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Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Brittany G Travers, Andrea Mason, Kreg G Gruben, Douglas C Dean, Kristine McLaughlin
Background: Postural stability difficulties are commonly reported in people on the autism spectrum. However, it is unclear whether unsteady surfaces may exacerbate postural stability difficulties in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Understanding balance on unsteady surfaces is important because uneven surfaces are commonly encountered in daily life. Methods: Twenty-one youth on the autism spectrum and 16 youth with typical development (ages 6-16 years, IQ ≥ 79) stood on both a fixed and unsteady (tiltable) platform, and center of pressure was measured...
July 2018: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Brenna B Maddox, Christina D Kang-Yi, Edward S Brodkin, David S Mandell
Background: While a growing body of research suggests that talk therapies can reduce anxiety and depression in adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), we know little about what community treatment for these disorders looks like for them. The present study investigated whether treatment utilization differs between adults with and without ASD who have anxiety or depression. Method: Using Pennsylvania Medicaid claims data, adults aged 18-65 years diagnosed with ASD and depression or anxiety (n = 268) were matched 1:4 to adults with depression or anxiety disorder without ASD (n = 1,072)...
July 2018: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Troy Vargason, Uwe Kruger, Deborah L McGuinness, James B Adams, Elizabeth Geis, Eva Gehn, Devon Coleman, Juergen Hahn
Background: Plasma amino acid measurements have been extensively investigated in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Results thus far have been inconclusive as studies generally disagree on which amino acids are different in individuals with ASD versus their typically developing (TD) peers, due in part to methodological limitations of several studies. Method: This paper investigates plasma amino acids in children and adults with ASD using data from Arizona State University's Comprehensive Nutritional and Dietary Intervention Study...
June 2018: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
K Cooper, M E Loades, A J Russell
Background: Psychological interventions informed by cognitive behavioural theory have proven efficacy in treating mild-moderate anxiety and depression. They have been successfully adapted for autistic children and adults who experience disproportionately high rates of co-occurring emotional problems. There has been little research into the perspectives and experience of psychological therapists adapting cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) as part of routine clinical practice. We surveyed therapist skills, experience and confidence in working psychologically with autistic people, in order to highlight gaps and needs, as well as strengths in terms of therapist skills when working with this group...
January 1, 2018: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Jiedi Lei, Denis G Sukhodolsky, Sebiha M Abdullahi, Megan L Braconnier, Pamela Ventola
Up to 40% of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) exhibit co-occurring anxiety symptoms. Despite recent success in mitigating anxiety symptoms in school-aged children with ASD (mean age >9 years) using adapted versions of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, little is known about potential treatment outcomes for younger children. To address the gap in the literature, this open-label study evaluated change in anxiety following a 16-week open-label trial of Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) in children with ASD aged 4-8 years...
November 2017: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Lauren E Miller, Kayla A Perkins, Yael G Dai, Deborah A Fein
BACKGROUND: 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...
September 2017: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Kelly E Caravella, Jane E Roberts
Background: Adaptive behaviors are essential for optimal outcomes and independence in individuals with developmental disabilities. This study examined longitudinal trajectories of adaptive behavior in infants with fragile X syndrome (FXS), compared to typical development (TD) and infant siblings of children diagnosed with autism (ASIBs). Method: Participants included 76 male infants (FXS =25, ASIBs=27, TD = 24) assessed up to 4 times between 6 and 24 months of age for a total of 215 assessments of adaptive behavior...
August 2017: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Elizabeth Smith, Shouling Zhang, Loisa Bennetto
Background: Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have been shown to have multisensory integration deficits, which may lead to problems perceiving complex, multisensory environments. For example, understanding audiovisual speech requires integration of visual information from the lips and face with auditory information from the voice, and audiovisual speech integration deficits can lead to impaired understanding and comprehension. While there is strong evidence for an audiovisual speech integration impairment in ASD, it is unclear whether this impairment is due to low level perceptual processes that affect all types of audiovisual integration or if it is specific to speech processing...
July 2017: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Leah I Stein Duker, Benjamin F Henwood, Ricky N Bluthenthal, Emma Juhlin, José C Polido, Sharon A Cermak
Background: Many children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) experience barriers to oral care in the dental office setting. The purpose of this study was to provide an increased understanding of these challenges experienced during oral care in the dental office by children with ASD. Method: This study was part of a larger mixed methods design and builds on quantitative results from a survey of parents of children with ASD ages 2-18 in which parents reported difficulties with access to care, sensory processing, and uncooperative behaviors...
July 2017: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Katharine C Reynolds, Michelle Patriquin, Candice A Alfano, Katherine A Loveland, Deborah A Pearson
BACKGROUND: Sleep problems are frequent and well documented in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and children with internalizing problems, however limited work has examined sleep problems in children presenting with comorbid ASD/ADHD. In healthy children, sleep problems negatively impact social, emotional, and academic functioning. The current study sought to examine diagnostic severity as predictors of sleep problems in children with comorbid ASD/ADHD...
July 2017: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Priscila Caçola, Haylie L Miller, Peace Ossom Williamson
BACKGROUND: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) are developmental disorders that, since the DSM-5, can be diagnosed as co-occurring conditions. While some recent studies suggest that ASD and DCD have similar traits, others show clear behavioral distinctions between the two conditions. By gathering all studies that included (1) an ASD group and a DCD group, (2) an ASD+DCD group and a DCD group, or (3) ASD, ASD+DCD, and DCD groups, we aimed to identify similarities and differences in behaviors between the two disorders...
June 2017: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Stefon van Noordt, Jia Wu, Archana Venkataraman, Michael J Larson, Mikle South, Michael J Crowley
BACKGROUND: Impairment in prediction and appreciation for choice outcomes could contribute to several core symptoms of ASD. We examined electroencephalography (EEG) oscillations in 27 youth and young adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and 22 IQ-matched neurotypical controls while they performed a chance-based reward prediction task. METHOD: We re-analyzed our previously published ERP data (Larson et al., 2011) and examined theta band oscillations (4-8 Hz) at frontal midline sites, within a timing window that overlaps with the feedback-related negativity (FRN)...
May 2017: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Caroline I Magyar, Vincent Pandolfi
BACKGROUND: Youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are at risk for one or more emotional disorders (ED) including depressive and anxiety conditions. DSM-5 diagnostic guidelines indicate that co-occurring ED must be specified when present (APA, 2013). While ED may be evaluated for during initial diagnostic assessment, routine monitoring and screening is needed to identify emerging ED in later childhood and adolescence, a period of high risk. METHOD: Confirmatory factor analysis, convergent and divergent validity analyses, criterion-related validity, and diagnostic accuracy analyses of the CBCL's Affective Problems and Anxiety Problems DSM Oriented Scales was completed on 93 well-characterized youth, ages 6 to 18 years with ASD (6:1 M:F), with and without intellectual impairment...
May 2017: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
E Kale Edmiston, Rachael A Muscatello, Blythe A Corbett
Introduction: The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is involved in regulating social behavior; Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterized by alterations in social behavior and reduced physiological response to threat. We hypothesized that adolescents with ASD would show reduced ANS response to social threat. Methods: Eighteen males with ASD and thirteen males with typical development (TD), ages 12 to 17, completed a social threat paradigm while wearing an impedance cardiography apparatus...
April 2017: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Kristen Lyall, Julie B Schweitzer, Rebecca J Schmidt, Irva Hertz-Picciotto, Marjorie Solomon
Background: Attention deficits in young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are not well understood. This study sought to determine: 1) the prevalence of ADHD symptoms in young children with ASD, typical development (TD), and developmental delay (DD) and 2) the association between ADHD symptoms and cognitive and behavioral functioning in children with ASD. Method: ADHD symptoms, defined according to Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC) hyperactivity subscale scores, were compared across children aged 2-5 from a large case-control study with ASD (n=548), TD (n=423), and DD (n=180)...
March 2017: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Lauren Bishop-Fitzpatrick, Carla A Mazefsky, Shaun M Eack, Nancy J Minshew
BACKGROUND: Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience marked challenges with social function by definition, but few modifiable predictors of social functioning in ASD have been identified in extant research. This study hypothesized that deficits in social cognition and motor function may help to explain poor social functioning in individuals with ASD. METHOD: Cross-sectional data from 108 individuals with ASD and without intellectual disability ages 9 through 27...
March 2017: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Rebecca A Lundwall, Kevin G Stephenson, E Shannon Neeley-Tass, Jonathan C Cox, Mikle South, Erin D Bigler, Emily Anderberg, Molly D Prigge, Blake D Hansen, Janet E Lainhart, Ryan O Kellems, Jo Ann Petrie, Terisa P Gabrielsen
BACKGROUND: Aggressive behaviors are common in individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and may be phenotypic indicators of different subtypes within ASD. In current research literature for non-ASD samples, aggression has been linked to several brain structures associated with emotion and behavioral control. However, few if any studies exist investigating brain volume differences in individuals with ASD who have comorbid aggression as indicated by standardized diagnostic and behavioral measures...
February 2017: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Lydia R Qualls, Blythe A Corbett
BACKGROUND: While many children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) communicate better with adults than peers, diagnostic measures are given by adult examiners. These measures may not accurately capture the deficits that children with ASD have in communicating with their peers. METHOD: This study examined the ability of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) Social Communication scale to predict reciprocal communication in children with ASD during natural play with peers using the Peer Interaction Paradigm (PIP)...
January 2017: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
M H Bornstein, K Costlow, A Truzzi, G Esposito
BACKGROUND: The cries of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) contain atypical acoustic features. The cries of typically developing infants elicit automatic adult responses, but little is known about how the atypical cries of children with ASD affect the speed with which adults process them. METHOD: We used a reaction time (RT) categorical task to analyze adults' categorization of typically developing cries, atypical (ASD) cries, mammalian animal cries, and environmental noise control sounds...
November 2016: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Ashley Johnson Harrison, Zhenqiu Laura Lu, Rebecca L McLean, Stephen J Sheinkopf
Joint attention skills have been shown to predict language outcomes in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Less is known about the relationship between joint attention (JA) abilities in children with ASD and cognitive and adaptive abilities. In the current study, a subset of items from the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), designed to quantify JA abilities, were used to investigate social attention among an unusually large cross-sectional sample of children with ASD (n = 1061). An examination of the association between JA and a range of functional correlates (cognitive and adaptive) revealed JA was significantly related to verbal (VIQ) and non-verbal (NVIQ) cognitive ability as well as all domains of adaptive functioning (socialization, communication, and daily living skills)...
September 2016: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
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