Annotated Bibliographies: Autism Spectrum Disorders

Christensen, D. L., Bilder, D. A., Zahorodny, W., Pettygrove, S., Durkin, M. S., Fitzgerald, R. T., … & Yeargin-Allsopp, M. (2016). Prevalence and characteristics of autism spectrum disorder among 4-year-old children in the autism and developmental disabilities monitoring network. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics37(1), 1-8.

The article highlighted the prevalence rates and characteristics of Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) among 4 year old children taking part in the 2010 Autism and Developmental Disabilities Network. This was done through clinical review of records extracted from the children’s education and health reports in 5 out of the 11 sites involved. The prevalence of ASD amongst 4 years olds was found to be 13.4 children per 1000, 30% less than in the 8 year olds. ASD prevalence without cognitive impairment was 40% less than 8 year olds but with cognitive impairment 20% more. Female and non-Hispanic white children were more likely to receive a comprehensive evaluation within the first 36 months unlike males and non-Hispanic blacks. 

Lauritsen, M. B. (2013). Autism spectrum disorders. European child & adolescent psychiatry22(1), 37-42.

The paper reviews the adjustments introduced in the definition of Autism Spectrum Disorders in the DSM-5 manual. It particularly identifies the adjustments that have been made from the DSM-4. In the DSM-5 manual, the emphasis on language delay has been dropped together with the age of onset. The manual instead defines ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder whose symptoms appear in early childhood though diagnosis may come later in life. Elsewhere, rather than including 3 domains of impairment, the manual only entails two, the behavioral and socio-communication domains. The DSM-5 framework also gives a more detailed view of the clinical presentation of ASD using specific terms. Other important changes include introduction of international guidelines and a glimpse of good practice regarding clinical assessments and the design of interventions. 

Wong, C., Odom, S. L., Hume, K. A., Cox, A. W., Fettig, A., Kucharczyk, S., … & Schultz, T. R. (2015). Evidence-based practices for children, youth, and young adults with autism spectrum disorder: A comprehensive review. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders45(7), 1951-1966.

The article details evidence based interventions and focused intervention practices with respect to children and youths with Autism Spectrum disorders. The research design adopted was that of a systematic review, featuring 29,105 articles out of which 456 articles satisfied the inclusion and methodological criteria. The review was however was an extension of a previous one by Odom et al. (2010). The analysis of the articles presents 27 focused interventions which duly satisfied the criteria of evidenced based practice (EBP).  The adjustments from the previous review by Odom et al. (2010) include the addition of six new EBPs and the removal of one that was previously included. 

Hayes, S. A., & Watson, S. L. (2013). The impact of parenting stress: A meta-analysis of studies comparing the experience of parenting stress in parents of children with and without autism spectrum disorder. Journal of autism and developmental disorders43(3), 629-642.

The study aimed to compare parental stress between parents of typically developing (TD) children, those whose children have ASDs and other disabilities. This was based on the common research finding that parents whose children have ASDs face more parental stress than the two comparative groups. A meta-analysis of studies on the topic was carried out with a pooling of results alongside the comparison groups. It was evident that there was a large effect size with respect to parental stress on families where children have ASD compared to both families raising TD children and those with other disabilities. However, the study cautions on the interpretation of the results, bearing in mind that the individual experiences of the parents may vary depending on the disability in question. 

McElhanon, B. O., McCracken, C., Karpen, S., & Sharp, W. G. (2014). Gastrointestinal symptoms in autism spectrum disorder: a meta-analysis. Pediatrics133(5), 872-883.

The study investigated gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms among children suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). This followed the widespread reporting of GI symptoms in pediatric settings by mothers. A meta-analysis of studies from three reliable databases Medline, PsycINFO, and PubMed was conducted featuring the period between 1980 and 2012. The main finding was that children with ASD experience more general GI symptoms than comparison groups including diarrhea, constipation and abdominal pain. However, due to methodological shortcomings, there was need for future studies to ascertain causes and long term effects of the GI symptoms on children with ASD. 

References

Christensen, D. L., Bilder, D. A., Zahorodny, W., Pettygrove, S., Durkin, M. S., Fitzgerald, R. T., … & Yeargin-Allsopp, M. (2016). Prevalence and characteristics of autism spectrum disorder among 4-year-old children in the autism and developmental disabilities monitoring network. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics37(1), 1-8.

Hayes, S. A., & Watson, S. L. (2013). The impact of parenting stress: A meta-analysis of studies comparing the experience of parenting stress in parents of children with and without autism spectrum disorder. Journal of autism and developmental disorders43(3), 629-642.

Lauritsen, M. B. (2013). Autism spectrum disorders. European child & adolescent psychiatry22(1), 37-42.

McElhanon, B. O., McCracken, C., Karpen, S., & Sharp, W. G. (2014). Gastrointestinal symptoms in autism spectrum disorder: a meta-analysis. Pediatrics133(5), 872-883.

Wong, C., Odom, S. L., Hume, K. A., Cox, A. W., Fettig, A., Kucharczyk, S., … & Schultz, T. R. (2015). Evidence-based practices for children, youth, and young adults with autism spectrum disorder: A comprehensive review. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders45(7), 1951-1966.

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