International Journal of Developmental Disabilities : autism symptomatology and its impact across cognitive, adaptive and behavioural domains (juillet 2013)

vendredi 2 août 2013

Le numéro du mois de juillet 2013 de l’International Journal of Developmental Disabilities est consacré à la symptômatologie de l’autisme et son impact dans les domaines cognitifs et comportementaux.

1. Cornish K. Guest Editorial. International Journal of Developmental Disabilities ;2013 ;59(2):65-66.

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2. McCary LM, Machlin L, Roberts JE. The development of adaptive behaviour in toddlers and preschoolers with fragile X versus autism. International Journal of Developmental Disabilities ;2013 ;59(2):67-79.

Although there is extensive research in the early detection of autism, no study has compared the adaptive behaviour of young children with fragile X syndrome (FXS) and children with autism across ages. We investigated the cross-sectional development of adaptive behaviour in children with FXS and children with autism between 18 and 83 months of age. Analyses revealed a significant relationship between age and adaptive behaviour standard scores for children with FXS, with decreased performance across ages. Analyses also revealed that children with FXS had a relatively flat performance across domains, while children with autism are typically more variable with lower scores in the communication domain relative to other domains. Delays in adaptive behaviour were evident for children with FXS and children with autism at 24 months of age as reported in previous literature. Implications and future directions are discussed.

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3. Cornish K, Cole V, Longhi E, Karmiloff-Smith A, Scerif G. Do behavioural inattention and hyperactivity exacerbate cognitive difficulties associated with autistic symptoms ? Longitudinal profiles in fragile X syndrome. International Journal of Developmental Disabilities ;2013 ;59(2):80-94.

Developmental trajectories of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) comorbidity in genetically determined neurodevelopmental disorders are not well understood. The objective of the current longitudinal study was to explore symptomology and comorbidity in boys with fragile X syndrome focusing on their profiles of autistic and inattentive behaviours in performance on the Leiter R Performance Scale, a non-verbal IQ measure. Of the 46 children, 10 were classified as having combined ASD and ADHD symptoms, 14 met the criterion for autism alone, 10 met the criterion for ADHD alone, and 12 had no symptoms for either. Results indicated that changes in cognitive profiles over time were similar for all groups and there was a slight improvement in growth scores suggesting developmental change. In terms of ASD and ADHD symptomology, we also found stable differences across groups over time. Collectively, these findings highlight the pressing need to explore symptomology longitudinally across disorders at high risk from comorbid ASD and ADHD diagnoses.

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4. Goh S, Whitaker A, Feldman J, Cull MB, Hoyte K, Algermissen M, McSwiggan-Hardin M, Kugelmass D, Peterson BS. Teaching non-verbal children with autistic disorder to read and write : a pilot study. International Journal of Developmental Disabilities ;2013 ;59(2):95-107.

Objectives : To assess the feasibility and effectiveness of an innovative curriculum designed to teach communicative receptive and expressive language to non-verbal children with autism through reading and writing.

Methods : Randomized, controlled clinical trial of 18 children aged 5-13 years with autistic disorder and functional spoken language limited to single words, holophrases, or over-learned phrases. The treatment group (n = 9 ; mean age : 7•1 years ; three female) received 9-11 months of one-to-one instruction in reading and writing. The control group (n = 9 ; mean age : 8•6 years ; two female) received teaching that matched the literacy curriculum in all features of administration and organization, but taught number recognition, addition, and subtraction. Before and after the intervention, participants were given criterion-referenced tests to assess their skills in the knowledge domains taught in the treatment and control interventions.

Results : Five literacy participants and four control participants completed the study. Both groups showed greater improvement on the skills in which they had been trained, compared to the other group : Hotelling’s Trace = 0•66, F(1,7) = 4•63, P = 0•034 (one-tailed), = 0•40. On the literacy criterion-referenced test, the literacy group showed significant improvement : paired t(4) = 2•40, P = 0•037 (one-tailed) ; the control group did not (P>0•10).

Discussion : Literacy instruction may be a route to language acquisition for some children with autism who have little or no functional spoken language.

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5. Philpott AL, Rinehart NJ, Gray KM, Howlin P, Cornish K. Understanding of mental states in later childhood : an investigation of theory of mind in autism spectrum disorder and typical development with a novel task. International Journal of Developmental Disabilities ;2013 ;59(2):108-117.

The developmental trajectories of Theory of Mind (ToM) in later childhood and into adolescence have not been thoroughly investigated, partly due to a lack of sensitive paradigms that can chart development in typical populations or in individuals with a core deficit in ToM, such as those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The present study assessed understanding of emotions, beliefs, and intentions using both an established ToM task (Baron-Cohen et al., 2001) and the more recently developed Comic Strip Task (CST ; Cornish et al., 2010). Participants comprised 12 typically-developing (TD) children (mean age : 12•0 years, range : 9•9-14•8 years) and 12 high-functioning children with ASD (mean age : 11•0 years, range : 9•1-13•6 years). Results indicated that the

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6. Williams BT, Gray KM. Are emotion recognition skills related to autism symptom severity in children with autism ?. International Journal of Developmental Disabilities ;2013 ;59(2):118-133.

Objectives : This study aimed to assess the relationship between degree of autism symptom severity (as measured by the ADOS and the SRS) and emotion recognition ability in young children with autism.

Methods : The sample consisted of 55 children with Autistic Disorder aged 4-7 years with a range of cognitive ability. Participants completed emotion identification and matching tasks for facial expressions of happiness, sadness, anger and fear, as well as situation-based and desire-based emotion tasks.

Results : Regression analyses controlled for the influence of age and IQ on results, demonstrating that higher autism severity scores were associated with reduced accuracy in the recognition of facial expressions of fear and anger, as well as decreased accuracy in the identification of desire-based but not situation-based emotions.

Discussion : Results suggest that autism symptomatology may be related to less accurate recognition of expressions of anger and fear.

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7. Jones RSP, Huws JC, Beck G. Im not the only person out there : insider and outsider understandings of autism. International Journal of Developmental Disabilities ;2013 ;59(2):134-144.

Objectives : The objective of this study was to gain an insight into how people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) view the concept of autism and how they view society’s reactions to people with this diagnosis.

Methods : Nine students attending a specialist college for individuals with an ASD were interviewed about their views on the nature of autism. Once an initial qualitative analysis of their views had been completed, the analysis was sent to a person with autism and that person’s secondary analysis was also included in the present paper.

Results : The results suggested an awareness of the complexity of interpersonal relationships, a desire to ‘fit in’ to a wider group, and a feeling of being regarded as ‘different’. The use of an expert author helped avoid a ‘diagnostic overshadowing’ interpretation of these findings, and located them as an interaction of age, life stage, and the presence of an ASD.

Discussion : The use of an ‘expert author’ is a novel use of a qualitative methodology and specifically aided in the interpretation of the participant accounts.

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