Autism spectrum disorder in children with and without epilepsy: impact on social functioning and communication
Article first published online: 27 JAN 2009
©2009 The Author(s)/Journal Compilation ©2009 Foundation Acta Pædiatrica/Acta Pædiatrica
Volume 98, Issue 4, pages 675–681, April 2009
How to Cite
Turk, J., Bax, M., Williams, C., Amin, P., Eriksson, M. and Gillberg, C. (2009), Autism spectrum disorder in children with and without epilepsy: impact on social functioning and communication. Acta Paediatrica, 98: 675–681. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2008.01184.x
- Issue published online: 6 MAR 2009
- Article first published online: 27 JAN 2009
- Received 18 February 2008; Revised 28 November 2008; accepted 28 November 2008.
Aim: To compare developmental and psychological functioning in two groups of children with autism spectrum disorder (asd), one with epilepsy and one without.
Methods: Sixty 7–17-year-old children in each group were recruited through a range of services in order to screen as representative a sample as possible. Parents were interviewed using the diagnostic interview for social and communication disorders (DISCO-11), and children were clinically examined and their medical histories assessed.
Results: The asd and epilepsy (asd+e) group demonstrated a substantially more even gender ratio, with a greater proportion of girls. They were more likely to have received later asd diagnoses and additional medical diagnoses. They also showed more motor difficulties, developmental delays and challenging behaviours, but were no more likely to be aloof and passive. The asd-only group experienced more abnormal fascinations with objects and used brief glances as a means of eye contact more than the asd+e group.
Conclusion: Results support important between-group differences with diagnostic and therapeutic implications. asds often present atypically in children with seizures. However, both groups showed widely varying social and linguistic presentations.