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Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 37, Issue 9, pp 1748–1760 | Cite as

Social Approach and Autistic Behavior in Children with Fragile X Syndrome

  • Jane E. RobertsEmail author
  • Leigh Anne H. Weisenfeld
  • Deborah D. Hatton
  • Morgan Heath
  • Walter E. Kaufmann
Original Paper

Abstract

Social avoidance is a core phenotypic characteristic of fragile X syndrome (FXS) that has critical cognitive and social consequences. However, no study has examined modulation of multiple social avoidant behaviors in children with FXS. In the current study, we introduce the Social Approach Scale (SAS), an observation scale that includes physical movement, facial expression, and eye contact approach behaviors collected across multiple time points. Our findings suggested that social approach behaviors in children with FXS were affected by age, gender, setting, and time spent with an examiner. Selected social approach behaviors were related to autistic behavior. Increased eye contact over the course of a research assessment, in particular, was found to be a strong predictor of lower autistic behavior.

Keywords

Fragile X Autism Social approach 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by grant HD003110, grant HD40602, and grant #MH067092. We thank Heather Magruder, Takako Yamaya, and Irena Bukelis for assistance with data analyses and manuscript preparation. We are also grateful to Dr. Christiane Cox for her helpful suggestions regarding statistical analyses.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jane E. Roberts
    • 1
    Email author
  • Leigh Anne H. Weisenfeld
    • 1
  • Deborah D. Hatton
    • 1
  • Morgan Heath
    • 1
  • Walter E. Kaufmann
    • 2
  1. 1.FPG Child Development InstituteUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillCarrboroUSA
  2. 2.Center for Genetic Disorders of Cognition & BehaviorKennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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