global percept of a diamond shape oscillating horizontally behind three occluders can as easily be interpreted as the local percept of four line...
Daniel Paul Crewther; David Philip Crewther
In addition to its core social deficits, autism is characterised by altered visual perception, with a preference for local percept in those high in autistic tendency. Here, the balance of global versus local percepts for the perceptually rivalrous diamond illusion was assessed between groups scoring high and low on the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ). The global percept of a diamond shape oscillating horizontally behind three occluders can as easily be interpreted as the local percept of four l...
English, Michael C W; Maybery, Murray T; Visser, Troy A W
Individuals diagnosed with autistic spectrum conditions often show deficits in processing emotional faces relative to neurotypical peers. However, little is known about whether similar deficits exist in neurotypical individuals who show high-levels of autistic-like traits. To address this question, we compared performance on an attentional blink task in a large sample of adults who showed low- or high-levels of autistic-like traits on the Autism Spectrum Quotient. We found that threatening faces inserted as the second target in a rapid serial visual presentation were identified more accurately among individuals with low- compared to high-levels of autistic-like traits. This is the first study to show that attentional blink abnormalities seen in autism extend to the neurotypical population with autistic-like traits, adding to the growing body of research suggesting that autistic-related patterns of behaviors extend into a subset of the neurotypical population. Autism Res 2017, 10: 311-320. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Liew, Shi Min; Thevaraja, Nishta; Hong, Ryan Y.; Magiati, Iliana
The high prevalence of anxiety symptoms in individuals with autism spectrum disorders has now been well documented. There is also a positive relationship between autistic traits and anxiety symptoms in unselected samples and individuals with anxiety disorders have more autistic traits compared to those without. Less is known, however, regarding…
Mason, David; McConachie, Helen; Garland, Deborah; Petrou, Alex; Rodgers, Jacqui; Parr, Jeremy R
Research with adults on the autism spectrum is as yet limited in scope and quality. The present study describes quality of life (QoL) of a large sample of autistic adults in the UK and investigates characteristics that may be predictive of QoL. A total of 370 autistic adults from the Adult Autism Spectrum Cohort-UK (ASC-UK) completed the WHOQoL-BREF, and the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS, autism symptom severity), along with the ASC-UK registration questionnaire giving information on mental health and their life situation. QoL for autistic adults was lower than for the general population for each WHOQoL domain. Younger participants reported higher QoL than older participants in psychological and environment domains. Males reported higher physical QoL than females, and females reported higher social QoL than males. Significant positive predictors of QoL were: being employed (physical QoL), receiving support (social and environment QoL), and being in a relationship (social QoL). Having a mental health condition and higher SRS total score were negative predictors of QoL across all four domains. Autistic adults require access to effective mental health interventions, and informal and formal support for their social difficulties, to improve their quality of life. Autism Res 2018. © 2018 The Authors Autism Research published by International Society for Autism Research and Wiley Periodicals, Inc. There has been limited research into the lived experience of autistic adults. Using the World Health Organization quality of life measure, we found that autistic people (370) in the UK reported their quality of life to be lower than that of the general population. Better quality of life was associated with being in a relationship; those with a mental health condition had poorer quality of life. This research suggests some ways in which autistic people can be helped to improve their quality of life. © 2018 The Authors Autism Research published by International Society for
Milton, Damian Em
The field of autism studies is a highly disputed territory within which competing contradictory discourses abound. In this field, it is the voices and claims of autistic people regarding their own expertise in knowledge production concerning autism that is most recent in the debate, and traditionally the least attended to. In this article, I utilise the theories of Harry Collins and colleagues in order to reflect upon and conceptualise the various claims to knowledge production and expertise within the field of autism studies, from the perspective of an author who has been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. The notion that autistic people lack sociality is problematised, with the suggestion that autistic people are not well described by notions such as the 'social brain', or as possessing 'zero degrees of cognitive empathy'. I then argue, however, that there is a qualitative difference in autistic sociality, and question to what extent such differences are of a biological or cultural nature, and to what extent interactional expertise can be gained by both parties in interactions between autistic and non-autistic people. In conclusion, I argue that autistic people have often become distrustful of researchers and their aims, and are frequently frozen out of the processes of knowledge production. Such a context results in a negative feedback spiral with further damage to the growth of interactional expertise between researchers and autistic people, and a breakdown in trust and communication leading to an increase in tension between stakeholder groups. The involvement of autistic scholars in research and improvements in participatory methods can thus be seen as a requirement, if social research in the field of autism is to claim ethical and epistemological integrity. © The Author(s) 2014.
Lyvia Christina Camarotto Battiston Rodrigues
Full Text Available OBJETIVO: Analisar a atribuição de estados mentais no discurso de crianças pertencentes aos Distúrbios do Espectro Autístico e verificar a modificação no vocabulário e extensão frasal desses, após período de terapia fonoaudiológica. MÉTODOS: Foram colhidas amostras de fala da avaliação fonoaudiológica inicial, após seis meses e um ano de terapia fonoaudiológica, registradas nos prontuários de cinco crianças com autismo infantil e cinco com síndrome de Asperger para caracterização do desempenho verbal e da habilidade de atribuição de estados mentais de cada criança. Considerando-se apenas as emissões espontâneas, foram verificadas as palavras pertencentes às classes substantivo e verbo e classificadas como termos que referem estados físicos e mentais. A comparação entre os três momentos foi realizada por meio da avaliação da significância entre as medianas das amostras obtidas (teste da mediana, com diferença significativa ao nível de 10%. RESULTADOS: Verificou-se aumento no número de palavras emitidas e também no número de palavras por frase emitida entre os períodos de avaliação e após um ano de terapia fonoaudiológica para crianças com autismo infantil. Não foram encontradas diferenças para a atribuição de verbos de estados físicos e mentais e substantivos de estados mentais para ambos os grupos, sendo observada diminuição na emissão de substantivos de estados físicos no grupo autismo infantil. CONCLUSÃO: A atribuição de estados mentais aumentou após período de intervenção terapêutica fonoaudiológica, porém, sem diferença significativa, verificando-se aumento no comportamento verbal de crianças com autismo infantil.PURPOSE: To analyze the attribution of mental states in the speech of children within the Autistic Spectrum Disorders, and verify the modification in their vocabulary and phrasal extension, after a period of speech-language therapy. METHODS: Speech samples from the
Masterton, B. A.; Biederman, G. B.
The autistic children's presumed preference for proximal over distal sensory input was studied by requiring that "autistic," retarded, and "normal" children (7-15 years old) adapt to lateral displacement of the visual field. Only autistic Ss demonstrated transfer of adaptation to the nonadapted hand, indicating reliance on proprioception rather…
Volden, Joanne; Lord, Catherine
This study of 80 autistic (ages 6-18), mentally handicapped, and normal children found that more autistic subjects used neologisms and idiosyncratic language than age- and language-skill-matched control groups. More autistic children used words inappropriately that were neither phonologically nor conceptually related to intended English words than…
Adams, Ryan E.; Fredstrom, Bridget K.; Duncan, Amie W.; Holleb, Lauren J.; Bishop, Somer L.
The current study tested the associations between peer victimization and internalizing symptoms in 54 verbally fluent adolescent males with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Adolescent- and parent-reports of multiple types of peer victimization and internalizing symptoms were used. First, the validity and reliability of the…
Wood, Jeffrey J.; Drahota, Amy; Sze, Karen; Van Dyke, Marilyn; Decker, Kelly; Fujii, Cori; Bahng, Christie; Renno, Patricia; Hwang, Wei-Chin; Spiker, Michael
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…
Rasalam, A D; Hailey, H; Williams, J H G; Moore, S J; Turnpenny, P D; Lloyd, D J; Dean, J C S
The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical features and frequency of autistic disorder or Asperger syndrome (AS; according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition [DSM-IV] criteria) in children exposed to anticonvulsant medication in utero. During a 20-year study period, 626 children were born in Aberdeen to mothers taking antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). The study examined long-term effects of prenatal exposure to AEDs in 260 children (122 males, 138 females). Of these, 26 (16 males) were reported by parents to have social or behavioural difficulties. Eleven children (6 males, 5 females) fulfilled the DSM-IV criteria for autistic disorder and one (female) fulfilled the DSM-IV criteria for AS. These children comprised 4.6% of the exposed children studied, and 1.9% of all exposed children born during the study period. Mean age of these children at diagnosis was 5 years 4 months (SD 2y 11mo) and 9 years 10 months (SD 3y 10mo) at the time of this study. Other children from the group of 26 had difficulties in areas of speech and language development and social communication but did not meet the criteria for an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Sodium valproate was the drug most commonly associated with autistic disorder, five of 56 (8.9%) of the study children exposed to sodium valproate alone had either autistic disorder or AS. It was concluded that prenatal exposure to anticonvulsant medication is a risk factor for the development of an ASD. Fetal anticonvulsant syndrome associated autistic disorder is characterized by an even sex ratio, absence of regression or skill loss, and language delay in the absence of global delay.
Mealey, Alex; Abbott, Gavin; Byrne, Linda K; McGillivray, Jane
Autism spectrum and schizophrenia spectrum disorders are classified separately in the DSM-5, yet research indicates that these two disorders share overlapping features. The aim of the present study was to examine the overlap between autistic and schizotypal personality traits and whether anxiety and depression act as confounding variables in this relationship within a non-clinical population. One hundred and forty-four adults completed the Autism Spectrum Quotient and the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire and the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales-21. A number of associations were seen between autistic and schizotypal personality traits. However, negative traits were the only schizotypal feature to uniquely predict global autistic traits, thus highlighting the importance of interpersonal qualities in the overlap of autistic and schizotypal characteristics. The inclusion of anxiety and depression did not alter relationships between autistic and schizotypal traits, indicating that anxiety and depression are not confounders of this relationship. These findings have important implications for the conceptualisation of both disorders. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Madsen, Kathrine Bang; Ravn, Mette Holmelin; Arnfred, Jon; Olsen, Jørn; Rask, Charlotte Ulrikka; Obel, Carsten
There is an ongoing public debate on the diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in which critics have claimed that the disorder is over-diagnosed, while the potential under-diagnosis of children with ADHD has received little attention. In this study we estimate the number of children with parent-reported ADHD behaviour at age 7 and absence of recorded ADHD diagnosis through adolescence, and investigate whether socio-demographic characteristics of this group differed from the children diagnosed with ADHD during follow-up. Our study was based on data from the Danish National Birth Cohort, where parents of 51,527 children completed questionnaires, including the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). ADHD diagnosis was identified through Danish registers and parent-reported ADHD behaviour by the specific SDQ subscale. Socio-demographic predictors of positive parent-reported SDQ ADHD behaviour and absence of recorded ADHD diagnosis in their children were examined using logistic regression analyses. Children with parent-reported ADHD behaviour and no diagnosis (1.3%) were more likely to be girls (OR 1.83; 95% CI 1.45; 2.29), more likely to have mothers with a low socioeconomic status (OR high vs. low 1.49; 95% CI 1.10; 2.02), and to live in certain regions of the country (OR: Capital vs. Southern: 2.04; 95% CI 1.51; 2.73) than children with an ADHD diagnosis. The children showed markedly impairments on all the SDQ subscales. The results demonstrate a considerable number of children with ADHD symptoms who potentially go undetected and underline the influence of socio-demographic factors in the pathway to a diagnosis of ADHD.
Stevenson, Jennifer L.; Gernsbacher, Morton Ann
Autistic individuals typically excel on spatial tests that measure abstract reasoning, such as the Block Design subtest on intelligence test batteries and the Raven’s Progressive Matrices nonverbal test of intelligence. Such well-replicated findings suggest that abstract spatial processing is a relative and perhaps absolute strength of autistic individuals. However, previous studies have not systematically varied reasoning level – concrete vs. abstract – and test domain – spatial vs. numerical vs. verbal, which the current study did. Autistic participants (N = 72) and non-autistic participants (N = 72) completed a battery of 12 tests that varied by reasoning level (concrete vs. abstract) and domain (spatial vs. numerical vs. verbal). Autistic participants outperformed non-autistic participants on abstract spatial tests. Non-autistic participants did not outperform autistic participants on any of the three domains (spatial, numerical, and verbal) or at either of the two reasoning levels (concrete and abstract), suggesting similarity in abilities between autistic and non-autistic individuals, with abstract spatial reasoning as an autistic strength. PMID:23533615
Macizo, P.; Soriano, M. F.; Paredes, N.
We evaluated phonological and visuospatial working memory (WM) in autism spectrum disorders. Autistic children and typically developing children were compared. We used WM tasks that measured phonological and visuospatial WM up to the capacity limit of each children. Overall measures of WM did not show differences between autistic children and…
Full Text Available Children with autistic spectrum disorders are often encountered in anesthesia practice mainly for outdoor procedural sedation or anesthesia in endoscopy and magnetic resonance imaging suites. We describe a case of a 7-year-old autistic boy who required management of dental caries. He had a phobia to intravenous cannulation, displayed increasing anxiety and became combative on the day of surgery. With parental involvement and distraction, we succeeded in giving oral midazolam by concealing it, with the intent of avoiding intramuscular injection or unnecessary restraint. Lack of knowledge about the medical condition of such a patient can lead to inadequate preoperative preparation and use of restraint on the patient, which might cause anxiety or panic attacks in the operative room. To effectively manage children with special needs one needs to have clear guidelines on the management of uncooperative children, involve parents perioperatively, plan ahead with an emphasis on perioperative analgesia and sometimes incorporate the ethical use of restraint.
Grove, Rachel; Hoekstra, Rosa A; Wierda, Marlies; Begeer, Sander
Research has highlighted potential differences in the phenotypic and clinical presentation of autism spectrum conditions across sex. Furthermore, the measures utilised to evaluate autism spectrum conditions may be biased towards the male autism phenotype. It is important to determine whether these instruments measure the autism phenotype consistently in autistic men and women. This study evaluated the factor structure of the Autism Spectrum Quotient Short Form in a large sample of autistic adults. It also systematically explored specific sex differences at the item level, to determine whether the scale assesses the autism phenotype equivalently across males and females. Factor analyses were conducted among 265 males and 285 females. A two-factor structure consisting of a social behaviour and numbers and patterns factor was consistent across groups, indicating that the latent autism phenotype is similar among both autistic men and women. Subtle differences were observed on two social behaviour item thresholds of the Autism Spectrum Quotient Short Form, with women reporting scores more in line with the scores expected in autism on these items than men. However, these differences were not substantial. This study showed that the Autism Spectrum Quotient Short Form detects autistic traits equivalently in males and females and is not biased towards the male autism phenotype.
Full Text Available Individuals differ in their ability to feel their own and others’ internal states, with those that have more autistic and less empathic traits clustering at the clinical end of the spectrum. However, when we consider semantic competence, we would expect this group to compensate with a higher capacity to imagine the meaning of words referring to emotions. This is indeed what we found when we asked people with different levels of autistic and empathic traits to rate the degree of imageability of various kinds of words. But this was not the whole story. Individuals with marked autistic traits demonstrated outstanding ability to imagine theoretical concepts, i.e. concepts that are commonly grasped linguistically through their definitions. This distinctive characteristic was so pronounced that, using tree-based predictive models, it was possible to accurately predict participants’ inclination to manifest autistic traits, as well as their adherence to autistic profiles – including whether they fell above or below the diagnostic threshold – from their imageability ratings. We speculate that this quasi-perceptual ability to imagine theoretical concepts, coupled with a lowered ability to imagine emotional terms represents a specific cognitive pattern that, while hindering social interaction, may favour problem solving in abstract, non-socially related tasks. This would allow people with marked autistic traits to make use of perceptual, possibly visuo-spatial, information for higher cognitive processing.
A J Russo
Full Text Available A J RussoMount Saint Mary’s University, Emmitsburg, MD, USAAim: To assess both serum concentration of metallotionein (MT and anti-metallothionein (anti-MT immunoglobulin G (IgG in autistic children with gastrointestinal (GI symptoms and controls, and to test the hypothesis that there is an association between the presence of MT, anti-MT IgG, and inflammatory GI disease seen in many children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD.Subjects and methods: ELISAs were used to measure serum MT and anti-MT IgG in 41 autistic children with chronic digestive disease (many with ileo-colonic lymphoid nodular hyperplasia [LNH] and inflammation of the colorectum, small bowel, and/or stomach, and 33 controls (17 age-matched autistic children with no GI disease and 16 age-matched children without autism or GI disease.Results: Ten of 41 autistic children with chronic digestive disease had high serum concentration of MT compared to only one of the 33 controls (p < 0.01. Thirteen of the 41 autistic children with chronic digestive disease had anti-MT IgG compared to only four of 33 controls (p < 0.01. Nine of 10 (90% of autistic children with GI disease with high MT levels had a regressive onset (compared to the expected 25 of 41, or 61%, in this group (p < 0.05, whereas only nine of 13 of the autistic children with GI disease and anti-MT IgG had a regressive onset (70% which was not significantly higher than the expected. We didn’t find any correlation between severity of GI disease and MT concentration or anti-MT IgG.Discussion: These results suggest a relationship between MT, anti-MT IgG and GI disease seen in many ASD individuals.Keywords: autism, metallothionein, anti-metallothionein, GI disease
Maule, John; Stanworth, Kirstie; Pellicano, Elizabeth; Franklin, Anna
It has been suggested that attenuated adaptation to visual stimuli in autism is the result of atypical perceptual priors (e.g., Pellicano and Burr in "Trends Cogn Sci" 16(10):504-510, 2012. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2012.08.009). This study investigated adaptation to color in autistic adults, measuring both strength of afterimage and the…
Fay, Warren H.
An alternative to the ego-based explanations for the autistic child's characteristic patterns of pronominal reversals and avoidances is an approach based on studies of echolalia which considers grammatical aspects of acquisition, reversal, and nonreversal. Focus is consequently shifted from primacy of expressive I to comprehension of you/me…
Skewes, Joshua; Jegindø, Else-Marie Elmholdt; Gebauer, Line
Autistic people are better at perceiving details. Major theories explain this in terms of bottom-up sensory mechanisms, or in terms of top-down cognitive biases. Recently, it has become possible to link these theories within a common framework. This framework assumes that perception is implicit...
Muñoz, Karen; Olson, Whitney A; Twohig, Michael P; Preston, Elizabeth; Blaiser, Kristina; White, Karl R
The aim of this study was to investigate parent-reported challenges related to hearing aid management and parental psychosocial characteristics during the first 3 years of the child's life. Using a cross-sectional survey design, surveys were distributed to parents of children with hearing loss via state Early Intervention programs in Utah and Indiana. Packets contained one family demographic form and two sets of three questionnaires to obtain responses from mothers and fathers separately: the Parent Hearing Aid Management Inventory explored parent access to information, parent confidence in performing skills, expectations, communication with the audiologist, and hearing aid use challenges. The Acceptance and Action Questionnaire measured psychological flexibility, experiential avoidance, and internal thought processes that can affect problem-solving ability and decrease an individual's ability to take value-based actions. The Patient Health Questionnaire identified symptoms of depression. Thirty-seven families completed questionnaires (35 mothers and 20 fathers). Most responses were parents of toddlers (M = 22 months) who had been wearing binaural hearing aids for an average of 15 months. Both mothers and fathers reported that even though the amount of information they received was overwhelming, most (84%) preferred to have all the information at the beginning, rather than to receive it over an extended time period. Parents reported an array of challenges related to hearing aid management, with the majority related to daily management, hearing aid use, and emotional adjustment. Sixty-six percent of parents reported an audiologist taught them how to complete a listening check using a stethoscope, however, only one-third reported doing a daily hearing aid listening check. Both mothers and fathers reported a wide range of variability in their confidence in performing activities related to hearing aid management, and most reported minimal confidence in their ability to
Mouti, Anissa; Reddihough, Dinah; Marraffa, Catherine; Hazell, Philip; Wray, John; Lee, Katherine; Kohn, Michael
Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are commonly prescribed off-label for children with autism. To date, clinical trials examining the use of SSRIs in autism have been limited by small sample sizes and inconclusive results. The efficacy and safety of SSRIs for moderating autistic behaviors is yet to be adequately examined to provide evidence to support current clinical practice. The aim of the Fluoxetine for Autistic Behaviors (FAB) study is to determine the efficacy and safety of low dose fluoxetine compared with placebo, for reducing the frequency and severity of repetitive stereotypic behaviors in children and adolescents with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The relationship between the effectiveness of fluoxetine treatment and serotonin transporter genotype will also be explored. The FAB study is a multicenter, double-blinded, randomized controlled trial, funded by the Australian Government's National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grant. Participants will be aged between 7.5 and 17 years with a confirmed diagnosis of ASD. Eligible participants will be randomized to either placebo or fluoxetine for a 16-week period. Medication will be titrated over the first four weeks. Reponses to medication will be monitored fortnightly using the Clinical Global Impressions Scale (CGI). The primary outcome measure is the Children's Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale-Modified for Pervasive Developmental Disorders (CYBOCS-PDD), administered at baseline and 16 weeks. Secondary outcome measures include the Aberrant Behaviour Scale (ABC), the Spence Children's Anxiety Scale Parent Report (SCAS-P), and the Repetitive Behaviors Scale (RBS-R), measured at baseline and 16 weeks. Participants will be invited to undergo genetic testing for SLC6A4 allele variants using a cheek swab. Continuous outcomes, including the primary outcome will be compared between the active and placebo groups using unadjusted linear regression. Binary outcomes will be compared using
Amato, Cibelle Albuquerque de la Higuera; Fernandes, Fernanda Dreux Miranda
Communication of autistic children. To assess the communication functionality of verbal and non-verbal children of the autistic spectrum and to identify possible associations amongst the groups. Subjects were 20 children of the autistic spectrum divided into two groups: V with 10 verbal children and NV with 10 non-verbal children with ages varying between 2y10m and 10y6m. All subjects were video recorded during 30 minutes of spontaneous interaction with their mothers. The samples were analyzed according to the functional communicative profile and comparisons within and between groups were conducted. Data referring to the occupation of communicative space suggest that there is an even balance between each child and his mother. The number of communicative acts per minute shows a clear difference between verbal and non-verbal children. Both verbal and non-verbal children use mostly the gestual communicative mean in their interactions. Data about the use of interpersonal communicative functions point out to the autistic children's great interactive impairment. The characterization of the functional communicative profile proposed in this study confirmed the autistic children's difficulties with interpersonal communication and that these difficulties do not depend on the preferred communicative mean.
Harris, Jonathan M.; Best, Catherine S.; Moffat, Vivien J.; Spencer, Michael D.; Philip, Ruth C. M.; Power, Michael J.; Johnstone, Eve C.
Cognitive performance and the relationship between theory of mind (TOM), weak central coherence and executive function were investigated in a cohort of young people with additional learning needs. Participants were categorized by social communication questionnaire score into groups of 10 individuals within the autistic spectrum disorder (ASD)…
Hallett, Victoria; Ronald, Angelica; Rijsdijk, Fruhling; Happe, Francesca
Internalizing difficulties are prevalent in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), yet little is known about the underlying cause of this comorbidity. It is also unclear which types of autistic-like and internalizing difficulties are most strongly associated. The current study investigated the phenotypic and etiological associations…
Conclusion: HBOT is a treatment that has recently become quite popular in the autism spectrum disorder (ASD community. Its benefits cross a wide range of autistic traits as: improved language, increased awareness, behavior and socialization by affecting the pathophysiological findings in autism.
Rosbrook, Ainslie; Whittingham, Koa
The high prevalence of anxiety disorders and depression within the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) population is widely recognised. This study examined the role of three potential mediating variables in the relationship between autistic traits and depressive/anxious symptomatology in the general population. Participants included 231 university…
Freeth, Megan; Bullock, Tom; Milne, Elizabeth
Traits associated with autism and social anxiety were assessed in a UK student population (n = 1325) using the Autism-spectrum Quotient and the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale. Clinically relevant levels of autistic traits were observed in 3.3% of the cohort; 10.1% of the cohort reported clinically relevant levels of social anxiety; 1.8% of the…
Marti, P.; Giacolini, L.; Iacono, I.
In this paper we describe Game of Stimuli (GoS) an interactive tangible game for children and adolescents diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. The system is designed to engage children in play scenarios addressing different stages of development from practice play to rule-based play. The
Matsuo, Junko; Kamio, Yoko; Takahashi, Hidetoshi; Ota, Miho; Teraishi, Toshiya; Hori, Hiroaki; Nagashima, Anna; Takei, Reiko; Higuchi, Teruhiko; Motohashi, Nobutaka; Kunugi, Hiroshi
Autism spectrum disorder often co-occurs with other psychiatric disorders. Although a high prevalence of autistic-like traits/symptoms has been identified in the pediatric psychiatric population of normal intelligence, there are no reports from adult psychiatric population. This study examined whether there is a greater prevalence of autistic-like traits/symptoms in patients with adult-onset psychiatric disorders such as major depressive disorder (MDD), bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia, and whether such an association is independent of symptom severity. The subjects were 290 adults of normal intelligence between 25 and 59 years of age (MDD, n=125; bipolar disorder, n=56; schizophrenia, n=44; healthy controls, n=65). Autistic-like traits/symptoms were measured using the Social Responsiveness Scale for Adults. Symptom severity was measured using the Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale, the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, and/or the Young Mania Rating Scale. Almost half of the clinical subjects, except those with remitted MDD, exhibited autistic-like traits/symptoms at levels typical for sub-threshold or threshold autism spectrum disorder. Furthermore, the proportion of psychiatric patients that demonstrated high autistic-like traits/symptoms was significantly greater than that of healthy controls, and not different between that of remitted or unremitted subjects with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. On the other hand, remitted subjects with MDD did not differ from healthy controls with regard to the prevalence or degree of high autistic-like traits/symptoms. A substantial proportion of adults with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia showed high autistic-like traits/symptoms independent of symptom severity, suggesting a shared pathophysiology among autism spectrum disorder and these psychiatric disorders. Conversely, autistic-like traits among subjects with MDD were associated with the depressive symptom severity. These findings suggest the importance of
Matsuo, Junko; Kamio, Yoko; Takahashi, Hidetoshi; Ota, Miho; Teraishi, Toshiya; Hori, Hiroaki; Nagashima, Anna; Takei, Reiko; Higuchi, Teruhiko; Motohashi, Nobutaka; Kunugi, Hiroshi
Autism spectrum disorder often co-occurs with other psychiatric disorders. Although a high prevalence of autistic-like traits/symptoms has been identified in the pediatric psychiatric population of normal intelligence, there are no reports from adult psychiatric population. This study examined whether there is a greater prevalence of autistic-like traits/symptoms in patients with adult-onset psychiatric disorders such as major depressive disorder (MDD), bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia, and whether such an association is independent of symptom severity. The subjects were 290 adults of normal intelligence between 25 and 59 years of age (MDD, n=125; bipolar disorder, n=56; schizophrenia, n=44; healthy controls, n=65). Autistic-like traits/symptoms were measured using the Social Responsiveness Scale for Adults. Symptom severity was measured using the Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale, the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, and/or the Young Mania Rating Scale. Almost half of the clinical subjects, except those with remitted MDD, exhibited autistic-like traits/symptoms at levels typical for sub-threshold or threshold autism spectrum disorder. Furthermore, the proportion of psychiatric patients that demonstrated high autistic-like traits/symptoms was significantly greater than that of healthy controls, and not different between that of remitted or unremitted subjects with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. On the other hand, remitted subjects with MDD did not differ from healthy controls with regard to the prevalence or degree of high autistic-like traits/symptoms. A substantial proportion of adults with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia showed high autistic-like traits/symptoms independent of symptom severity, suggesting a shared pathophysiology among autism spectrum disorder and these psychiatric disorders. Conversely, autistic-like traits among subjects with MDD were associated with the depressive symptom severity. These findings suggest the importance of
Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorder often co-occurs with other psychiatric disorders. Although a high prevalence of autistic-like traits/symptoms has been identified in the pediatric psychiatric population of normal intelligence, there are no reports from adult psychiatric population. This study examined whether there is a greater prevalence of autistic-like traits/symptoms in patients with adult-onset psychiatric disorders such as major depressive disorder (MDD, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia, and whether such an association is independent of symptom severity. The subjects were 290 adults of normal intelligence between 25 and 59 years of age (MDD, n=125; bipolar disorder, n=56; schizophrenia, n=44; healthy controls, n=65. Autistic-like traits/symptoms were measured using the Social Responsiveness Scale for Adults. Symptom severity was measured using the Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale, the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, and/or the Young Mania Rating Scale. Almost half of the clinical subjects, except those with remitted MDD, exhibited autistic-like traits/symptoms at levels typical for sub-threshold or threshold autism spectrum disorder. Furthermore, the proportion of psychiatric patients that demonstrated high autistic-like traits/symptoms was significantly greater than that of healthy controls, and not different between that of remitted or unremitted subjects with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. On the other hand, remitted subjects with MDD did not differ from healthy controls with regard to the prevalence or degree of high autistic-like traits/symptoms. A substantial proportion of adults with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia showed high autistic-like traits/symptoms independent of symptom severity, suggesting a shared pathophysiology among autism spectrum disorder and these psychiatric disorders. Conversely, autistic-like traits among subjects with MDD were associated with the depressive symptom severity. These findings suggest the
Sedgewick, Felicity; Hill, Vivian; Yates, Rhiannon; Pickering, Leanne; Pellicano, Elizabeth
This mixed-methods study examined gender differences in the social motivation and friendship experiences of adolescent boys and girls with autism relative to those without autism, all educated within special education settings. Autistic girls showed similar social motivation and friendship quality to non-autistic girls, while autistic boys…
Bradstreet, Lauren E; Hecht, Erin E; King, Tricia Z; Turner, Jessica L; Robins, Diana L
Whereas a number of studies have examined relationships among brain activity, social cognitive skills, and autistic traits, fewer studies have evaluated whether structural connections among brain regions relate to these traits and skills. Uncinate fasciculus (UF) and inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF) are white matter tracts that may underpin the behavioral expression of these skills because they connect regions within or provide sensory information to brain areas implicated in social cognition, and structural differences in these tracts have been associated with autistic traits. We examined relationships among self-reported autistic traits, mentalizing, and water diffusivity in UF and ILF in a nonclinical sample of 24 young adults (mean age = 21.92 years, SD = 4.72 years; 15 women). We measured autistic traits using the Autism-Spectrum Quotient, and we measured mentalizing using the Dynamic Interactive Shapes Clips task. We used Tract-Based Spatial Statistics and randomize to examine relationships among fractional anisotropy (FA) values in bilateral ILF and UF, age, cognitive abilities, autistic traits, and mentalizing. Autistic traits were positively related to FA values in left ILF. No other relationships between FA values and other variables were significant. Results suggest that left ILF may be involved in the expression of autistic traits in individuals without clinical diagnoses.
Fortier, Michelle A; Tan, Edwin T; Mayes, Linda C; Wahi, Aditi; Rosenbaum, Abraham; Strom, Suzanne; Santistevan, Ricci; Kain, Zeev N
To examine the role of ethnicity and language in parent report of children's postoperative behavioral recovery. To compare incidence of new onset negative behavior change in English- and Spanish-speaking White and Hispanic children following outpatient surgery. Postoperative behavioral change in children is common; however, it is unknown whether cultural variables including ethnicity and language may influence parent report of children's behavioral recovery. Participants included 288 parents (English-speaking White, English-speaking Hispanic, Spanish-speaking Hispanic parents) of children undergoing outpatient elective surgery. Parents completed the post-hospitalization behavior questionnaire (PHBQ) and parents' postoperative pain measure (PPPM) on postoperative days one, three, and seven at home. Most parents (83%) reported onset of new negative behavioral change in children postoperatively. Generalized estimating equations revealed significant group differences in overall behavior change [Wald χ(2)(12) = 375.69, P children compared to English-speaking White (ESW) parents (day 1: P children's postoperative behavioral recovery may be influenced by cultural variables, such as ethnicity and language. The present results contribute to a growing body of evidence that highlights the need for culturally sensitive assessment and care of families in the medical setting. The findings may reflect differences in cultural values such as stoicism; however, future studies would benefit from examination of the factors that may account for the differences in reported behavior change after surgery (i.e., report bias, cultural values). © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Grigorenko, Elena L.; Han, Summer S.; Yrigollen, Carolyn M.; Leng, Lin; Mizue, Yuka; Anderson, George M.; Mulder, Erik J.; de Bildt, Annelies; Minderaa, Ruud B.; Volkmar, Fred R.; Chang, Joseph T.; Bucala, Richard
OBJECTIVE. Autistic spectrum disorders are childhood neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by social and communicative impairment and repetitive and stereotypical behavior. Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is an upstream regulator of innate immunity that promotes
Nagwa A Meguid; Wafaa A Kandeel; Khaled E Wakeel; Aly A El-Nofely
Background: Growth abnormalities are uniquely associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASD); however, the extent to which growth abnormalities are present has hardly been investigated. The current study aims to compare the differences in anthropometric parameters in a group of autistic Egyptian children and the healthy normal population. Methods: We recruited 100 children with ASD from the Outpatient Clinic for "Autistic Children" at the Medical Research Hospital of Excellence, National Research Centre in Cairo, Egypt. They were diagnosed by DSM-IV criteria of the American Psychiatric Association, Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised, and Childhood Autism Rating Scale. Of these children at age of 3-10 years, 71 were males and 29 females. Eight anthropometric parameters were assessed in view of data of the healthy Egyptians of pertinent sex and age. Results: Weight and body mass index increased because of a signifi cant increase in subcutaneous fat thickness. This tendency with a probable decrease in muscle mass was more evident in male or in older children, likely resulting from sedentary life style and food selectivity. Conclusions: The Z head circumference score and its variance signifi cantly increased especially in males or older children, suggesting the relative overgrowth of the brain in a substantial percentage of Egyptian children with autism. We concluded that increased fat composition in Egyptian autistic children with decreased muscle mass necessitates tailoring a specially designed food supplementation program to ameliorate the severity of autism symptoms.
Hyseni, Fjola; Blanken, Laura M E; Muetzel, Ryan; Verhulst, Frank C; Tiemeier, Henning; White, Tonya
Clinical studies of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) provide evidence for poorer neuropsychological performance within specific domains compared to age, gender, and sometimes IQ-matched controls. Since recent evidence suggests that autistic symptoms form a spectrum that extends into the general population, it was our goal to evaluate the nature of the relationship between autistic traits and neuropsychological performance across the continuum in the general population. We examined neuropsychological performance across five different domains in 1019 6-to-10-year-old children participating in a population-based study of child development. Autistic traits were assessed when the children were 6 years of age using the Social Responsiveness Scale and ASD diagnoses were obtained via medical records. Neuropsychological functioning was measured using the NEPSY-II-NL and included the domains of attention and executive function, memory and learning, sensorimotor functioning, language, and visuospatial functioning. We found that children with higher autistic traits showed significantly lower neuropsychological performance in all domains investigated and that this association remained even after excluding children with the highest autistic traits or confirmed ASD. When comparing 41 children with confirmed ASD diagnosis to typically developing controls, children with ASD showed significantly lower neuropsychological performance across all domains. Taken together, our results suggest that children with both ASD and subclinical autistic traits have lower neuropsychological performance. Thus, this may provide an understanding of why some children without an ASD diagnosis may require some additional assistance within academic settings.
Kan, C.C.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Gaag, R.J. van der
Early infantile autism' as defined by Kanner has grown into a spectrum of autistic disorders. The recognition of Asperger's disorder and of pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), has led to increased demand for appropriate diagnostic assessment of autism in adults. The
Poljac, Ervin; Poljac, Edita; Wagemans, Johan
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…
Foulkes, Lucy; Bird, Geoffrey; Gökçen, Elif; McCrory, Eamon; Viding, Essi
According to the social motivation hypothesis of autism, individuals with high levels of autistic traits experience reduced levels of reward from social interactions. However, empirical evidence to date has been mixed, with some studies reporting lower levels of social reward in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and others finding no difference when compared to typically developing controls. Alexithymia, a subclinical condition associated with the reduced ability to identify and describe one’s own emotions, has been found to account for other affective difficulties observed inconsistently in individuals with ASD. The current study used a nonclinical sample (N = 472) to explore the associations between autistic traits and the value of six types of social reward, as measured by the Social Reward Questionnaire. In addition, we measured alexithymia to assess if this accounted for associations between autistic traits and social reward. There were three main findings. Firstly, higher levels of autistic traits were associated with significantly less enjoyment of admiration and sociability, and adding alexithymia to these models did not account for any additional variance. Secondly, both autistic traits and alexithymia were uniquely associated with reduced levels of enjoyment of prosocial interactions and sexual relationships. Thirdly, autistic traits were associated with higher levels of enjoyment of passivity and negative social potency, but these associations were no longer significant once alexithymia was taken into account, suggesting that co-occurring alexithymia accounted for these apparent associations. Overall, the current findings provide a novel and more nuanced picture of the relationship between autistic traits and social reward. PMID:25853670
De Alwis, Duneesha; Agrawal, Arpana; Reiersen, Angela M; Constantino, John N; Henders, Anjali; Martin, Nicholas G; Lynskey, Michael T
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder frequently co-occur. Several studies show increased risk of substance use disorders in ADHD, yet there is limited information related to how ADHD symptoms, autistic traits, and their combined effects are associated with nicotine, alcohol, and cannabis use and use disorders in the general population. Cross-sectional interview and self-report questionnaire data from 3,080 young adult Australian twins (mean age 31.9 years) were used to assess ADHD symptoms, autistic traits, substance use, and substance use disorders. Substance use disorders-based on Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, criteria-were assessed in the full sample as well as in those who reported substance use. Logistic regression analyses were used for comparing the associations between ADHD symptoms, autistic traits, substance use, and substance misuse after conduct disorder, sex, age, and zygosity were controlled for. Greater ADHD symptoms and autistic traits scores were associated with elevated levels of regular smoking; cannabis use; and nicotine, alcohol, and cannabis use disorders, even after conduct disorder was adjusted for. In contrast, for alcohol use, those with high autistic traits scores were less likely to report drinking to intoxication. However, upon initiation, and similar to the findings for nicotine and cannabis, they were at elevated risk for developing alcohol dependence. Increased liability to ADHD and elevated autistic traits scores were associated with substance use and misuse, with the exception of alcohol use. Given the social underpinnings of drinking, persons with autistic traits may be less likely to engage in it; however, upon engagement in drinking, their vulnerability to alcohol dependence is elevated.
Pelton, M K; Cassidy, S A
Autism spectrum conditions (ASC) has recently been associated with increased risk of suicidality. However, no studies have explored how autistic traits may interact with current models of suicidal behavior in a non-clinical population. The current study therefore explored how self-reported autistic traits interact with perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness in predicting suicidal behavior, in the context of the Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicide (IPTS). 163 young adults (aged 18-30 years) completed an online survey including measures of thwarted belonging and perceived burdensomeness (Interpersonal Needs Questionnaire), self-reported autistic traits (Autism Spectrum Quotient), current depression (Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale), and lifetime suicidality (Suicide Behavior Questionnaire-Revised). Results showed that burdensomeness and thwarted belonging significantly mediated the relationship between autistic traits and suicidal behavior. Both depression and autistic traits significantly predicted thwarted belonging and perceived burdensomeness. Autistic traits did not significantly moderate the relationship between suicidal behavior and thwarted belonging or perceived burdensomeness. Results suggest that the IPTS provides a useful framework for understanding the influence of autistic traits on suicidal behavior. However, the psychometric properties of these measures need be explored in those with clinically confirmed diagnosis of ASC. Autism Res 2017, 10: 1891-1904. © 2017 The Authors Autism Research published by International Society for Autism Research and Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Recent research has shown that people with high autistic traits are more likely to attempt suicide. However, no studies have explored why. We found that people with high autistic traits were more likely to experience feelings that they do not belong in the world, are a burden on others, and depression, which may increase their likelihood of
Pelton, M. K.
Autism spectrum conditions (ASC) has recently been associated with increased risk of suicidality. However, no studies have explored how autistic traits may interact with current models of suicidal behavior in a non‐clinical population. The current study therefore explored how self‐reported autistic traits interact with perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness in predicting suicidal behavior, in the context of the Interpersonal‐Psychological Theory of Suicide (IPTS). 163 young adults (aged 18–30 years) completed an online survey including measures of thwarted belonging and perceived burdensomeness (Interpersonal Needs Questionnaire), self‐reported autistic traits (Autism Spectrum Quotient), current depression (Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale), and lifetime suicidality (Suicide Behavior Questionnaire‐Revised). Results showed that burdensomeness and thwarted belonging significantly mediated the relationship between autistic traits and suicidal behavior. Both depression and autistic traits significantly predicted thwarted belonging and perceived burdensomeness. Autistic traits did not significantly moderate the relationship between suicidal behavior and thwarted belonging or perceived burdensomeness. Results suggest that the IPTS provides a useful framework for understanding the influence of autistic traits on suicidal behavior. However, the psychometric properties of these measures need be explored in those with clinically confirmed diagnosis of ASC. Autism Res 2017, 10: 1891–1904. © 2017 The Authors Autism Research published by International Society for Autism Research and Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Lay Summary Recent research has shown that people with high autistic traits are more likely to attempt suicide. However, no studies have explored why. We found that people with high autistic traits were more likely to experience feelings that they do not belong in the world, are a burden on others, and depression, which may
Johnson, Laurel L; Bradley, Susan J; Birkenfeld-Adams, Andrea S; Kuksis, Myra A Radzins; Maing, Dianne M; Mitchell, Janet N; Zucker, Kenneth J
This paper reports on the psychometric properties of a 16-item parent-report Gender Identity Questionnaire, originally developed by P. H. Elizabeth and R. Green (1984), to aid in the assessment of children with potential problems in their gender identity development. The questionnaire, which covered aspects of the core phenomenology of gender identity disorder (GID), was completed by parents of gender-referred children (N = 325) and controls (siblings, clinic-referred, and nonreferred; N = 504), who ranged in age from 2.5-12 years (mean age, 7.6 years). Factor-analysis indicated that a one-factor solution, containing 14 of the 16 items with factor loadings > or =.30, best fit the data, accounting for 43.7% of the variance. The gender-referred children had a significantly more deviant total score than did the controls, with a large effect size of 3.70. The GIQ total score had negligible age effects, indicating that the questionnaire has utility for assessing change over time. The gender-referred children who met the complete DSM criteria for GID had a significantly more deviant total score than did the children who were subthreshold for GID, although the latter group had a mean score that was closer to the threshold cases than to the controls. With a specificity rate set at 95% for the controls, the sensitivity rate for the probands was 86.8%. It is concluded that this parent-report gender identity questionnaire has excellent psychometric properties and can serve as a useful screening device for front-line clinicians, for whom more extensive, expensive, and time-consuming assessment procedures may be precluded.
Freeth, Megan; Sheppard, Elizabeth; Ramachandran, Rajani; Milne, Elizabeth
The disorder of autism is widely recognised throughout the world. However, the diagnostic criteria and theories of autism are based on research predominantly conducted in Western cultures. Here we compare the expression of autistic traits in a sample of neurotypical individuals from one Western culture (UK) and two Eastern cultures (India and Malaysia), using the Autism-spectrum Quotient (AQ) in order to identify possible cultural differences in the expression of autistic traits. Behaviours associated with autistic traits were reported to a greater extent in the Eastern cultures than the Western culture. Males scored higher than females and science students scored higher than non-science students in each culture. Indian students scored higher than both other groups on the Imagination sub-scale, Malaysian students scored higher than both other groups on the Attention Switching sub-scale. The underlying factor structures of the AQ for each population were derived and discussed.
Suzuki, Tomoko; Miyaki, Koichi; Eguchi, Hisashi; Tsutsumi, Akizumi
This study aimed to confirm whether autistic traits are normally distributed across a population and to describe their association with the sociodemographic characteristics of Japanese workers. The participants were 2075 workers aged 23-65 years from various parts of Japan. Autistic traits were measured using an abridged Japanese version of the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ-Short). The AQ-Short comprises five subcomponents assessing a fascination for numbers and patterns (numbers/patterns), difficulties with imagination, a preference for routine, difficulties with social skills, and difficulties with switching attention. The five subcomponents of the autistic phenotype as well as the overall autistic phenotype itself were continuously distributed across the sample population of Japanese workers. Men had significantly higher AQ-Short scores than women. AQ-Short scores were not associated with age. Except for the numbers/patterns scores, workers of a lower socioeconomic status had significantly higher AQ-Short scores than their respective counterparts. For the numbers/patterns trait, workers of a higher socioeconomic status scored higher. Workers with low general physical activity had or tended to have higher scores for total and all subcomponent traits, except for the numbers/patterns trait. Generally, the autistic phenotype was more prevalent in workers of a low socioeconomic status, while a particular trait was prevalent among workers of a high socioeconomic status.
Dawson, Geraldine; McKissick, Fawn Celeste
Fifteen autistic children (four to six years old) were assessed for visual self-recognition ability, as well as for object permanence and gestural imitation. It was found that 13 of 15 autistic children showed evidence of self-recognition. Consistent relationships were suggested between self-cognition and object permanence but not between…
In the philosophy of well-being, there is hardly anything written on the lives of people with autism or on the question whether existing philosophical theories of well-being are suited for understanding how well the lives of autistic persons are going. This paper tries to make some progress towards filling this gap. I start by giving a concise account of autism, which highlights the huge heterogeneity among autistics. I discuss some basic features of autism, ask whether there are good reasons why we would need an account of well-being specifically for autistics and what philosophical well-being research could learn from being informed by autistic experiences and phenomenology. I then investigate to what extent the capability approach gives us a helpful theory of well-being for autistics, and what looking through an autism-lens can contribute to the further development of the capabilitarian well-being. In particular, I show that some capabilities that are crucially relevant for autistics are also relevant for the lives of non-autistic people. The final part of the paper looks at an important difficulty in using the capabilitarian account of well-being for autistics, namely: should the normative focus be on achievements (functionings) or real opportunities (capabilities)? Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/
Neil, Louise; Green, Dido; Pellicano, Elizabeth
Unusual reactions to sensory input became part of the diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder in the DSM-5. Measures accurately assessing these symptoms are important for clinical decisions. This study examined the reliability and validity of the Sensory Behavior Questionnaire, a parent-report scale designed to assess frequency and impact…
Wood, Jeffrey J.; Drahota, Amy; Sze, Karen; Dyke, Marilyn; Decker, Kelly; Fujii, Cori; Bahng, Christie; Renno, Patricia; Hwang, Wei-Chin; Spiker, Michael
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...
Galle, Sara A; Courchesne, Valérie; Mottron, Laurent; Frasnelli, Johannes
The autism spectrum (AS) is characterised by enhanced perception in vision and audition, described by the enhanced perceptual functioning (EPF) model. This model predicts enhanced low-level (discrimination of psychophysical dimensions), and mid- and high-level (pattern detection and identification) perception. The EPF model is here tested for olfaction by investigating olfactory function in autistic and Asperger participants. Experiment 1 targeted higher-order olfactory processing by assessing olfactory identification in nine Asperger, ten autistic, and eleven typically developed individuals. Experiment 2 focused on low-level olfactory processing; we assessed odour detection thresholds and odour discrimination in five Asperger, five autistic, and five typically developed males. Olfactory identification was impaired in autistic participants relative to control and Asperger participants. Typical performance in low-level olfactory processing suggests that neural mechanisms involved in the perceptual phenotype of AS do not affect structures implicated in olfactory processing. Reduced olfactory identification is limited to autistic participants who displayed speech delay and may be due to a reduced facility to use verbal labels. The apparent absence of enhanced olfactory perception of AS participants distinguishes the olfactory system from the other sensory modalities and might be caused by the absence of an obligatory thalamic relay.
Full Text Available One in every 150 children is estimated to fall within the autistic spectrum, regardless of socio-cultural and economic aspects, with a 4:1 prevalence of males over females (ADDM, 2007. Architecture, as a profession, is responsible for creating environments that accommodate the needs of all types of users. Special needs individuals should not be exempt from such accommodation. Despite this high incidence of autism, there are yet to be developed architectural design guidelines catering specifically to the scope of autistic needs. The primary goal of this research is to correct this exclusion by developing a preliminary framework of architectural design guidelines for autism. This will be done through a two phase study. The first phase will determine, through a questionnaire of first hand caregivers of autistic children, the impact of architectural design elements on autistic behaviour, to determine the most influential. The second phase, based on the findings of the first, will test the conclusive highest ranking architectural elements in an intervention study on autistic children in their school environment. Specific behavioural indicators, namely attention span, response time and behavioural temperament, will be tracked to determine each child’s progress pre and post intervention, for a control and study group. This study concludes in outlining the findings of both phases of the study, the first being the determination of the most influential architectural design elements on autistic behaviour, according to the sample surveyed. The second group of findings outlines design strategies for autism in three points. The first is the presentation of a "sensory design matrix" which matches architectural elements with autistic sensory issues and is used to generate suggested design guidelines. The second is the presentation of these hypothetical guidelines, two of which are tested in the presented study. These guidelines are presented as possible
Rossana eActis-Grosso; Rossana eActis-Grosso; Francesco eBossi; Paola eRicciardelli; Paola eRicciardelli
We investigated whether the type of stimulus (pictures of static faces vs. body motion) contributes differently to the recognition of emotions. The performance (accuracy and response times) of 25 Low Autistic Traits (LAT group) young adults (21 males) and 20 young adults (16 males) with either High Autistic Traits (HAT group) or with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder was compared in the recognition of four emotions (Happiness, Anger, Fear and Sadness) either shown in static faces or c...
Actis-Grosso, Rossana; Bossi, Francesco; Ricciardelli, Paola
We investigated whether the type of stimulus (pictures of static faces vs. body motion) contributes differently to the recognition of emotions. The performance (accuracy and response times) of 25 Low Autistic Traits (LAT group) young adults (21 males) and 20 young adults (16 males) with either High Autistic Traits or with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder (HAT group) was compared in the recognition of four emotions (Happiness, Anger, Fear, and Sadness) either shown in static faces or ...
Björnsdotter, Malin; Davidovic, Monika; Karjalainen, Louise; Starck, Göran; Olausson, Håkan; Wentz, Elisabet
Patients with anorexia nervosa exhibit higher levels of behaviours typically associated with autism-spectrum disorder (ASD), but the neural basis is unclear. We sought to determine whether elevated autistic traits in women with anorexia nervosa may be reflected in cortical morphology. We used voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to examine regional grey matter volumes in high-resolution MRI structural brain scans in women with anorexia nervosa and matched healthy controls. The Autism-spectrum Quotient (AQ) scale was used to assess autistic traits. Women with anorexia nervosa ( n = 25) had higher AQ scores and lower bilateral superior temporal sulcus (STS) grey matter volumes than the control group ( n = 25). The AQ scores correlated negatively with average left STS grey matter volume in women with anorexia nervosa. We did not control for cognitive ability and examined only women with ongoing anorexia nervosa. Elevated autistic traits in women with anorexia nervosa are associated with morphometric alterations of brain areas linked to social cognition. This finding provides neurobiological support for the behavioural link between anorexia nervosa and ASD and emphasizes the importance of recognizing autistic traits in preventing and treating anorexia nervosa.
Davidovic, Monika; Karjalainen, Louise; Starck, Göran; Olausson, Håkan; Wentz, Elisabet
Background Patients with anorexia nervosa exhibit higher levels of behaviours typically associated with autism-spectrum disorder (ASD), but the neural basis is unclear. We sought to determine whether elevated autistic traits in women with anorexia nervosa may be reflected in cortical morphology. Methods We used voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to examine regional grey matter volumes in high-resolution MRI structural brain scans in women with anorexia nervosa and matched healthy controls. The Autism-spectrum Quotient (AQ) scale was used to assess autistic traits. Results Women with anorexia nervosa (n = 25) had higher AQ scores and lower bilateral superior temporal sulcus (STS) grey matter volumes than the control group (n = 25). The AQ scores correlated negatively with average left STS grey matter volume in women with anorexia nervosa. Limitations We did not control for cognitive ability and examined only women with ongoing anorexia nervosa. Conclusion Elevated autistic traits in women with anorexia nervosa are associated with morphometric alterations of brain areas linked to social cognition. This finding provides neurobiological support for the behavioural link between anorexia nervosa and ASD and emphasizes the importance of recognizing autistic traits in preventing and treating anorexia nervosa. PMID:29481315
Jones, Rachel M; Cadby, Gemma; Blangero, John; Abraham, Lawrence J; Whitehouse, Andrew J O; Moses, Eric K
There is now substantial evidence that autistic-like traits in the general population lie on a continuum, with clinical autism spectrum disorders (ASD) representing the extreme end of this distribution. In this study, we sought to evaluate five independently identified genetic associations with ASD with autistic-like traits in the general population. In the study cohort, clinical phenotype and genomewide association genotype data were obtained from the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study. The outcome measure used was the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ), a quantitative measure of autistic-like traits of individuals in the cohort. Total AQ scores were calculated for each individual, as well as scores for three subscales. Five candidate single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) associations with ASD, reported in previously published genomewide association studies, were selected using a nominal cutoff value of P less than 1.0×10. We tested whether these five SNPs were associated with total AQ and the subscales, after adjustment for possible confounders. SNP rs4141463 located in the macro domain containing 2 (MACROD2) gene was significantly associated with the Communication/Mindreading subscale. No other SNP was significantly associated with total AQ or the subscales. The MACROD2 gene is a strong positional candidate risk factor for autistic-like traits in the general population.
Full Text Available Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD is among the most debilitating psychiatric disorders. Comorbid autism spectrum disorder (ASD or autistic traits may impair treatment response in OCD. To identify possible neurostructural deficits underlying autistic traits, we performed white matter tractography on diffusion tensor images (DTI and assessed autistic trait severity using the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ in 33 OCD patients. Correlations between AQ and the DTI parameters, fractional anisotropy (FA, mean diffusivity (MD, axial diffusivity (AD, and radial diffusivity (RD were examined in major white matter tracts that were suggested to be altered in previous OCD studies. We found a negative correlation between AQ and FA and positive correlations between AQ and MD, AD and RD in the left uncinate fasciculus using age, Beck Depression Inventory, Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale, intelligence quotient and medication as covariates. However, we could not detect the significant results between AQ and all DTI parameters when adding gender as a covariate. In addition, in the ASD comorbid group, FA in the left uncinate fasciculus was significantly lower than in the non-ASD comorbid group and MD and RD were significantly higher than in the non-ASD group. These results did not survive correction for multiple comparisons. In ASD, the socio-emotional dysfunction is suggested to be related to the alteration of white matter microstructure in uncinate fasciculus. Our results suggest that variations in white matter features of the left uncinate fasciculus might be partly explained by autistic traits encountered in OCD patients.
Full Text Available Touch screens are increasingly prevalent, and anecdotal evidence suggests that young children are very drawn towards them. Yet there is little data regarding how young children use them. A brief online questionnaire queried over 450 French parents of infants between the ages of 5 and 40 months on their young child's use of touch-screen technology. Parents estimated frequency of use, and further completed several checklists. Results suggest that, among respondent families, the use of touch screens is widespread in early childhood, meaning that most children have some exposure to touch screens. Among child users, certain activities are more frequently reported to be liked than others, findings that we discuss in light of current concern for children's employment of time and the cognitive effects of passive media exposure. Additionally, these parental reports point to clear developmental trends for certain types of interactive gestures. These results contribute to the investigation of touch screen use on early development and suggest a number of considerations that should help improve the design of applications geared towards toddlers, particularly for scientific purposes.
Cristia, Alejandrina; Seidl, Amanda
Touch screens are increasingly prevalent, and anecdotal evidence suggests that young children are very drawn towards them. Yet there is little data regarding how young children use them. A brief online questionnaire queried over 450 French parents of infants between the ages of 5 and 40 months on their young child's use of touch-screen technology. Parents estimated frequency of use, and further completed several checklists. Results suggest that, among respondent families, the use of touch screens is widespread in early childhood, meaning that most children have some exposure to touch screens. Among child users, certain activities are more frequently reported to be liked than others, findings that we discuss in light of current concern for children's employment of time and the cognitive effects of passive media exposure. Additionally, these parental reports point to clear developmental trends for certain types of interactive gestures. These results contribute to the investigation of touch screen use on early development and suggest a number of considerations that should help improve the design of applications geared towards toddlers, particularly for scientific purposes.
Hernandez, Mariely; Marangoni, Ciro; Grant, Marie C; Estrada, Jezelle; Faedda, Gianni L
Early psychopathology in children diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder (BD) remains poorly characterized. Parental retrospective reports provide helpful details on the earliest manifestations and their evolution over time. These symptoms occur early in the course of BD, often before a formal diagnosis is made and/or treatment is implemented, and are of great importance to early recognition and prevention. Parents of pre-pubertal children and adolescents with DSM-IV diagnoses of BD attending an outpatient mood disorders clinic provided retrospective ratings of 37 symptoms of child psychopathology. Stability and comorbidity of diagnoses were evaluated, and severity of symptoms for each subject was assessed by identifying the earliest occurrence of the reported symptoms causing impairment. Severe mood instability, temper tantrums, anxiety symptoms, sleep disturbances and aggression were among the most common signs of psychopathology reported in children diagnosed with BD before puberty. Symptoms were already apparent in the first three years in 28%, and formal diagnoses were made before the age of 8 y in the majority of cases. Retrospective parental reports of early symptoms of psychopathology in pre-pubertal children with BD revealed a very early occurrence of affective precursors (irritability and mood dysregulation) and clinical risk factors like impulsive aggression and anxiety that can precede the syndromal onset of mania by several years. These findings support previous reports suggesting a progression of symptoms from abnormal, non-specific presentations to sub-threshold and finally syndromal BD. The importance of early identification and intervention is discussed.
Bijlenga, D; Tjon-Ka-Jie, J Y M; Schuijers, F; Kooij, J J S
Abnormal sensory sensitivity is a feature of autism-spectrum disorder (ASD), but is also reported in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In many cases, ADHD and ASD are comorbid. This study investigated the prevalence of sensory hyper- and hyposensitivity among adults with ADHD, controlling for autistic symptoms. One hundred and sixteen adults diagnosed with ADHD completed the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile-NL (AASP-NL) and the Autism-spectrum Quotient (AQ) questionnaires. Prevalences of hyper- and hyposensitivity and autism-spectrum symptoms were compared to norm values. Multivariate binary logistic regressions were used to determine the association of autistic symptoms, age, gender, ADHD subtype, self-reported severity of ADHD symptoms, comorbid disorders, and use of medication on the sensory hypo- and hypersensitivity in adults with ADHD. Adults with ADHD had more autistic symptoms, and they had both more hyper- and hyposensitivity compared to norm groups. This was especially apparent in the Activity level and Auditory sensory modalities. Sensory hypo- and hypersensitivity were both related to an increased ADHD score, even showing a dose-response relationship, but not to any autistic symptom or comorbid disorder. As much as 43% of the females with ADHD reported sensory hypo- and/or hypersensitivity, compared to 22% of the men. Sensory hypo- and hypersensitivity may be viewed as key features of adult ADHD, especially in females, regardless of any autistic symptoms. Future research should be directed at the implications of this sensory dysregulation for the understanding of the pathophysiology of (female) ADHD, and on the usefulness of assessment of atypical sensory profiles in the diagnostic procedure of ADHD in adults. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
Wulffaert, Josette; Van Berckelaer-Onnes, Ina A; Scholte, Evert M
According to the major classification systems it is not possible to diagnose a comorbid autistic disorder in persons with Rett syndrome. However, this is a controversial issue, and given the level of functioning of persons with Rett syndrome, the autistic disorder is expected to be present in a comparable proportion as in people with the same level of functioning. To investigate, parents of 52 females with classical and atypical Rett syndrome (2.4-49.3 years) completed the Developmental Behavior Checklist (DBC), the Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (DISCO) and the Dutch Vineland Screener 0-6 (VS 0-6). All participants had a severe to profound intellectual disability (ID) according to the VS 0-6. Behavior indicated an autistic disorder in 42 (DBC) to 58 percent (DISCO) of the Rett cases. Autistic behavior had decreased in 19 percent such that they no longer met the criteria for autistic disorder. Some participants were suspected of having a comorbid autistic disorder, though not more often than can be expected at their level of functioning. Clinicians should be aware of the possibility of a comorbid autistic disorder as much as they should be in other people with this level of functioning.
Delli, Konstantina; Reichart, Peter A; Bornstein, Michael M; Livas, Christos
Objectives: This article reviews the present literature on the issues encountered while coping with children with autistic spectrum disorder from the dental perspective. The autistic patient profile and external factors affecting the oral health status of this patient population are discussed upon
Fleming, Charles B.; Mason, W. Alex; Thompson, Ronald W.; Haggerty, Kevin P.; Gross, Thomas J.
This study examined how child and parent reports of parenting were related to early adolescent substance use and school suspensions. Data were from two time points 6 months apart on 321 families with an eighth-grade student attending one of five schools in the Pacific Northwest. Child- and parent-report measures of family management practices were…
Adrien, J L; Tanguay, P; Barthélémy, C; Martineaú, J; Perrot, A; Hameury, L; Sauvage, D
Many mentally retarded autistic children can understand the concept of object permanence, but, in comparison to developmental-age matched normal children, the behavioral strategies they employ in carrying out the Casati-Lezine Object Permanence Test are deficient and lead to failure. These deficiencies appear unrelated to interference of stereotypic or other bizarre behavior in task performance. Similar problem-solving deficiencies can be found in mentally retarded children who are not autistic, suggesting that the deficiencies themselves are less related to the social-communication deficits of autistic children, but more to the general problem-solving difficulties found in children with a lower developmental quotient. Nevertheless, the qualitative analysis of results shows a tendency in autistic children, despite their better developmental level, to use less coordinated and regular sequences to solve the task than normal or mentally retarded children.
Roberts, Jacqueline M. A.
The study with 10 autistic children (ages 4-17) found that those children with poor receptive language skills produced significantly more echolalic utterances than those children whose receptive skills were more age-appropriate. (Author/DB)
Gong, Yun; Du, YaSong; Li, HuiLin; Zhang, XiYan; An, Yu; Wu, Bai-Lin
We examined parenting stress and mental health status in parents of autistic children and assessed factors associated with such stress. Participants were parents of 188 autistic children diagnosed with DSM-IV criteria and parents of 144 normally developing children. Parents of autistic children reported higher levels of stress, depression, and anxiety than parents of normally developing children. Mothers of autistic children had a higher risk of depression and anxiety than that did parents of normally developing children. Mothers compared to fathers of autistic children were more vulnerable to depression. Age, behavior problems of autistic children, and mothers' anxiety were significantly associated with parenting stress.
Qian, Ning; Lipkin, Richard M.
Understanding autism's ever-expanding array of behaviors, from sensation to cognition, is a major challenge. We posit that autistic and typically developing brains implement different algorithms that are better suited to learn, represent, and process different tasks; consequently, they develop different interests and behaviors. Computationally, a continuum of algorithms exists, from lookup table (LUT) learning, which aims to store experiences precisely, to interpolation (INT) learning, which focuses on extracting underlying statistical structure (regularities) from experiences. We hypothesize that autistic and typical brains, respectively, are biased toward LUT and INT learning, in low- and high-dimensional feature spaces, possibly because of their narrow and broad tuning functions. The LUT style is good at learning relationships that are local, precise, rigid, and contain little regularity for generalization (e.g., the name–number association in a phonebook). However, it is poor at learning relationships that are context dependent, noisy, flexible, and do contain regularities for generalization (e.g., associations between gaze direction and intention, language and meaning, sensory input and interpretation, motor-control signal and movement, and social situation and proper response). The LUT style poorly compresses information, resulting in inefficiency, sensory overload (overwhelm), restricted interests, and resistance to change. It also leads to poor prediction and anticipation, frequent surprises and over-reaction (hyper-sensitivity), impaired attentional selection and switching, concreteness, strong local focus, weak adaptation, and superior and inferior performances on simple and complex tasks. The spectrum nature of autism can be explained by different degrees of LUT learning among different individuals, and in different systems of the same individual. Our theory suggests that therapy should focus on training autistic LUT algorithm to learn regularities
Full Text Available Understanding autism’s ever-expanding array of behaviors, from sensation to cognition, is a major challenge. We posit that autistic and typically-developing brains implement different algorithms that are better suited to learn, represent, and process different tasks; consequently, they develop different interests and behaviors. Computationally, a continuum of algorithms exists, from lookup-table (LUT learning, which aims to store experiences precisely, to interpolation (INT learning, which focuses on extracting underlying statistical structure (regularities from experiences. We hypothesize that autistic and typical brains, respectively, are biased toward LUT and INT learning, in low and high dimensional feature spaces, possibly because of their narrow and broad tuning functions. The LUT style is good at learning relationships that are local, precise, rigid, and contain little regularity for generalization (e.g., the name-number association in a phonebook. However, it is poor at learning relationships that are context dependent, noisy, flexible, and do contain regularities for generalization (e.g., associations between gaze direction and intention, language and meaning, sensory input and interpretation, motor-control signal and movement, and social situation and proper response. The LUT style poorly compresses information, resulting in inefficiency, sensory overload (overwhelm, restricted interests, and resistance to change. It also leads to poor prediction and anticipation, frequent surprises and over-reaction (hyper-sensitivity, impaired attentional selection and switching, concreteness, strong local focus, weak adaptation, and superior and inferior performances on simple and complex tasks. The spectrum nature of autism can be explained by different degrees of LUT learning among different individuals, and in different systems of the same individual. Our theory suggests that therapy should focus on training autistic LUT algorithm to learn
Liew, Shi Min; Thevaraja, Nishta; Hong, Ryan Y; Magiati, Iliana
The high prevalence of anxiety symptoms in individuals with autism spectrum disorders has now been well documented. There is also a positive relationship between autistic traits and anxiety symptoms in unselected samples and individuals with anxiety disorders have more autistic traits compared to those without. Less is known, however, regarding which elements of autistic traits (i.e., social versus non-social/behavioral) or which other variables may mediate this relationship. This study investigated the shared and specific role of five autistic-trait related mediators (social problem-solving, social competence, teasing experiences, prevention from/punishment for preferred repetitive behaviors and aversive sensory experiences) in a non-clinical sample of 252 university students. Autistic traits positively correlated with both anxiety and depressive symptoms. Social competence mediated the relationship between autistic traits and social anxiety symptoms only, while only prevention from preferred repetitive behaviors and frequent aversive sensory experiences mediated the relationship between autistic traits, worry and obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Replication of these findings is required in longitudinal studies and with clinical samples. Limitations of the study are discussed and possible implications for intervention are tentatively suggested.
Chabrol, Henri; Raynal, Patrick
The co-occurrence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is not rare and has been linked to increased suicidality. Despite this significant comorbidity between ASD and BPD, no study had examined the co-occurrence of autistic traits and borderline personality disorder traits in the general population. The aim of the present study was to examine the co-occurrence of autistic and borderline traits in a non-clinical sample of young adults and its influence on the levels of suicidal ideation and depressive symptomatology. Participants were 474 college students who completed self-report questionnaires. Data were analysed using correlation and cluster analyses. Borderline personality traits and autistic traits were weakly correlated. However, cluster analysis yielded four groups: a low traits group, a borderline traits group, an autistic traits group, and a group characterized by high levels of both traits. Cluster analysis revealed that autistic and borderline traits can co-occur in a significant proportion of young adults. The high autistic and borderline traits group constituted 17% of the total sample and had higher level of suicidal ideation than the borderline traits group, despite similar levels of depressive symptoms. This result suggests that the higher suicidality observed in patients with comorbid ASD and BPD may extent to non-clinical individuals with high levels of co-occurrent autistic and borderline traits. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kar, Nilamadhab; Khanna, Rakesh; Kar, Gopal Chandra
Most of the autistic disorder patients are also mentally retarded and many mentally retarded persons exhibit autistic symptoms. By using a standard instrument (Ritvo-Freeman Real Life Rating Scale) the autistic features of the mentally retarded children were studied. The study also examined the influence of age, sex and level of mental retardation on the occurrence of autistic symptoms. Children who came for consultation to child psychiatric unit were compared with those at a school for children with mental retardation receiving stimulation. Male children from child psychiatric unit had significantly higher scores than those from the school. Social and language impairment could be reliably identified and grouped. It was possible to diagnose the syndrome of autism in children with mental retardation in a significant number (9.6%)as compared to that was possible only clinically (1.9%). More number of children with severe/ profound mental retardation could be diagnosed as autistic. The autistic syndrome in children with mental retardation can be picked up more effectively by the use of structured instrument. PMID:21584097
Nataf, Robert; Skorupka, Corinne; Lam, Alain; Springbett, Anthea; Lathe, Richard
Urinary metabolite measurements are often normalized to levels of the ubiquitous metabolite creatinine (CRT) to take account of variations in fluid export. Following CRT normalization, excesses of porphyrins and isoprostanes have been reported in the urines of children with neurodevelopmental disorders. It was suggested (Whiteley et al., 2006, Pediatr. Int. 2006; 48: 292-297) that urinary CRT levels may be depressed in children with autism spectrum disorders. This prompted re-evaluation of CRT levels in such children. First matinal urinary CRT levels were compared between subjects in different diagnostic categories including autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and hyperactivity, before and after correction for age and gender. A larger reference group, consisting of subjects with unrelated disorders and Asperger disorder, with no reported porphyrin excess, was also compared to the group with autistic disorder, both for CRT and for porphyrin (coproporphyrin, COPRO) excess. No significant difference in CRT was observed between any of the categories analyzed, also when corrected for age and gender. In contrast, urinary COPRO levels were significantly higher in autistic disorder versus reference groups, either when expressed as absolute values (independent of CRT levels) or when normalized to CRT. These data do not support a systematic reduction in urinary CRT levels in subjects with autism spectrum disorders including autistic disorder and PDD-NOS. Urinary COPRO excess in autistic disorder was not associated with or consequent upon urinary CRT deficiency. Differences between affected and control subjects in age and sampling time, as reported by Whiteley et al., may underlie the apparent CRT reduction.
Blumberg, Stephen J; Zablotsky, Benjamin; Avila, Rosa M; Colpe, Lisa J; Pringle, Beverly A; Kogan, Michael D
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnoses sometimes change due to misdiagnosis, maturation, or treatment. This study uses a probability-based national survey—the Survey of Pathways to Diagnosis and Services—to compare currently diagnosed (n=1420) and previously diagnosed (n=187) children aged 6–17 years based on retrospective parental reports of early concerns about their children’s development, responses to those concerns by doctors and other health care providers, the type of provider who made the first ASD diagnosis, and the ASD subtype diagnoses received (if any). Propensity score matching was used to control for differences between the groups on children’s current level of functioning and other current characteristics that may have been related to diagnosis loss. Approximately 13% of the children ever diagnosed with ASD were estimated to have lost the diagnosis, and parents of 74% of them believe it was changed due to new information. Previously diagnosed children were less likely to have parents with early concerns about verbal skills, nonverbal communication, learning, and unusual gestures or movements. They were also less likely to have been referred to and diagnosed by a specialist. Previously diagnosed children were less likely to have ever received a diagnosis of Asperger’s disorder or autistic disorder. PMID:26489772
Ferro, Mark A; Avery, Lisa; Fayed, Nora; Streiner, David L; Cunningham, Charles E; Boyle, Michael H; Lach, Lucyna; Glidden, Gina; Rosenbaum, Peter L; Ronen, Gabriel M
To describe the developmental trajectories of quality of life (QoL) in a large cohort of children with epilepsy, and to assess the relative contribution of clinical, psychosocial, and sociodemographic variables on QoL trajectories. Five assessments during a 28-month prospective cohort study were used to model trajectories of QoL. Participants were recruited with their parents from six Canadian tertiary centers. A convenience sample of 506 children aged 8-14 years with epilepsy and without intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder were enrolled. A total of 894 children were eligible and 330 refused participation. Participating children were, on average, 11.4 years of age, and 49% were female. Nearly one third (32%) had partial seizures. At baseline, 479 and 503 child- and parent-reported questionnaires were completed. In total, 354 children (74%) and 366 parents (73%) completed the 28-month follow-up. QoL was measured using the child- and parent-reported version of the Childhood Epilepsy QoL scale (CHEQOL-25). Child-reported QoL was fitted best by a six-class model and parent-reported QoL by a five-class model. In both models, trajectories remained either stable or improved over 28 months. Of these children, 62% rated their QoL as high or moderately high, defined as at least one standard deviation above the average CHEQOL-25 score. Greater family, classmate, and peer social support, fewer symptoms of child and parent depression, and higher receptive vocabulary were identified as the most robust predictors of better QoL (all p < 0.001). Most children with epilepsy and their parents reported relatively good QoL in this first joint self- and proxy-reported trajectory study. Findings confirm the heterogeneous QoL outcomes for children with epilepsy and the primary importance of psychosocial factors rather than seizure and AED-specific factors in influencing QoL. These predictors that are potentially amenable to change should now be the focus of specific
Full Text Available Objectives: The theory of mind hypothesis states that children with autism are impaired in the development of the ability to appreciate their own and other people's mental states. The people with Autism Spectrum Disorder needs treatment approach which to strengthen their movement, focus of attention, eye contact and relaxation. "Dohsa-hou" is a Japanese psycho-rehabilitation method by motor training, that many of researches investigated its effectiveness on many aspects of autism spectrum disorders The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of Dohsa training on theory of mind in high-functioning autistic children. Methods: In a quasi-experimental study with pre-test, post-test designs without control group, 6 children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder participated in the study Pre-test was administered for all participants by theory of mind questionnaire. Participants were given Dohsa training for a period of 4 weeks, 3 sessions of one hour a week. At the end of training, the post test was done by the same questionnaire. In the study, two tools for measuring the effect were used Autism Spectrum Screening Questionnaire and Theory of mind Questionnaire. Results: The results showed that there were significant differences between the subjects participated in treatment before and after the intervention, and indicated that in the subjects after the 2 weeks of enforcement of treatment and one month after performing the post-test there was no significant difference. Discussion: As data showed, Dohsa training was an effective treatment for autistic children and movement has very important role in cognition, learning and cognition performance, especially theory of mind because movement and rhythm stimulate the brain. Together these findings suggest that it may be the autistic children motivation to move in ways they have not tried before that led their improvement during this psycho-rehabilitative program which affect their cognition and theory of
Craig, Alexis B.; Grossman, Emily; Krichmar, Jeffrey L.
Autism Spectrum Disorders are characterized by difficulties in communicating and cooperating with other people. Impairment in Theory of Mind (ToM), the ability to infer what another person is thinking, may contribute to these social deficits. The present study assesses the relationship between autistic traits and decision-making in a socioeconomic game environment that measures ToM and cooperation. We quantified participant strategy during game play with computer agents that simulated aspects...
Full Text Available Objectives: The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effectiveness of cognitive-behavior education on decreasing deterministic thinking in mothers of children with autism spectrum disorders. Methods: Participants were 24 mothers of autistic children who were referred to counseling centers of Tehran and their children’s disorder had been diagnosed at least by a psychiatrist and a counselor. They were randomly selected and assigned into control and experimental groups. Measurement tool was Deterministic Thinking Questionnaire and both groups answered it before and after education and the answers were analyzed by analysis of covariance. Results: The results indicated that cognitive-behavior education decreased deterministic thinking among mothers of autistic children, it decreased four sub scale of deterministic thinking: interaction with others, absolute thinking, prediction of future, and negative events (P<0.05 as well. Discussions: By learning cognitive and behavioral techniques, parents of children with autism can reach higher level of psychological well-being and it is likely that these cognitive-behavioral skills would have a positive impact on general life satisfaction of mothers of children with autism.
van Boxtel, Jeroen J A; Lu, Hongjing
People with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are hypothesized to have poor high-level processing but superior low-level processing, causing impaired social recognition, and a focus on non-social stimulus contingencies. Biological motion perception provides an ideal domain to investigate exactly how ASD modulates the interaction between low and high-level processing, because it involves multiple processing stages, and carries many important social cues. We investigated individual differences among typically developing observers in biological motion processing, and whether such individual differences associate with the number of autistic traits. In Experiment 1, we found that individuals with fewer autistic traits were automatically and involuntarily attracted to global biological motion information, whereas individuals with more autistic traits did not show this pre-attentional distraction. We employed an action adaptation paradigm in the second study to show that individuals with more autistic traits were able to compensate for deficits in global processing with an increased involvement in local processing. Our findings can be interpreted within a predictive coding framework, which characterizes the functional relationship between local and global processing stages, and explains how these stages contribute to the perceptual difficulties associated with ASD.
Williams, Elin H; Cross, Emily S
The Social Motivation Theory posits that a reduced sensitivity to the value of social stimuli, specifically faces, can account for social impairments in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Research has demonstrated that typically developing (TD) individuals preferentially orient towards another type of salient social stimulus, namely biological motion. Individuals with ASD, however, do not show this preference. While the reward value of faces to both TD and ASD individuals has been well-established, the extent to which individuals from these populations also find human motion to be rewarding remains poorly understood. The present study investigated the value assigned to biological motion by TD participants in an effort task, and further examined whether these values differed among individuals with more autistic traits. The results suggest that TD participants value natural human motion more than rigid, machine-like motion or non-human control motion, but this preference is attenuated among individuals reporting more autistic traits. This study provides the first evidence to suggest that individuals with more autistic traits find a broader conceptualisation of social stimuli less rewarding compared to individuals with fewer autistic traits. By quantifying the social reward value of human motion, the present findings contribute an important piece to our understanding of social motivation in individuals with and without social impairments. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Kosaka, Hirotaka; Munesue, Toshio; Ishitobi, Makoto; Asano, Mizuki; Omori, Masao; Sato, Makoto; Tomoda, Akemi; Wada, Yuji
Patients with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) exhibit core autistic symptoms including social impairments from early childhood and mostly show secondary disabilities such as irritability and aggressive behavior based on core symptoms. However, there are still no radical treatments of social impairments in these patients. Oxytocin has been reported to play important roles in multiple social behaviors dependent on social recognition, and has been expected as one of the effective treatments of social impairments of patients with ASDs. We present a case of a 16-year-old girl with autistic disorder who treated by long-term administration of oxytocin nasal spray. Her autistic symptoms were successfully treated by two month administration; the girl's social interactions and social communication began to improve without adverse effects. Her irritability and aggressive behavior also improved dramatically with marked decreases in aberrant behavior checklist scores from 69 to 7. This case is the first to illustrate long-term administration of oxytocin nasal spray in the targeted treatment of social impairments in a female with autistic disorder. This case suggests that long-term nasal oxytocin spray is promising and well-tolerated for treatment of social impairments of patients with ASDs.
Lee, Yunjin; Kim, Hannah; Kim, Ji-Eun; Park, Jin-Young; Choi, Juli; Lee, Jung-Eun; Lee, Eun-Hwa; Han, Pyung-Lim
The dopamine system has been characterized in motor function, goal-directed behaviors, and rewards. Recent studies recognize various dopamine system genes as being associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, how dopamine system dysfunction induces ASD pathophysiology remains unknown. In the present study, we demonstrated that mice with increased dopamine functions in the dorsal striatum via the suppression of dopamine transporter expression in substantia nigra neurons or the optogenetic stimulation of the nigro-striatal circuitry exhibited sociability deficits and repetitive behaviors relevant to ASD pathology in animal models, while these behavioral changes were blocked by a D1 receptor antagonist. Pharmacological activation of D1 dopamine receptors in normal mice or the genetic knockout (KO) of D2 dopamine receptors also produced typical autistic-like behaviors. Moreover, the siRNA-mediated inhibition of D2 dopamine receptors in the dorsal striatum was sufficient to replicate autistic-like phenotypes in D2 KO mice. Intervention of D1 dopamine receptor functions or the signaling pathways-related D1 receptors in D2 KO mice produced anti-autistic effects. Together, our results indicate that increased dopamine function in the dorsal striatum promotes autistic-like behaviors and that the dorsal striatum is the neural correlate of ASD core symptoms.
Jeroen J A Van Boxtel
Full Text Available People with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD are hypothesized to have poor high-level processing but superior low-level processing, causing impaired social recognition, and a focus on non-social stimulus contingencies. Biological motion perception provides an ideal domain to investigate exactly how ASD modulates the interaction between low and high-level processing, because it involves multiple processing stages, and carries many important social cues. We investigated individual differences among typically developing observers in biological motion processing, and whether such individual differences associate with the number of autistic traits. In Experiment 1, we found that individuals with fewer autistic traits were automatically and involuntarily attracted to global biological motion information, whereas individuals with more autistic traits did not show this pre-attentional distraction. We employed an action adaptation paradigm in the second study to show that individuals with more autistic traits were able to compensate for deficits in global processing with an increased involvement in local processing. Our findings can be interpreted within a predictive coding framework, which characterizes the functional relationship between local and global processing stages, and explains how these stages contribute to the perceptual difficulties associated with ASD.
Croy, Ilona; Geide, Helen; Paulus, Martin; Weidner, Kerstin; Olausson, Håkan
Affective touch is important for social interaction within families and groups and there is evidence that unmyelinated C tactile fibers are involved in this process. Individuals with autism spectrum disorders show alterations in the perception and processing of affective touch. sThus, we hypothesized that affective touch awareness based on C tactile fiber activation is impaired in individuals with high levels of autistic trait. The pleasantness perception of optimal and suboptimal C tactile stimuli was tested in an explorative study in 70 patients recruited from an outpatient psychotherapy clinic and 69 healthy comparison subjects. All participants completed questionnaires about autistic traits, depressive symptomatology, childhood maltreatment, and about the daily amount of touch. Relative to comparison subjects, patients reported engaging in touch less frequently in daily life and rated touch less pleasant. Reduced valence ratings of touch were explained by childhood maltreatment but not by any particular disorder or depression severity. Among all tested variables, the affective touch awareness correlated with autistic traits only - in patients as well as in comparison subjects. Taken together, individuals with mental health issues have a lower baseline of expression and reception of affective touch. Autistic traits and childhood maltreatment modulate the experience of affective touch. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Gong, Jing-Bo; Wang, Ya; Lui, Simon S Y; Cheung, Eric F C; Chan, Raymond C K
Childhood trauma has been shown to be a robust risk factor for mental disorders, and may exacerbate schizotypal traits or contribute to autistic trait severity. However, little is known whether childhood trauma confounds the overlap between schizotypal traits and autistic traits. This study examined whether childhood trauma acts as a confounding variable in the overlap between autistic and schizotypal traits in a large non-clinical adult sample. A total of 2469 participants completed the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ), the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ), and the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire-Short Form. Correlation analysis showed that the majority of associations between AQ variables and SPQ variables were significant (p autistic and schizotypal traits could not be explained by shared variance in terms of exposure to childhood trauma. The findings point to important overlaps in the conceptualization of ASD and SSD, independent of childhood trauma. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Oosterling, I.J.; Swinkels, S.H.N.; Gaag, R.J. van der; Visser, J.C.; Dietz, C.; Buitelaar, J.K.
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,
Vukusic, Svjetlana; Ciorciari, Joseph; Crewther, David P.
People with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show difficulty in social communication, especially in the rapid assessment of emotion in faces. This study examined the processing of emotional faces in typically developing adults with high and low levels of autistic traits (measured using the Autism Spectrum Quotient—AQ). Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded during viewing of backward-masked neutral, fearful and happy faces presented under two conditions: subliminal (16 ms, below the leve...
Takahata, Keisuke; Kato, Motoichiro
It is well known that the cases with savant syndrome, demonstrate outstanding mental capability despite coexisting severe mental disabilities. In many cases, savant skills are characterized by its domain-specificity, enhanced memory capability, and excessive focus on low-level perceptual processing. In addition, impaired integrative cognitive processing such as social cognition or executive function, restricted interest, and compulsive repetition of the same act are observed in savant individuals. All these are significantly relevant to the behavioral characteristics observed in individuals with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). A neurocognitive model of savant syndrome should explain these cognitive features and the juxtaposition of outstanding talents with cognitive disabilities. In recent neuropsychological studies, Miller (1998) reported clinical cases of "acquired savant," i.e., patients who improved or newly acquired an artistic savant-like skill in the early stage of frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Although the relationship between an autistic savant and acquired savant remains to be elucidated, the advent of neuroimaging study of ASD and the clarification of FTD patients with savant-like skills may clarify the shared neural mechanisms of both types of talent. In this review, we classified current cognitive models of savant syndrome into the following 3 categories. (1) A hypermnesic model that suggests that savant skills develop from existing or dormant cognitive functions such as memory. However, recent findings obtained through neuropsychological examinations imply that savant individuals solve problems using a strategy that is fairly different from a non-autistic one. (2) A paradoxical functional facilitation model (Kapur, 1996) that offers possible explanations about how pathological states in the brain lead to development of prodigious skills. This model emphasizes the role of reciprocal inhibitory interaction among adjacent or distant cortical regions
Rhodes, Gillian; Jeffery, Linda; Taylor, Libby; Ewing, Louise
Our ability to discriminate and recognize thousands of faces despite their similarity as visual patterns relies on adaptive, norm-based, coding mechanisms that are continuously updated by experience. Reduced adaptive coding of face identity has been proposed as a neurocognitive endophenotype for autism, because it is found in autism and in relatives of individuals with autism. Autistic traits can also extend continuously into the general population, raising the possibility that reduced adaptive coding of face identity may be more generally associated with autistic traits. In the present study, we investigated whether adaptive coding of face identity decreases as autistic traits increase in an undergraduate population. Adaptive coding was measured using face identity aftereffects, and autistic traits were measured using the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ) and its subscales. We also measured face and car recognition ability to determine whether autistic traits are selectively related to face recognition difficulties. We found that men who scored higher on levels of autistic traits related to social interaction had reduced adaptive coding of face identity. This result is consistent with the idea that atypical adaptive face-coding mechanisms are an endophenotype for autism. Autistic traits were also linked with face-selective recognition difficulties in men. However, there were some unexpected sex differences. In women, autistic traits were linked positively, rather than negatively, with adaptive coding of identity, and were unrelated to face-selective recognition difficulties. These sex differences indicate that autistic traits can have different neurocognitive correlates in men and women and raise the intriguing possibility that endophenotypes of autism can differ in males and females. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Gunnes, Nina; Surén, Pål; Bresnahan, Michaeline; Hornig, Mady; Lie, Kari Kveim; Lipkin, W Ian; Magnus, Per; Nilsen, Roy Miodini; Reichborn-Kjennerud, Ted; Schjølberg, Synnve; Susser, Ezra Saul; Øyen, Anne-Siri; Stoltenberg, Camilla
A recent California study reported increased risk of autistic disorder in children conceived within a year after the birth of a sibling. We assessed the association between interpregnancy interval and risk of autistic disorder using nationwide registry data on pairs of singleton full siblings born in Norway. We defined interpregnancy interval as the time from birth of the first-born child to conception of the second-born child in a sibship. The outcome of interest was autistic disorder in the second-born child. Analyses were restricted to sibships in which the second-born child was born in 1990-2004. Odds ratios (ORs) were estimated by fitting ordinary logistic models and logistic generalized additive models. The study sample included 223,476 singleton full-sibling pairs. In sibships with interpregnancy intervals autistic disorder, compared with 0.13% in the reference category (≥ 36 months). For interpregnancy intervals shorter than 9 months, the adjusted OR of autistic disorder in the second-born child was 2.18 (95% confidence interval 1.42-3.26). The risk of autistic disorder in the second-born child was also increased for interpregnancy intervals of 9-11 months in the adjusted analysis (OR = 1.71 [95% CI = 1.07-2.64]). Consistent with a previous report from California, interpregnancy intervals shorter than 1 year were associated with increased risk of autistic disorder in the second-born child. A possible explanation is depletion of micronutrients in mothers with closely spaced pregnancies.
Anthony, Bruno J.; Kenworthy, Lauren; Armour, Anna Chelsea; Dudley, Katerina; Anthony, Laura Gutermuth
There is a lack of research examining differences in functioning in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) across ethnicity, particularly among those without intellectual disability (ID). This study investigated ethnic differences in parent-reported impairment in executive function, adaptive behavior, and social–emotional functioning. White and Black youth (n = 64; ages 6–17) with ASD without ID were compared on each of these domains. Black youth had significantly lower levels of impairment on all three domains. Findings may reflect better daily functioning among Black youth with ASD and/or cultural differences in parent response to questionnaires. Regardless, these findings raise concern about the sensitivity of commonly used measures for Black children with ASD and the impact of culture on daily functioning and symptom manifestation. PMID:26439481
Tsao, Chang-Yong; Mendell, Jerry R
Autistic disorder is a heterogeneous disorder. The majority of the cases are idiopathic, and only a small number of the autistic children have associated secondary diagnosis. This article reports 2 children with mitochondrial disorders associated with autistic disorder fulfilling the diagnostic criteria of the American Psychiatric Association Manual of Psychiatric Diseases, 4th edition, and briefly reviews the literature on autistic disorder associated with mitochondrial disorders.
Romero-Martínez, Ángel; Moya-Albiol, Luís; Vinkhuyzen, Anna A E; Polderman, Tinca J C
Autistic traits are characterized by social and communication problems, restricted, repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities. The relation between autistic traits and personality characteristics is largely unknown. This study focused on the relation between five specific autistic traits measured with the abridged version of the Autism Spectrum Quotient ("social problems," "preference for routine," "attentional switching difficulties," "imagination impairments," "fascination for numbers and patterns") and Experience Seeking (ES) in a general population sample of adults, and subsequently investigated the genetic and environmental etiology between these traits. Self-reported data on autistic traits and ES were collected in a population sample (n = 559) of unrelated individuals, and in a population based family sample of twins and siblings (n = 560). Phenotypic, genetic and environmental associations between traits were examined in a bivariate model, accounting for sex and age differences. Phenotypically, ES correlated significantly with "preference for routine" and "imagination impairments" in both samples but was unrelated to the other autistic traits. Genetic analyses in the family sample revealed that the association between ES and "preference for routine" and "imagination impairments" could largely be explained by a shared genetic factor (89% and 70%, respectively). Our analyses demonstrated at a phenotypic and genetic level an inverse relationship between ES and specific autistic traits in adults. ES is associated with risk taking behavior such as substance abuse, antisocial behavior and financial problems. Future research could investigate whether autistic traits, in particular strong routine preference and impaired imagination skills, serve as protective factors for such risky behaviors. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Anastasia V Flevaris
Full Text Available Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD exhibit superior performance on tasks that rely on local details in an image, and they exhibit deficits in tasks that require integration of local elements into a unified whole. These perceptual abnormalities have been proposed to underlie many of the characteristic features of ASD, but the underlying neural mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, we investigated the degree to which orientation-specific surround suppression, a well-known form of contextual modulation in visual cortex, is associated with autistic tendency in neurotypical individuals. Surround suppression refers to the phenomenon that the response to a stimulus in the receptive field of a neuron is suppressed when it is surrounded by stimuli just outside the receptive field. The suppression is greatest when the center and surrounding stimuli share perceptual features such as orientation. Surround suppression underlies a number of fundamental perceptual processes that are known to be atypical in individuals with ASD, including perceptual grouping and perceptual pop-out. However, whether surround suppression in the primary visual cortex (V1 is related to autistic traits has not been directly tested before. We used fMRI to measure the neural response to a center Gabor when it was surrounded by Gabors having the same or orthogonal orientation, and calculated a suppression index (SI for each participant that denoted the magnitude of suppression in the same versus orthogonal conditions. SI was positively correlated with degree of autistic tendency in each individual, as measured by the Autism Quotient (AQ scale, a questionnaire designed to assess autistic traits in the general population. Age also correlated with SI and with autistic tendency in our sample, but did not account for the correlation between SI and autistic tendency. These results suggest a reduction in orientation-specific surround suppression in V1 with increasing autistic
A.P. Ringoot (Ank); H.W. Tiemeier (Henning); V.W.V. Jaddoe (Vincent); P. So (Pety); A. Hofman (Albert); F.C. Verhulst (Frank); P.W. Jansen (Pauline)
textabstractObjectives Effects of maternal and paternal depression on child development are typically evaluated using parental reports of child problems. Yet, parental reports may be biased. Methods In a population-based cohort, parents reported lifetime depression (N = 3,178) and depressive
Herrema, Renske; Garland, Deborah; Osborne, Malcolm; Freeston, Mark; Honey, Emma; Rodgers, Jacqui
Family members are often the primary caregiver for autistic adults and this responsibility may impact on the carer's wellbeing and quality of life. 109 family members of autistic adults completed an online survey assessing their wellbeing relating to their caring role for their autistic relative. Family members who were supporting an autistic…
Aliee, Zeinab Shams; Jomhari, Nazean; Rezaei, Reza; Alias, Norlidah
One of the most common problems in autistic children is split attention. Split attention prevents autism children from being able to focus attention on their learning, and tasks. As a result, it is important to identify how to make autistic individuals focus attention on learning. Considering autistic individuals have higher visual abilities in…
Faja, Susan; Dawson, Geraldine
We explored internal control of behavior using direct observation and parent report. Previous research has found that both the delay of gratification task and parent-reported effortful control predict later social ability and more positive outcomes in typically developing children. Children with autism spectrum disorder have previously been…
There is very little research that specifically looks at how autism spectrum disorders are perceived in various communities. This qualitative research was conducted with parents who had children on the autistic spectrum belonging to four different ethnic communities (White British, Somali, West African and South Asian--63 in total) and living in…
Papavasiliou, Antigone S; Nikaina, Irene; Rizou, Joanna; Alexandrou, Stratos
There is great demand for effective management of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD). This study aimed to investigate the effect of an individually tailored psycho-educational program for autistic children on the scores of the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) and the Short Sensory Profile (SSP). Forty children (36 males) were enrolled into an intervention program which consisted of occupational therapy including sensory integration techniques, speech therapy, social skills therapy and parent-directed approaches. Autism severity was assessed using CARS; sensory response capability with the SSP pre- and post-treatment. Eight children were intellectually normal; 12 borderline and 20 of low intelligence. Pre-treatment CARS showed that 8 were mildly autistic, 32 moderately-severely autistic. Post-treatment, 24 children changed category; 11 were no longer autistic. The percentage of children performing in the definitive difference region, according to total SSP score, changed slightly (45% vs 32.5%). Comparison of the pre- and post-treatment values revealed that CARS decreased significantly (p values (p educational therapy had a significant effect on autism severity according to CARS. Changes in the SSP scores were not significant. Copyright © 2011 European Paediatric Neurology Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Kałuzna-Czaplińska, Joanna; Socha, Ewa; Rynkowski, Jacek
Studies suggest dopamine nervous systems are involved in the pathogenesis of autistic disorder. Quantification of urinary homovanillic acid (HVA) and vanillylmandelic acid (VMA) can be a very important tool in the study of disorders of dopamine metabolism in autistic children. The urine specimens were collected from 20 autistic children and 36 neurologically normal children. Urinary HVA and VMA were simultaneously analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The method involves extraction of HVA and VMA from urinary samples and derivatization to N,O-bis(trimethylsilyl)trifluoroacetamide derivatives. The detection limits are 0.15 microg/mL and 0.23 microg/mL for VMA and HVA, respectively. The levels of HVA and VMA were higher in the urine of autistic children (28.8+/-15.5 micromol/mmol creatinine and 22.2+/-13.0 micromol/mmol creatinine, respectively) compared with those of the generally healthy children (4.6+/-0.7 micromol/mmol creatinine for HVA and 3.8+/-0.6 micromol/mmol creatinine for VMA). We proposed a simple, rapid method for a routine analysis of human urine to detect HVA and VMA related to an abnormal functional imbalance of the dopamine system, and showed our experience of application of this method to patients with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders. These results suggest significant differences in the levels of HVA and VMA between autistic and healthy children.
Hakim Shoushtari, Mitra; Ghalebandi, Mirfarhad; Tavasoli, Azita; Pourshams, Maryam
Objective Kleine-Levin syndrome (KLS) is a rare disorder with an unknown etiology. Autism spectrum disorder is characterized by various degrees of impairment in social communication, repetitive behavior and restricted interests. Only four patients of KLS with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) have been reported so far. This report presents an 8-year-old girl with history of autistic disorder and epilepsy that superimposed KLS. Because of the rarity of KLS and related studies did not address whether autism accounts for a primary or secondary cause, the area required attention further studies.
van der Miesen, Anna I R; de Vries, Annelou L C; Steensma, Thomas D; Hartman, Catharina A
Studies have shown an increase of symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in gender dysphoria (GD). Various hypotheses try to explain this possible co-occurrence (e.g., a role of resistance to change, stereotyped behaviors or prenatal testosterone exposure). This study examined ASD symptoms with the Children's Social Behavior Questionnaire (CSBQ) in 490 children with GD compared to 2507 typically developing (TD) and 196 children with ASD. CSBQ total scores of the GD sample were in between scores from the TD and ASD sample. The GD sample showed elevated levels of autistic symptomatology on all subdomains, not only on stereotyped and resistance to change. Further, no gender differences and interaction effects were found on the total CSBQ, making a sole role for prenatal testosterone unlikely.
Picardi, Angelo; Fagnani, Corrado; Medda, Emanuela; Toccaceli, Virgilia; Brambilla, Paolo; Stazi, Maria Antonietta
In recent years, several twin studies adopted a dimensional approach to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and estimated the contribution of genetic and environmental influences to variation in autistic traits. However, no study was performed on adults over 18 years of age and all but two studies were based on parent or teacher ratings. Also, the genetic and environmental contributions to the interplay between autistic traits and adult personality dimensions have not been investigated. A sample of 266 complete twin pairs (30% males, mean age 40 ± 12 years) drawn from the population-based Italian Twin Register was administered the Autism-Spectrum Quotient, Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI-125), and General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). Genetic structural equation modelling was performed with the Mx program. Estimates were adjusted for gender, age, and GHQ-12 score. Genetic factors accounted for 44% and 20%-49% of individual differences in autistic traits and TCI dimensions, respectively. Unshared environmental factors explained the remaining proportion of variance. Consistently with the notion of a personality profile in ASD characterised by obsessive temperament, autistic traits showed significant phenotypic correlations with several TCI dimensions (positive: HA; negative: NS, RD, SD, C). Genetic and unshared environmental correlations between AQ and these TCI dimensions were significant. The degree of genetic overlap was generally greater than the degree of environmental overlap. Despite some limitations, this study suggests that genetic factors contribute substantially to individual differences in autistic traits in adults, with unshared environmental influences also playing an important role. It also suggests that autistic traits and the majority of temperament and character dimensions share common genetic and environmental aetiological factors. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Saunders, Georgianna; Page, Heidi; Wood, Gina
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are neurological disorders that affect communication, behavior, and social skills (Humphrey 2008). According to the Centers for Disease Control, an average of 1 in every 110 children in the United States is affected by an autism spectrum disorder, and boys are three times more likely than girls to be diagnosed.…
Autism is called a "spectrum" of disorders because a variety of symptoms and degrees of disability are involved, with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) defined by the severity of impairment. Since the 1940s, the incidence of autism has exploded exponentially. Researchers are scrambling to find effective strategies for helping autistic…
Full Text Available Children with autistic disorder (AD display atypical eye contact and struggle with the social imitation of eye contact. Impaired social imitation may be indicative of disruptions in motor learning processes. The application of specific motor learning principles, such as external feedback, may suggest which variables will result in positive change in eye contact. The study aimed to determine the effects of knowledge of performance (KP and knowledge of results (KR as types of feedback on the frequency and duration of elicited and spontaneous eye contact in children with AD. A two-phase multiple-probe, multi-treatment (cross-over, singleparticipant design with a withdrawal component was used. Mixed treatment effects were obtained. Overall effects suggest that KR results in the greatest positive change over a short period of time regarding frequency and duration for both elicited and spontaneous eye contact. This type of feedback seems to be the most effective for spontaneous eye contact. The provision of KP, after elicited and spontaneous eye contact, produced positive effects for duration only. The current Phase 1 evidence suggests that KR (which is goal-directed with fewer additional instructions may be more beneficial to children with AD. These findings are in accordance with the limb motor learning literature and may therefore support preliminary evidence for disrupted motor learning during eye contact imitation in children with AD.
Pecorelli, Alessandra; Cervellati, Franco; Belmonte, Giuseppe; Montagner, Giulia; Waldon, PhiAnh; Hayek, Joussef; Gambari, Roberto; Valacchi, Giuseppe
A potential role for immune dysfunction in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has been well established. However, immunological features of Rett syndrome (RTT), a genetic neurodevelopmental disorder closely related to autism, have not been well addressed yet. By using multiplex Luminex technology, a panel of 27 cytokines and chemokines was evaluated in serum from 10 RTT patients with confirmed diagnosis of MECP2 mutation (typical RTT), 12 children affected by classic autistic disorder and 8 control subjects. The cytokine/chemokine gene expression was assessed by real time PCR on mRNA of isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Moreover, ultrastructural analysis of PBMCs was performed using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Significantly higher serum levels of interleukin-8 (IL-8), IL-9, IL-13 were detected in RTT compared to control subjects, and IL-15 shows a trend toward the upregulation in RTT. In addition, IL-1β and VEGF were the only down-regulated cytokines in autistic patients with respect to RTT. No difference in cytokine/chemokine profile between autistic and control groups was detected. These data were also confirmed by ELISA real time PCR. At the ultrastructural level, the most severe morphological abnormalities were observed in mitochondria of both RTT and autistic PBMCs. In conclusion, our study shows a deregulated cytokine/chemokine profile together with morphologically altered immune cells in RTT. Such abnormalities were not quite as evident in autistic subjects. These findings indicate a possible role of immune dysfunction in RTT making the clinical features of this pathology related also to the immunology aspects, suggesting, therefore, novel possible therapeutic interventions for this disorder. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Page, Joshua; Constantino, John Nicholas; Zambrana, Katherine; Martin, Eden; Tunc, Ilker; Zhang, Yi; Abbacchi, Anna; Messinger, Daniel
Recent studies have indicated that quantitative autistic traits (QATs) of parents reflect inherited liabilities that may index background genetic risk for clinical autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in their offspring. Moreover, preferential mating for QATs has been observed as a potential factor in concentrating autistic liabilities in some families across generations. Heretofore, intergenerational studies of QATs have focused almost exclusively on Caucasian populations-the present study explored these phenomena in a well-characterized Hispanic population. The present study examined QAT scores in siblings and parents of 83 Hispanic probands meeting research diagnostic criteria for ASD, and 64 non-ASD controls, using the Social Responsiveness Scale-2 (SRS-2). Ancestry of the probands was characterized by genotype, using information from 541,929 single nucleotide polymorphic markers. In families of Hispanic children with an ASD diagnosis, the pattern of quantitative trait correlations observed between ASD-affected children and their first-degree relatives (ICCs on the order of 0.20), between unaffected first-degree relatives in ASD-affected families (sibling/mother ICC = 0.36; sibling/father ICC = 0.53), and between spouses (mother/father ICC = 0.48) were in keeping with the influence of transmitted background genetic risk and strong preferential mating for variation in quantitative autistic trait burden. Results from analysis of ancestry-informative genetic markers among probands in this sample were consistent with that from other Hispanic populations. Quantitative autistic traits represent measurable indices of inherited liability to ASD in Hispanic families. The accumulation of autistic traits occurs within generations, between spouses, and across generations, among Hispanic families affected by ASD. The occurrence of preferential mating for QATs-the magnitude of which may vary across cultures-constitutes a mechanism by which background genetic liability
Brasic, J R; Barnett, J Y; Will, M V; Nadrich, R H; Sheitman, B B; Ahmad, R; Mendonca, M de F; Kaplan, D; Brathwaite, C
Autistic disorder and catatonia are neuropsychiatric syndromes defined by impairments in social interaction, communication, and restricted, stereotypical motor routines. Assessments of children with these disorders are typically restricted in scope by the patients' limited ability to comprehend directions. The authors performed systematic assessments of dyskinesias on six prepubertal boys with autistic disorder and mental retardation and on one adolescent male with catatonia to determine if this type of information could be routinely obtained. The boys with autistic disorder had more stereotypies and tics, a greater degree of akathisia and hyperactivity, and more compulsions than the adolescent with catatonia. Catatonia was associated with catalepsy and dystonic postures. The authors conclude that the diagnostic accuracy and specificity of neuropsychiatric syndromes may be enhanced by the systematic assessment of the dyskinesias associated with each condition.
Ebert, Kerry Danahy
Parent report is commonly used to assess language and attention in children for research and clinical purposes. It is therefore important to understand the convergent validity of parent-report tools in comparison to direct assessments of language and attention. In particular, cultural and linguistic background may influence this convergence. In this study a group of six- to eight-year old children (N = 110) completed direct assessments of language and attention and their parents reported on the same areas. Convergence between assessment types was explored using correlations. Possible influences of ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic) and of parent report language (English or Spanish) were explored using hierarchical linear regression. Correlations between parent report and direct child assessments were significant for both language and attention, suggesting convergence between assessment types. Ethnicity and parent report language did not moderate the relationships between direct child assessments and parent report tools for either attention or language.
Full Text Available Limited use of contextual information has been suggested as a way of understanding cognition in people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD. However, it has also been argued that individuals with ASD may have difficulties inferring others’ mental states. Here, we examined how individuals with different levels of autistic traits respond to contextual deviations by measuring event-related potentials that reflect context usage. The Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ was used to quantify autistic-like traits in 28 university students, and 19 participants were defined as Low or High AQ groups. To additionally examine inferences about mental state, two belief conditions (with or without false belief were included. Participants read short stories in which the final sentence included either an expected or an unexpected word and rated the word’s degree of deviation from expectation. P300 waveform analysis revealed that unexpected words were associated with larger P300 waveforms for the Low AQ group, but smaller P300 responses in the High AQ group. Additionally, AQ social skill subscores were positively correlated with evaluation times in the Unexpected condition, whether a character’s belief was false or not. This suggests that autistic traits can affect responses to unexpected events, possibly because of decreased availability of context information.
Mackus, Marlou; Kruijff, Deborah de; Otten, Leila S; Kraneveld, Aletta D; Garssen, Johan; Verster, Joris C
Altered immune functioning has been demonstrated in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The current study explores the relationship between perceived immune functioning and experiencing ASD traits in healthy young adults. N = 410 students from Utrecht University completed a survey on immune functioning and autistic traits. In addition to a 1-item perceived immune functioning rating, the Immune Function Questionnaire (IFQ) was completed to assess perceived immune functioning. The Dutch translation of the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ) was completed to examine variation in autistic traits, including the domains "social insights and behavior", "difficulties with change", "communication", "phantasy and imagination", and "detail orientation". The 1-item perceived immune functioning score did not significantly correlate with the total AQ score. However, a significant negative correlation was found between perceived immune functioning and the AQ subscale "difficulties with change" (r = -0.119, p = 0.019). In women, 1-item perceived immune functioning correlated significantly with the AQ subscales "difficulties with change" (r = -0.149, p = 0.029) and "communication" (r = -0.145, p = 0.032). In men, none of the AQ subscales significantly correlated with 1-item perceived immune functioning. In conclusion, a modest relationship between perceived immune functioning and several autistic traits was found.
Lepage, Jean-François; Lortie, Mélissa; Deal, Cheri L; Théoret, Hugo
Turner syndrome is a genetic condition resulting from the partial or complete absence of an X-chromosome in phenotypic females. Individuals with Turner syndrome often display social difficulties that are reminiscent of those associated with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD), conditions associated with empathy and mirror-neuron system (MNS) deficits. The goal of the present study was (1) to investigate the extent to which adults with Turner syndrome display autistic and empathic traits, and (2) to probe the integrity of the MNS in this neurogenetic disorder. Sixteen individuals with Turner syndrome and 16 age-, sex-, and IQ-matched controls took part in a neuropsychological assessment where the Weschler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence, the Autism Spectrum Quotient and the Empathy Quotient were administered. Functioning of the MNS was assessed by measuring motor cortex activity with transcranial magnetic stimulation during an action-observation task. Results show that individuals with Turner syndrome do not differ significantly from controls regarding autistic or empathic traits, and present normal functioning of the MNS during action observation. Correlational analysis showed a significant positive relationship between scores on the Empathy Quotient and motor facilitation during action observation, bringing further support to the hypothesis that MNS activity is related to sociocognitive competence.
Full Text Available The "spectrum" has become the dominant metaphor for conceptualizing autism, with fundamental consequences for notions of disability, diversity, and normality. In this article, we draw on ethnographic research with autistic communities to explore how the notion of the autism spectrum has become a focus of explicit identification, reflection, and contestation. To further this inquiry, we place these debates into conversation with earlier debates regarding another spectrum—the Kinsey Scale, a "spectrum" for conceptualizing sexual orientation that first appeared in 1948 but has been critiqued since the 1970s. How might responses to the Kinsey Scale (like the Klein Grid contribute to rethinking the autism spectrum? This is a question about the cultural and political implications of metaphors and conceptual models. It is of broad importance because the spectrum metaphor is being extended to a range of conditions beyond autism itself. Our goal is thus to build on insights from sexuality studies as well as the insights of autistic persons, advocates, and researchers who wish to forestall the naturalization of "the spectrum." In doing so, we seek to contribute to a discussion of what alternative frameworks might bring to questions of social justice, ability, and human flourishing.
Menezes, Camila Gioconda De Lima E; Perissinoto, Jacy [UNIFESP
TEMA: atenção compartilhada em sujeitos do espectro autístico. OBJETIVO: avaliar a habilidade de atenção compartilhada em sujeitos com transtornos do espectro autístico em diferentes contextos e com diferentes interlocutores. MÉTODO: foram avaliados vinte sujeitos com idades entre quatro e doze anos, com autismo infantil ou síndrome de asperger (DSM-IV-TR, 2002) sem outros transtornos, diagnosticados por equipe multidisciplinar, que estavam em terapia fonoaudiológica há pelo menos seis meses....
Verte, S; Geurts, H.M.; Roeyers, H.; Rosseel, Y.; Oosterlaan, J.; Sergeant, J.A.
The study explored whether children with high functioning autism (HFA), Asperger syndrome (AS), and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) can be differentiated on the Children's Communication Checklist (CCC). The study also investigated whether empirically derived
The aim of the bachelor´s thesis is to identify problematic areas of working competencies at adolescents with Asperger syndrome and to suggest a method which would help them train the chosen working competencies. For a purpose of achieving the aim, a qualitative research was performed, a design of a case study. In the first phase a research problem, the aim and research questions were chosen. In the next phase, a research case, which was an adolescent girl with Asperger syndrome, was chosen. ...
Kästner, Anne; Begemann, Martin; Michel, Tanja Maria; Everts, Sarah; Stepniak, Beata; Bach, Christiane; Poustka, Luise; Becker, Joachim; Banaschewski, Tobias; Dose, Matthias; Ehrenreich, Hannelore
Behavioral phenotypical continua from health to disease suggest common underlying mechanisms with quantitative rather than qualitative differences. Until recently, autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia were considered distinct nosologic entities. However, emerging evidence contributes to the blurring of symptomatic and genetic boundaries between these conditions. The present study aimed at quantifying behavioral phenotypes shared by autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia to prepare the ground for biological pathway analyses. Specific items of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale were employed and summed up to form a dimensional autism severity score (PAUSS). The score was created in a schizophrenia sample (N = 1156) and validated in adult high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (ASD) patients (N = 165). To this end, the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), the Autism (AQ) and Empathy Quotient (EQ) self-rating questionnaires were applied back to back with the newly developed PAUSS. PAUSS differentiated between ASD, schizophrenia and a disease-control sample and substantially correlated with the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule. Patients with ADOS scores ≥12 obtained highest, those with scores genetic constellations modulating autistic phenotypes.
Full Text Available The differential diagnosis between Autistic disorder (AD and Asperger’s syndrome (AS in most cases is quite difficult since most of the symptoms are clinically undistinguished. Several factors complicate the diagnosis of AS- an autism spectrum disorder (ASD. It is considered by some authors to be simply a milder version of autistic disorder. Problems in diagnosis include disagreement among diagnostic criteria, controversy over the distinction between AS and other ASD forms or even whether AS exists as a separate syndrome, and over- and under-diagnosis. Our paper is based on the diagnostic and differential diagnostic criteria of DSM-IV, ICD-10 and our clinical experience.In the process of diagnosis and differential diagnosis we, naturally, illustrate and discuss the similarities and differences between the two disorders.
Full Text Available The McGurk effect is a well-known illustration that demonstrates the influence of visual information on hearing in the context of speech perception. Some studies have reported that individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD display abnormal processing of audio-visual speech integration, while other studies showed contradictory results. Based on the dimensional model of ASD, we administered two analog studies to examine the link between level of autistic traits, as assessed by the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ, and the McGurk effect among a sample of university students. In the first experiment, we found that autistic traits correlated negatively with fused (McGurk responses. Then, we manipulated presentation types of visual stimuli to examine whether the local bias toward visual speech cues modulated individual differences in the McGurk effect. The presentation included four types of visual images, comprising no image, mouth only, mouth and eyes, and full face. The results revealed that global facial information facilitates the influence of visual speech cues on McGurk stimuli. Moreover, individual differences between groups with low and high levels of autistic traits appeared when the full-face visual speech cue with an incongruent voice condition was presented. These results suggest that individual differences in the McGurk effect might be due to a weak ability to process global facial information in individuals with high levels of autistic traits.
Carton, Amelia Myri; Smith, Alastair D
Previous research demonstrates a genetic and behavioural link between eating disorders and autism spectrum disorders, and a recent study (Coombs et al. in Br J Clin Psychol 50:326-338, 2011) extends this link to typical populations, showing a positive correlation between behaviours in typically developing children. The purpose of the present study was to examine whether this relationship continues beyond development, by studying the link between behaviours in a non-clinical adult population. We examined associations between performance on measures relating to autistic traits and disordered eating. Undergraduate students, equally balanced by gender and by subject studied (i.e. humanity or science), completed three tasks: to measure autistic traits, participants were administered the Embedded Figures Test (EFT) and the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ). Eating disorder symptomatology was measured by the Eating Attitudes Test (Eat-26). Our data revealed a significant positive correlation between scores on the AQ and Eat-26. Multiple linear regressions showed that higher scores on the AQ were particularly associated with higher scores on the Bulimia & Food Preoccupation subscale of the Eat-26. EFT performance was positively related to behaviours associated with autism and eating disorders, although not reliably so. These data support the broader link between autistic traits and disordered eating in the non-clinical population, and demonstrate that it extends into adulthood (a time at which autistic behaviours can decrease). This work carries implications for the development of cognitive therapies for people with eating disorders.
Salter, Gemma; Seigal, Anna; Claxton, Melanie; Lawrence, Kate; Skuse, David
Are children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but normal-range intelligence, impaired on theory of mind skills measured by responses to abstract animations in the form of a computerized cartoon? Fifty-six cases and closely matched comparisons were tested. We rated verbal responses according to the length of their descriptions, their appropriateness and the children's use of 'mentalizing' terms. Children with ASD used 'mentalizing' language to describe the animations as well as comparisons, although the content of their descriptions was significantly less appropriate. Performance on this task was not well correlated with standardized measures of parent-reported behaviour or the child's interactions with an observer. The implications of our results are discussed in relation to previous studies that have used this methodology.
Hou, C; Miller, B L; Cummings, J L; Goldberg, M; Mychack, P; Bottino, V; Benson, D F
The objectives of this study were to examine common patterns in the lives and artwork of five artistic savants previously described and to report on the clinical, neuropsychological, and neuroimaging findings from one newly diagnosed artistic savant. The artistic savant syndrome has been recognized for centuries, although its neuroanatomic basis remains a mystery. The cardinal features, strengths, and weaknesses of the work of these six savants were analyzed and compared with those of children with autism in whom artistic talent was absent. An anatomic substrate for these behaviors was considered in the context of newly emerging theories related to paradoxical functional facilitation, visual thinking, and multiple intelligences. The artists had features of "pervasive developmental disorder," including impairment in social interaction and communication as well as restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interest, and activities. All six demonstrated a strong preference for a single art medium and showed a restricted variation in artistic themes. None understood art theory. Some autistic features contributed to their success, including attention to visual detail, a tendency toward ritualistic compulsive repetition, the ability to focus on one topic at the expense of other interests, and intact memory and visuospatial skills. The artistic savant syndrome remains rare and mysterious in origin. Savants exhibit extraordinary visual talents along with profound linguistic and social impairment. The intense focus on and ability to remember visual detail contributes to the artistic product of the savant. The anatomic substrate for the savant syndrome may involve loss of function in the left temporal lobe with enhanced function of the posterior neocortex.
1.Lord C, Risi S, Pickles A. Trajectory of language development in autistic spectrum disorders . In: Rice M, Warren S, eds. Developmental Language...Nonverbal Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Kristina McFadden CONTRACTING ORGANIZATION: University of...SUBTITLE 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER An MEG Investigation of Neural Biomarkers and Language in Nonverbal Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders 5b
Mohammad Reza MOHAMMADI; Maryam SALMANIAN; Shahin AKHONDZADEH
How to Cite this Article: Mohammadi MR, Salmanian M, Akhondzadeh Sh. Autism Spectrum Disorders in Iran. Iranian Journal of Child Neurology2011;5(4):1-9.ObjectiveAutistic disorder, Asperger syndrome, and PDD-Not Otherwise Specified are subsets of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), which are characterized by impairments in social communication and stereotyped behavior. This article reviews the prevalence, etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of ASDs in Iran.Materials & MethodsWe searched PubMe...
Full Text Available Harun Toy,1 Arzu Hergüner,2 Sevcan Şimşek,1 Sabri Hergüner3 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Meram Faculty of Medicine, Necmettin Erbakan University, 2Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic, Konya Training and Research Hospital, 3Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Meram Faculty of Medicine, Necmettin Erbakan University, Konya, Turkey Objectives: Recent studies have shown that women with autism spectrum disorder have higher rates of menstrual problems, including irregular menstrual cycles, unusually painful periods (dysmenorrhea, and excessive menstrual bleeding. In this study, we investigated the autistic traits in female university students with primary dysmenorrhea (PD. Methods: Seventy females with PD and 70 females without PD were enrolled in the study. The Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ was used to measure autistic traits and the Brief Symptom Inventory was used for evaluating anxiety and depression levels. The dysmenorrheal pain was assessed by visual analog scale (VAS, coded from 0 to 10. Weight and height were measured, and the body mass index was calculated. Results: There were no statistical differences between the groups in terms of age, duration of education, and body mass index. Women with PD had higher AQ – Total, and AQ – Attention Switching subscale scores than subjects without PD. Spearman analysis revealed that AQ – Total and AQ – Attention Switching scores were correlated with VAS. According to the linear regression analysis, VAS was predicted only by AQ – Attention Switching subscale. Conclusion: Our findings showed an association between autistic traits and dysmenorrhea in typically developing females. Keywords: primary dysmenorrhea, autistic traits, androgens
Kim, Kyoung-Nam; Kwon, Ho-Jang; Hong, Yun-Chul
The association between lead exposure and autism spectrum disorder is inconclusive. We hypothesized an association between higher blood lead concentrations and more autistic behaviors, including impaired social interactions and communication, stereotypical behaviors, and restricted interests, among school-age children. Data from 2473 Korean children aged 7-8years who had no prior history of developmental disorders were analyzed. Two follow-up surveys were conducted biennially until the children reached 11-12years of age. Blood lead concentrations were measured at every survey, and autistic behaviors were evaluated at 11-12years of age using the Autism Spectrum Screening Questionnaire (ASSQ) and Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS). The associations of blood lead concentration with ASSQ and SRS scores were analyzed using negative binomial, logistic, and linear regression models. Blood lead concentrations at 7-8years of age (geometric mean: 1.64μg/dL), but not at 9-10 and 11-12years of age, were associated with more autistic behaviors at 11-12years of age, according to the ASSQ (β=0.151; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.061, 0.242) and SRS (β=2.489; 95% CI: 1.378, 3.600). SRS subscale analysis also revealed associations between blood lead concentrations and social awareness, cognition, communication, motivation, and mannerisms. Even low blood lead concentrations at 7-8years of age are associated with more autistic behaviors at 11-12years of age, underscoring the need for continued efforts to reduce lead exposure. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Fenech, Michael F.
Autism spectrum disorders are a heterogeneous group of neurodevelopmental conditions characterised by impairments in reciprocal social interaction, communication and stereotyped behaviours. As increased DNA damage events have been observed in a range of other neurological disorders, it was hypothesised that they would be elevated in lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) obtained from children with autism compared with their non-autistic siblings. Six case–sibling pairs of LCLs from children with autistic disorder and their non-autistic siblings were obtained from the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE) and cultured in standard RPMI-1640 tissue culture medium. Cells were exposed to medium containing either 0, 25, 50, 100 and 200 µM hydrogen peroxide (an oxidative stressor) or 0, 5, 10, 20 and 40 µM s-nitroprusside (a nitric oxide producer) for 1h. Following exposure, the cells were microscopically scored for DNA damage, cytostasis and cytotoxicity biomarkers as measured using the cytokinesis-block micronucleus cytome assay. Necrosis was significantly increased in cases relative to controls when exposed to oxidative and nitrosative stress (P = 0.001 and 0.01, respectively). Nuclear division index was significantly lower in LCLs from children with autistic disorder than their non-autistic siblings when exposed to hydrogen peroxide (P = 0.016), but there was no difference in apoptosis, micronucleus frequency, nucleoplasmic bridges or nuclear buds. Exposure to s-nitroprusside significantly increased the number of micronuclei in non-autistic siblings compared with cases (P = 0.003); however, other DNA damage biomarkers, apoptosis and nuclear division did not differ significantly between groups. The findings of this study show (i) that LCLs from children with autism are more sensitive to necrosis under conditions of oxidative and nitrosative stress than their non-autistic siblings and (ii) refutes the hypothesis that children with autistic disorder are abnormally
Main, Penelope A E; Thomas, Philip; Esterman, Adrian; Fenech, Michael F
Autism spectrum disorders are a heterogeneous group of neurodevelopmental conditions characterised by impairments in reciprocal social interaction, communication and stereotyped behaviours. As increased DNA damage events have been observed in a range of other neurological disorders, it was hypothesised that they would be elevated in lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) obtained from children with autism compared with their non-autistic siblings. Six case-sibling pairs of LCLs from children with autistic disorder and their non-autistic siblings were obtained from the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE) and cultured in standard RPMI-1640 tissue culture medium. Cells were exposed to medium containing either 0, 25, 50, 100 and 200 µM hydrogen peroxide (an oxidative stressor) or 0, 5, 10, 20 and 40 µM s-nitroprusside (a nitric oxide producer) for 1h. Following exposure, the cells were microscopically scored for DNA damage, cytostasis and cytotoxicity biomarkers as measured using the cytokinesis-block micronucleus cytome assay. Necrosis was significantly increased in cases relative to controls when exposed to oxidative and nitrosative stress (P = 0.001 and 0.01, respectively). Nuclear division index was significantly lower in LCLs from children with autistic disorder than their non-autistic siblings when exposed to hydrogen peroxide (P = 0.016), but there was no difference in apoptosis, micronucleus frequency, nucleoplasmic bridges or nuclear buds. Exposure to s-nitroprusside significantly increased the number of micronuclei in non-autistic siblings compared with cases (P = 0.003); however, other DNA damage biomarkers, apoptosis and nuclear division did not differ significantly between groups. The findings of this study show (i) that LCLs from children with autism are more sensitive to necrosis under conditions of oxidative and nitrosative stress than their non-autistic siblings and (ii) refutes the hypothesis that children with autistic disorder are abnormally
Fay, Warren H.
Current theory and research in development of self and of language in autistic children is considered, with emphasis on studies of normal development of personal pronouns and the roles played in that process by listening, echoic memory, mitigated echolalia (recording), and person deixis. (Author)
Fahim, Cherine; Meguid, Nagwa A.; Nashaat, Neveen H.; Yoon, Uicheul; Mancini-Marie, Adham; Evans, Alan C.
The autism phenotype is associated with an excess of brain volume due in part to decreased pruning during development. Here we aimed at assessing brain volume early in development to further elucidate previous findings in autism and determine whether this pattern is restricted to idiopathic autism or shared within the autistic phenotype (fragile X…
Chouinard, Philippe A.; Unwin, Katy L.; Landry, Oriane; Sperandio, Irene
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder and those with autistic tendencies in non-clinical groups are thought to have a perceptual style privileging local details over global integration. We used 13 illusions to investigate this perceptual style in typically developing adults with various levels of autistic traits. Illusory susceptibility was…
Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorder refers to syndromes of varying severity, typified by impaired social interactions, communicative delays and restricted, repetitive behaviours and interests. The prevalence of autism spectrum disorders has been on the rise, while the etiology remains unclear and most likely multifactorial. There have been several reports of a link between autism and chronic gastrointestinal symptoms. Endoscopy trials have demonstrated a higher prevalence of nonspecific colitis, lymphoid hyperplasia and focally enhanced gastritis compared with controls. Postulated mechanisms include aberrant immune responses to some dietary proteins, abnormal intestinal permeability and unfavourable gut microflora. Two autism spectrum disorder patients with chronic intestinal symptoms and abnormal endoscopic findings are described, followed by a review of this controversial topic.
Nicolaidis, Christina; Raymaker, Dora; McDonald, Katherine; Dern, Sebastian; Ashkenazy, Elesia; Boisclair, Cody; Robertson, Scott; Baggs, Amanda
Background Most community-based participatory research (CBPR) projects involve local communities defined by race, ethnicity, geography, or occupation. Autistic self-advocates, a geographically dispersed community defined by disability, experience issues in research similar to those expressed by more traditional minorities. Objectives We sought to build an academic–community partnership that uses CBPR to improve the lives of people on the autistic spectrum. Methods The Academic Autistic Spectrum Partnership in Research and Education (AASPIRE) includes representatives from academic, self-advocate, family, and professional communities. We are currently conducting several studies about the health care experiences and well-being of autistic adults. Lessons Learned We have learned a number of strategies that integrate technology and process to successfully equalize power and accommodate diverse communication and collaboration needs. Conclusions CBPR can be conducted successfully with autistic self-advocates. Our strategies may be useful to other CBPR partnerships, especially ones that cannot meet in person or that include people with diverse communication needs. PMID:21623016
Best, Catherine S.; Moffat, Vivien J.; Power, Michael J.; Owens, David G. C.; Johnstone, Eve C.
Theory of Mind, Weak Central Coherence and executive dysfunction, were investigated as a function of behavioural markers of autism. This was irrespective of the presence or absence of a diagnosis of an autistic spectrum disorder. Sixty young people completed the Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ), false belief tests, the block design test,…
This thesis focuses on problem behavior, its manifestations and causes of origin in children with autism spectrum disorders. The thesis is divided into two parts, the theoretical and empirical. The theoretical part focuses on introduction to issues of autism spectrum disorders and problem behavior. Mentioned here is history and etiology of disorders, also the part deals with autistic triad of disability. Among others I try briefly characterize various autism spectrum disorders focusing on inf...
Hirvikoski, Tatja; Blomqvist, My
Despite average intellectual capacity, autistic traits may complicate performance in many everyday situations, thus leading to stress. This study focuses on stress in everyday life in intellectually able adults with autism spectrum disorders. In total, 53 adults (25 with autism spectrum disorder and 28 typical adults from the general population) completed the Perceived Stress Scale. Autistic traits were assessed using the Autism Spectrum Quotient. Adults with autism spectrum disorder reported significantly higher subjective stress and poorer ability to cope with stress in everyday life, as compared to typical adults. Autistic traits were associated with both subjective stress/distress and coping in this cross-sectional series. The long-term consequences of chronic stress in everyday life, as well as treatment intervention focusing on stress and coping, should be addressed in future research as well as in the clinical management of intellectually able adults with autism spectrum disorder. © The Author(s) 2014.
Holmes, Laura G; Himle, Michael B; Strassberg, Donald S
This study examined the relationship between core symptoms of autism spectrum disorder, parental romantic expectations, and parental provision of sexuality and relationship education in an online sample of 190 parents of youth 12-18 years of age with a parent-reported diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Regression analyses were conducted separately for youth with autism spectrum disorder + parent-reported average or above IQ and youth with autism spectrum disorder + parent-reported below average IQ. For youth with autism spectrum disorder + parent-reported average or above IQ, autism spectrum disorder severity predicted parental romantic expectations, but not parental provision of sexuality and relationship education. For youth with autism spectrum disorder + parent-reported below average IQ, parental romantic expectations mediated the relationship between autism spectrum disorder severity and parent provision of sexuality and relationship education. This supports the importance of carefully considering intellectual functioning in autism spectrum disorder sexuality research and suggests that acknowledging and addressing parent expectations may be important for parent-focused sexuality and relationship education interventions. © The Author(s) 2015.
Full Text Available Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD face unique challenges transitioning from high school to college and receive insufficient support to help them navigate this transition. Through a participatory collaboration with incoming and current autistic college students, we developed, implemented, and evaluated two intensive week-long summer programs to help autistic students transition into and succeed in college. This process included: (1 developing an initial summer transition program curriculum guided by recommendations from autistic college students in our ongoing mentorship program, (2 conducting an initial feasibility assessment of the curriculum [Summer Transition Program 1 (STP1], (3 revising our initial curriculum, guided by feedback from autistic students, to develop a curriculum manual, and (4 pilot-testing the manualized curriculum through a quasi-experimental pre-test/post-test assessment of a second summer program [Summer Transition Program 2 (STP2]. In STP2, two autistic college students assumed a leadership role and acted as “mentors” and ten incoming and current autistic college students participated in the program as “mentees.” Results from the STP2 pilot-test suggested benefits of participatory transition programming for fostering self-advocacy and social skills among mentees. Autistic and non-autistic mentors (but not mentees described practicing advanced forms of self-advocacy, specifically leadership, through their mentorship roles. Autistic and non-autistic mentors also described shared (e.g., empathy and unique (an intuitive understanding of autism vs. an intuitive understanding of social interaction skills that they contributed to the program. This research provides preliminary support for the feasibility and utility of a participatory approach in which autistic college students are integral to the development and implementation of programming to help less experienced autistic students develop the self
Hobson, R P
Groups of MA-matched autistic, normal and non-autistic retarded children were tested for their ability to choose drawn and photographed facial expressions of emotion to "go with" a person videotaped in gestures, vocalizations and contexts indicative of four emotional states. Although both autistic and control subjects were adept in choosing drawings of non-personal objects to correspond with videotaped cues, the autistic children were markedly impaired in selecting the appropriate faces for the videotaped expressions and contexts. Within the autistic group, the children's performance in this task of emotion recognition was related to MA. It is suggested that autistic children have difficulty in recognizing how different expressions of particular emotions are associated with each other, and that this might contribute to their failure to understand the emotional states of other people.
Chakraborty, Anya; Chakrabarti, Bhismadev
Atypical self-processing is an emerging theme in autism research, suggested by lower self-reference effect in memory, and atypical neural responses to visual self-representations. Most research on physical self-processing in autism uses visual stimuli. However, the self is a multimodal construct, and therefore, it is essential to test self-recognition in other sensory modalities as well. Self-recognition in the auditory modality remains relatively unexplored and has not been tested in relation to autism and related traits. This study investigates self-recognition in auditory and visual domain in the general population and tests if it is associated with autistic traits. Thirty-nine neurotypical adults participated in a two-part study. In the first session, individual participant's voice was recorded and face was photographed and morphed respectively with voices and faces from unfamiliar identities. In the second session, participants performed a 'self-identification' task, classifying each morph as 'self' voice (or face) or an 'other' voice (or face). All participants also completed the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ). For each sensory modality, slope of the self-recognition curve was used as individual self-recognition metric. These two self-recognition metrics were tested for association between each other, and with autistic traits. Fifty percent 'self' response was reached for a higher percentage of self in the auditory domain compared to the visual domain (t = 3.142; P self-recognition bias across sensory modalities (τ = -0.165, P = 0.204). Higher recognition bias for self-voice was observed in individuals higher in autistic traits (τ AQ = 0.301, P = 0.008). No such correlation was observed between recognition bias for self-face and autistic traits (τ AQ = -0.020, P = 0.438). Our data shows that recognition bias for physical self-representation is not related across sensory modalities. Further, individuals with higher autistic traits were better able
Gernsbacher, Morton Ann; Stevenson, Jennifer L.; Dern, Sebastian
Many of the personality and behavioral traits (e.g., social imperviousness, directness in conversation, lack of imagination, affinity for solitude, difficulty displaying emotions) that are known to be sensitive to context (with whom?) and reference group (according to whom?) also appear in questionnaire-based assessments of autistic traits. Therefore, two experiments investigated the effects of specifying contexts and reference groups when assessing autistic traits in autistic and non-autisti...
Abelson, A G
The Michigan Gender Identity Test (MGIT) was administered to 30 autistic children to determine whether autistic children could demonstrate a sense of gender identity. The results of the MGIT were correlated with other developmental indices obtained from the Alpern-Boll Developmental Profile. From this sample of autistics, a significant relationship was found between gender identity and mental age, chronological age, communication skills, physical skills, social skills, self-help skills and academic (cognitive skills.
Hranilovic, Dubravka; Blazevic, Sofia; Stefulj, Jasminka; Zill, Peter
Disturbed brain and peripheral serotonin homeostasis is often found in subjects with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The role of the serotonin receptor 2A (HTR2A) in the regulation of central and peripheral serotonin homeostasis, as well as its altered expression in autistic subjects, have implicated the HTR2A gene as a major candidate for the serotonin disturbance seen in autism. Several studies, yielding so far inconclusive results, have attempted to associate autism with a functional SNP -1438 G/A (rs6311) in the HTR2A promoter region, while possible contribution of epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation, to HTR2A dysregulation in autism has not yet been investigated. In this study, we compared the mean DNA methylation within the regulatory region of the HTR2A gene between autistic and control subjects. DNA methylation was analysed in peripheral blood leukocytes using bisulfite conversion and sequencing of the HTR2A region containing rs6311 polymorphism. Autistic subjects of rs6311 AG genotype displayed higher mean methylation levels within the analysed region than the corresponding controls (P epigenetic mechanisms might contribute to HTR2A dysregulation observed in individuals with ASD. © 2015 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Cooper, Miriam; Martin, Joanna; Langley, Kate; Hamshere, Marian; Thapar, Anita
Traits of autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) occur frequently in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but the significance of their presence in terms of phenotype and underlying neurobiology is not properly understood. This analysis aimed to determine whether higher levels of autistic traits, as measured by the Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ), index a more severe presentation in a large, rigorously phenotyped sample of children with ADHD (N=711). Regression analyses were used to examine association of SCQ scores with core ADHD features, clinical comorbidities and cognitive and developmental features, with adjustment for putative confounders. For outcomes showing association with total SCQ score, secondary analyses determined levels of differential association of the three ASD sub-domains. Results suggest that increasing ASD symptomatology within ADHD is associated with a more severe phenotype in terms of oppositional, conduct and anxiety symptoms, lower full-scale IQ, working memory deficits and general motor problems. These associations persisted after accounting for ADHD severity, suggesting that autistic symptomatology independently indexes the severity of comorbid impairments in the context of ADHD. Sub-domain scores did not show unique contributions to most outcomes, except that social deficits were independently associated with oppositional symptoms and repetitive behaviours independently predicted hyperactive-impulsive symptoms and motor problems. It would be worthwhile for clinicians to consider levels of socio-communicative and repetitive traits in those with ADHD who do not meet diagnostic criteria for ASD, as they index higher levels of phenotypic complexity, which may have implications for efficacy of interventions.
Hasegawa, Naoya; Kitamura, Hideaki; Murakami, Hiroatsu; Kameyama, Shigeki; Sasagawa, Mutsuo; Egawa, Jun; Endo, Taro; Someya, Toshiyuki
The present study investigated the relationship between neural activity associated with gaze processing and autistic traits in typically developed subjects using magnetoencephalography. Autistic traits in 24 typically developed college students with normal intelligence were assessed using the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ). The Minimum Current Estimates method was applied to estimate the cortical sources of magnetic responses to gaze stimuli. These stimuli consisted of apparent motion of the eyes, displaying direct or averted gaze motion. Results revealed gaze-related brain activations in the 150-250 ms time window in the right posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS), and in the 150-450 ms time window in medial prefrontal regions. In addition, the mean amplitude in the 150-250 ms time window in the right pSTS region was modulated by gaze direction, and its activity in response to direct gaze stimuli correlated with AQ score. pSTS activation in response to direct gaze is thought to be related to higher-order social processes. Thus, these results suggest that brain activity linking eye contact and social signals is associated with autistic traits in a typical population. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Schaap-Jonker, H; van Schothorst-van Roekel, J; Sizoo, B
Estimates of the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) range from 0.6 to 1.0 per cent of the general population. Among the characteristic traits of ASD are qualitative impairments in social reciprocity and in abstract imagination. Not surprisingly, these traits can affect the personal religion of ASD patients, in the same manner as religious background does. To determine to what extent the religiousness of religious patients is associated with autistic traits and religious background. Dutch adults attending a Protestant mental healthcare institution as outpatients were asked to complete the 'Questionnaire God Image' (QGI) and the 'Autism Quotient' (AQNL). In this cross-sectional study various aspects of the God image were related to autistic traits and religious background. The more that respondents reported autistic traits, the greater was their fear of God and the less positive were their feelings. Respondents who were strict Calvinists experienced greater fear of God than did other respondents. Treatment of religious patients with asd needs to take into account these patients' greater fear of God and their less positive feelings. Those patients who had had a strict Calvinist upbringing had a more pronounced fear of God.
Full Text Available Children with autism have a high rate of irritability and aggressive symptoms. Irritability or self-injurious behavior can result in significant harm to those affected, as well as to marked distress for their families. This paper provides a literature review regarding the efficacy and tolerability of pharmacotherapy for the treatment of irritability in autistic children. Although antipsychotics have not yet been approved for the treatment of autistic children by many countries, they are often used to reduce symptoms of behavioral problems, including irritability, aggression, hyperactivity, and panic. However, among antipsychotics, the Food and Drug Administration has approved only risperidone and aripiprazole to treat irritability in autism. Among atypical antipsychotics, olanzapine and quetiapine are limited in their use for autism spectrum disorders in children because of high incidences of weight gain and sedation. In comparison, aripiprazole and ziprasidone cause less weight gain and sedation. However, potential QTc interval prolongation with ziprasidone has been reported. Contrary to ziprasidone, no changes were evident in the QT interval in any of the trials for aripiprazole. However, head-to-head comparison studies are needed to support that aripiprazole may be a promising drug that can be used to treat irritability in autistic children. On the other hand, risperidone has the greatest amount of evidence supporting it, including randomized controlled trials; thus, its efficacy and tolerability has been established in comparison with other agents. Further studies with risperidone as a control drug are needed.
Al- Ayadhi Laila Y
Full Text Available Abstract Background Xenobiotics are neurotoxins that dramatically alter the health of the child. In addition, an inefficient detoxification system leads to oxidative stress, gut dysbiosis, and immune dysfunction. The consensus among physicians who treat autism with a biomedical approach is that those on the spectrum are burdened with oxidative stress and immune problems. In a trial to understand the role of detoxification in the etiology of autism, selected parameters related to sulfur-dependent detoxification mechanisms in plasma of autistic children from Saudi Arabia will be investigated compared to control subjects. Methods 20 males autistic children aged 3-15 years and 20 age and gender matching healthy children as control group were included in this study. Levels of reduced glutathione (GSH, total (GSH+GSSG, glutathione status (GSH/GSSG, glutathione reductase (GR, glutathione- s-transferase (GST, thioredoxin (Trx, thioredoxin reductase (TrxR and peroxidoxins (Prxs I and III were determined. Results Reduced glutathione, total glutathione, GSH/GSSG and activity levels of GST were significantly lower, GR shows non-significant differences, while, Trx, TrxR and both Prx I and III recorded a remarkably higher values in autistics compared to control subjects. Conclusion The impaired glutathione status together with the elevated Trx and TrxR and the remarkable over expression of both Prx I and Prx III, could be used as diagnostic biomarkers of autism.