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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
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
Megan Kovac, Maya Mosner, Stephanie Miller, Eleanor K Hanna, Gabriel S Dichter
BACKGROUND: Experience sampling is a powerful method for obtaining ecologically valid data from research participants in real-world contexts. Given the urgent need for innovative and sensitive outcome measures in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) research, the present study sought to examine the feasibility of using experience sampling of positive affect and behavior in adolescents with ASD. METHOD: Nineteen high functioning adolescents with ASD and 20 sex and age matched controls completed smartphone- and Qualtrics® -based experience sampling of positive affect and behavior six times over four days...
September 2016: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Ya-Chih Chang, Jill Locke
BACKGROUND: Peer mediated intervention (PMI) is a promising practice used to increase social skills in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). PMIs engage typically developing peers as social models to improve social initiations, responses, and interactions. METHOD: The current study is a systematic review examining PMIs for children and adolescents with ASD conducted using group designs. Five studies met the pre-specified review inclusion criteria: four randomized controlled trials and one pre- and post-test design...
July 2016: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Sudha M Srinivasan, Inge-Marie Eigsti, Timothy Gifford, Anjana N Bhat
The current manuscript is the second in a mini-series of manuscripts reporting the effects of alternative, movement-based, rhythm and robotic interventions on the social communication skills of 36 school-age children with ASD. This pilot randomized controlled trial compared the effects of 8-weeks of rhythm and robotic interventions to those of a standard-of-care, comparison intervention. The first manuscript reported intervention effects on the spontaneous and responsive social attention skills of children...
July 2016: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
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