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Sex-Differences in Children Referred for Assessment: An Exploratory Analysis of the Autism Mental Status Exam (AMSE)

Abstract

The autism mental status exam is an eight-item observational assessment that structures the way we observe and document signs and symptoms of ASD. Investigations of test performance indicate strong sensitivity and specificity using gold-standard assessment as reference standard. This study aims to explore potential sex differences in AMSE test performance and observations of 123 children referred for autism assessment. Results indicates more language deficits in females with ASD than in males with ASD and less sensory symptoms in females compared to males with ASD. The AMSE performance is similar in identifying ASD and non-ASD in females compared to males. Less disruptive behaviors in females, might cause a need for a bigger hit to other areas of development to raise concern.

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Acknowledgments

We want to sincerely thank all individuals that were a part of the initial data collection, and all colleagues that have been involved in the initial data collection.

Author Contribution

RAØ conceptualized and designed the study, drafted the initial manuscript, carried out the analyses, reviewed and revised the manuscript, and approved the submission of the final manuscript. DG and FS conceptualized and designed the study, supervised the initial manuscript, supervised the analyses, reviewed and revised the manuscript, and approved the final manuscript for submission. LH, SMV, LW, CE, AN, MRE and FRV reviewed and revised the manuscript, played prominent roles in the design of the methods, analyses and results, and approved the final manuscript as submitted.

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Correspondence to Roald A. Øien.

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Øien, R.A., Vambheim, S.M., Hart, L. et al. Sex-Differences in Children Referred for Assessment: An Exploratory Analysis of the Autism Mental Status Exam (AMSE). J Autism Dev Disord 48, 2286–2292 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-018-3488-y

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Keywords

  • Sex differences
  • Gender differences
  • Behavior
  • Autistic traits
  • Autism-related symptoms