Master of Arts (MA)



Document Type



One area of research in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) involves efforts to better understand symptom manifestation at earlier points in an individual’s life. Researchers have consistently emphasized the importance of early intervention for children with an ASD, but the determination of the most efficacious treatment approach is often established on a case-by-case basis by taking into consideration an individual’s specific needs. The need for such individualized treatment approaches is accentuated by the high prevalence of comorbid psychopathology within the ASD population. The study of comorbid disorders among young children with ASDs has been hindered by a lack of measures normed for an ASD population, until recently. The development of the Baby and Infant Screen for Children with aUtIsm Traits-Part 2 (BISCUIT-Part 2) assessment battery has provided clinicians with an empirically derived scale designed to assess comorbid psychopathology in young children with ASDs or atypical development. The aim of the present study was to examine the diagnostic and temporal influences on comorbid psychopathology symptoms in infants and toddlers with ASD. Participants were separated into one of three groups based on their diagnoses (i.e., Autistic Disorder [AD], Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified [PDD-NOS], and atypical development without an ASD). Children were assessed with the BISCUIT-Part 2 twice, with the initial and follow up assessment occurring within one of two time intervals; 4 to 8 months, or 9 to 13 months. Results from the current study indicate that children diagnosed with AD exhibit significantly less stable symptoms of comorbid psychopathology. Further, the time between initial and follow up assessments is a significant factor influencing symptom expression. Implications of these findings are discussed.



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Committee Chair

Matson, Johnny



Included in

Psychology Commons