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The Effects of Inattention/Impulsivity and Aggression on the Development of Toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) frequently co-occurs with additional symptoms of psychopathology and challenging behaviors. While aggressive behaviors are often associated with attention deficits and hyperactivity in children with ASD, there is limited research on the impact that inattention/impulsivity and aggressive behaviors have on the developmental functioning of toddlers with ASD. However, identifying comorbidities is necessary for proper intervention. The aim of the current study was to examine the effects of inattention/impulsivity and aggressive behaviors on several domains of developmental functioning in infants and toddlers with ASD as measured by the Battelle Developmental Inventory, Second Edition (BDI-2). This study compared four groups consisting of 29 toddlers each: without inattention/impulsivity or aggressive behaviors (i.e., -I/-A), with inattention/impulsivity but without aggressive behaviors (i.e., + I/-A), without inattention/impulsivity but with aggressive behaviors (i.e., –I/ + A), and with both inattention/impulsivity and aggressive behaviors (i.e., + I/ + A). The results of the current study revealed significant group differences in Personal-Social, Communication, Motor, and Cognitive domains of the BDI-2. The significance and implications of the present study are discussed.

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Correspondence to Celeste Tevis.

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Conflicts of Interest

Mrs. Deann Matson, Dr. Johnny L. Matson’s spouse, is the sole owner of the Baby and Infant Screen for Children with aUtIsm Traits (BISCUIT) and sells the scale. Celeste Tevis, Megan Callahan, Michaela Brown, and Esther Hong declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

The use of EarlySteps data in this study was approved by both the Louisiana State University Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the State of Louisiana’s Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities (OCDD) IRB and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration.

Informed Consent

Both IRB’s determined that informed consent to participate in research was not required, as personal identifiers (e.g., name, date of birth) were removed from the record by OCDD prior to receipt by the researchers.

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Tevis, C., Matson, J.L., Brown, M. et al. The Effects of Inattention/Impulsivity and Aggression on the Development of Toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorder. J Dev Phys Disabil 33, 741–756 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10882-020-09770-w

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Keywords

  • Inattention
  • Impulsivity
  • Aggression
  • ASD
  • Toddlers
  • Developmental functioning