Poster A55, Saturday, March 25, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Pacific Concourse
Variables distinguishing school age children with autism who are held back in school compared to children with autism who are not held back
Talent V. Dang1,2, Philip Lai3; 1The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 2University of California, San Diego, 3University of Wisconsin
In this study investigating school-age children school performance, participants included four individuals with Autism who were held back (HB) and four individuals with Autism who were not held back (NBH). All participants were matched on age and gender. Using multiple parent questionnaires, specific questions were selected to measure expressivity, production of complex syntax, and social behaviors. There was no difference in IQ, but a difference in complex syntax was found, as the HB group used complex sentences in 41% of their clauses while the NHB group was using 59%. Behavioral social measures showed the HB group expressed less positive facial expressions (M= 3.5) than the NHB group (M= 17.5) while a similar amount of negative facial expressions were observed in both groups (NHB M= 6.5, HB M=4.2). This result is in line with parents’ responses regarding their children affective behavior such as laughing out loud. The HB group scored higher when comparing parental responses regarding the ability to soothe their child when upset implying more difficulty for the HB group than NHB group. The goal of this study is to determine what variables might explain why a select number of children with Autism are held back in school. Results showed the HB group have patterns of social and language deficits as they are less expressive socially and produce less complex language. These two variables can provide evidence of why children are struggling and can be an area of focus for clinicians working towards better academic success for children with Autism.
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