Semester of Graduation

Spring 2022


Master of Arts (MA)


Clinical Psychology

Document Type



Research has shown that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often have co-occurring medical and/or psychiatric disorders. This current study aimed to investigate how previous diagnoses, which may become comorbidities of ASD if diagnosed, affect the developmental functioning of children presenting as at risk for ASD compared to those presenting with no risk. Developmental areas such as communication, motor, adaptive, cognitive and social, as well as overall developmental functioning, were considered in the analysis. 11,970 children under the age of three were studied. Results found that the presence of previous diagnoses significantly predicted developmental functioning, particularly in the motor functioning of those not at risk for ASD. The results also demonstrated that the presence of two or more of these conditions significantly impact overall developmental functioning. These results have implications for early assessment and treatment for ASD and its common comorbidities. Limitations and conclusions were then discussed.

Committee Chair

Matson, Johnny