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Sex- and age-related differences in autistic behaviours in children with neurofibromatosis type 1

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Abstract

This study investigated sex and age differences in autistic behaviours in children with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) who scored within the clinical range on the Social Responsiveness Scale - Second Edition (T score ≥ 60). Thirty-four males and 28 females (3–16 years) were assessed with the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule - Second Edition and Autism Diagnostic Interview - Revised. Across both measures, males exhibited greater social communication deficits relative to females. Age-related abatement of social communication difficulties was observed for males but not females. Conversely, no sex differences were found for restricted/repetitive behaviours, which were stable over time for both males and females. The findings are discussed within the context of broader neurodevelopmental considerations that are common in NF1.

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Chisholm, A.K., Lami, F., Haebich, K.M. et al. Sex- and age-related differences in autistic behaviours in children with neurofibromatosis type 1. J Autism Dev Disord 53, 2835–2850 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-022-05571-6

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