Autism Center for Young Children

Stockholm, Sweden

Autism Center for Young Children

Stockholm, Sweden
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Falck-Ytter T.,Uppsala University | Fernell E.,Autism Center for Young Children | Gillberg C.,Institute of Child Health | Von Hofsten C.,Uppsala University
Developmental Science | Year: 2010

How closely related are the social and communicative impairments in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)? Recent findings in typically developing children suggest that both types of impairment are highly heritable but have only moderate behavioural and genetic overlap. So far, their respective roles in social perception are poorly understood. Here we show that when looking at other people's faces, children with ASD who are better at socio-emotional behaviours than non-verbal communication look more at the eyes, while those with the opposite profile look more at the mouth (Study 1). For the mouth area, a similar pattern was observed for inverted faces, suggesting that information from this area is perceived on a featural basis. In Study 2, we found that when shown a person performing manual actions, 'eye-lookers' from Study 1 tended to look most at the face of the actor, while 'mouth-lookers' from Study 1 tended to look at the action itself (hand/objects). This result was found in both ASD and typical development. In Study 3, the main finding in Study 1 was replicated in a new sample. Taken together, we interpret these results as supporting the view that the neural systems underlying socio-emotional versus non-verbal communication skills are separable, a finding that has important theoretical and clinical implications. The results also suggest that a similar differentiation of looking behaviour may operate in normal development. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Klintwall L.,Autism Center for Young Children | Holm A.,Autism Center for Young Children | Holm A.,Karolinska University Hospital | Eriksson M.,Autism Center for Young Children | And 10 more authors.
Research in Developmental Disabilities | Year: 2011

Sensory abnormalities were assessed in a population-based group of 208 20-54-month-old children, diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and referred to a specialized habilitation centre for early intervention. The children were subgrouped based upon degree of autistic symptoms and cognitive level by a research team at the centre. Parents were interviewed systematically about any abnormal sensory reactions in the child. In the whole group, pain and hearing were the most commonly affected modalities. Children in the most typical autism subgroup (nuclear autism with no learning disability) had the highest number of affected modalities. The children who were classified in an " autistic features" subgroup had the lowest number of affected modalities. There were no group differences in number of affected sensory modalities between groups of different cognitive levels or level of expressive speech. The findings provide support for the notion that sensory abnormality is very common in young children with autism. This symptom has been proposed for inclusion among the diagnostic criteria for ASD in the upcoming DSM-V. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Blomqvist M.,Karolinska Institutet | Ahadi S.,Karolinska Institutet | Fernell E.,Autism Center for Young Children | Fernell E.,Skaraborgs Hospital | And 3 more authors.
European Journal of Oral Sciences | Year: 2011

This study tested the hypothesis that adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) exhibit a higher prevalence of caries than adolescents in a control group. Thirty-two adolescents with ADHD and a control group of 55 adolescents from a population-based sample, all 17yr of age, underwent a clinical and radiographic dental examination. The mean±SD number of decayed surfaces (DS) was 2.0±2.2 in adolescents with ADHD and 0.9±1.4 in adolescents of the control group. Thirty-one per cent of the adolescents in the ADHD group had no new caries lesions (DS=0) compared with 62% in the control group. Six per cent of the adolescents in the ADHD group were caries free [decayed, missing or filled surfaces (DMFS)=0] compared with 29% in the control group. Adolescents with ADHD also had a higher percentage of gingival sites that exhibited bleeding on probing compared with the control group: 35±39% vs. 16±24% (mean±SD), respectively. At 17yr of age, adolescents with ADHD exhibited a statistically significantly higher prevalence of caries compared with an age-matched control group. Adolescents with ADHD need more support regarding oral hygiene and dietary habits. They should be followed up with shorter intervals between dental examinations to prevent caries progression during adulthood. © 2011 Eur J Oral Sci.

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