Psychiatric Symptoms in Youth with a History of Autism and Optimal Outcome
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Since autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is often comorbid with psychiatric disorders, children who no longer meet criteria for ASD (optimal outcome; OO) may still be at risk for psychiatric disorders. A parent interview for DSM-IV psychiatric disorders (K-SADS-PL) for 33 OO, 42 high-functioning autism (HFA) and 34 typically developing (TD) youth, ages 8–21, showed that OO and HFA groups had elevated current ADHD and specific phobias, with tics in HFA. In the past, the HFA group also had elevated depression and ODD, and the OO group had tics. The HFA group also showed subthreshold symptoms of specific and social phobias, and generalized anxiety. Psychopathology in the OO group abated over time as did their autism, and decreased more than in HFA.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorder Optimal outcome Psychiatric functioning Comorbidity
This research was supported by the National Institutes of Mental Health (R01MH076189 to DF). We are deeply grateful to participants and families and our tireless undergraduate research assistants.
Conflict of interest
There are no conflicts of interest to declare.
D.A.F., M.L.B., I-M.E., E.K., L.N., R.T.S., and M.C.S. designed the larger study from which this data was taken. K.E.T. developed the concept for the current paper. A.O., K.E.T., E.T., M.H., and M.R. collected the data. A.O. analysed the data. A.O., K.E.T., and J.S. wrote sections of the paper. All authors discussed the results and implications and edited the manuscript at all stages.
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