Age-Related Differences in Restricted Repetitive Behaviors in Autism Spectrum Disorders
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- Esbensen, A.J., Seltzer, M.M., Lam, K.S.L. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2009) 39: 57. doi:10.1007/s10803-008-0599-x
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Restricted repetitive behaviors (RRBs) were examined in a large group of children, adolescents and adults with ASD in order to describe age-related patterns of symptom change and association with specific contextual factors, and to examine if the patterns of change are different for the various types of RRBs. Over 700 individuals with ASD were rated on the Repetitive Behavior Scale-Revised. RRBs were less frequent and less severe among older than younger individuals, corroborating that autism symptoms abate with age. Our findings further suggest that repetitive behaviors are a heterogeneous group of behaviors, with the subtypes of RRBs having their own individual patterns across the lifespan, and in some cases, a differential association with age depending on intellectual functioning.