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Jahromi L.B.,Arizona State University | Meek S.E.,Arizona State University | Ober-Reynolds S.,Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines

Background: It is well accepted that emotion regulation difficulties are a serious concern for children with ASD, yet empirical studies of this construct are limited for this population. The present study describes group differences between high functioning children with autism and their typical peers in frustration and discrete coping strategies for emotion regulation. We also use sequential analyses to test differences in the efficacy of individual coping strategies at regulating children's frustration. Methods: Subjects were 20 children with autism (M = 59 months) and 20 developmentally matched typically developing children (M = 50 months). Measures of children's frustration (negative facial expressions and behaviors, negative vocalizations, resignation) and emotion regulation coping strategies were observationally coded from structured video recordings. Results: Children with autism displayed a higher intensity and duration of resignation, and the group difference became most pronounced when children worked alone during the parent-absent segment of the locked box task. Children with autism used significantly more avoidance and venting strategies, and fewer constructive strategies than typical children. Sequential analyses revealed that social support strategies (orienting and verbalizing to the experimenter) were ineffective for children with autism, while these behaviors, vocal venting, and distraction strategies were all effective for typically developing children. Conclusions: The results go beyond the recent literature by offering a rich description of children's efforts to regulate their frustration when faced with challenge, and point to important contextual differences in the efficacy of children's coping strategies. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry © 2012 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Source

Smith I.M.,Dalhousie University | Koegel R.L.,University of California at Santa Barbara | Koegel L.K.,University of California at Santa Barbara | Openden D.A.,Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center | And 2 more authors.
American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

The Nova Scotia early intensive behavior intervention model-NS EIBI (Bryson et al., 2007) for children with autistic spectrum disorders was designed to be feasible and sustainable in community settings. It combines parent training and naturalistic one-to-one behavior intervention employing Pivotal Response Treatment-PRT (R. Koegel & Koegel, 2006). We followed 45 children (33 males, mean baseline age 5 50 months) for 12 months. Mean gains of 14.9 and 19.5 months were observed on expressive and receptive language measures, respectively, for children with an IQ of 50 or more at baseline versus 6.1 and 8.4 months for children with IQs less than 50. Behavior problems decreased significantly over the 1-year treatment for both groups, but autism symptoms decreased only for those with an IQ of 50 or more. © American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Source

Kolevzon A.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine | Newcorn J.H.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine | Kryzak L.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine | Chaplin W.,St. Johns University | And 6 more authors.
Psychiatry Research

This study was conducted to examine the relationship between whole blood serotonin level and behavioral symptoms in 78 subjects with autism. No significant associations were found between serotonin level and the primary behavioral outcome measures. However, a significant inverse relationship between serotonin level and self-injury was demonstrated. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Matthews N.L.,Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center | Matthews N.L.,University of California at Irvine | Ly A.R.,University of Delaware | Ly A.R.,University of California at Irvine | Goldberg W.A.,University of California at Irvine
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

Little is known about peer attitudes toward college students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Affective, behavioral, and cognitive attitudes toward vignette characters displaying behaviors characteristic of ASD were examined among 224 four-year university students who were randomly assigned to one of three labeling conditions for the primary vignette characters: high functioning autism (HFA), typical college student, or no label. Students in the HFA label condition reported more positive behavioral and cognitive attitudes toward the vignette characters than students in the no label condition. Male students and students with lower scores on the Broad Autism Phenotype Questionnaire reported more positive attitudes across study conditions. These experimental results suggest that knowledge of a diagnosis might improve attitudes toward college students with ASD. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York. Source

Palmieri L.,University of Bari | Palmieri L.,National Research Council Italy | Papaleo V.,Biomedical University of Rome | Papaleo V.,Laboratory of Molecular Psychiatry and Psychiatric Genetics | And 25 more authors.
Molecular Psychiatry

Autism is a severe developmental disorder, whose pathogenetic underpinnings are still largely unknown. Temporocortical gray matter from six matched patient-control pairs was used to perform post-mortem biochemical and genetic studies of the mitochondrial aspartate/glutamate carrier (AGC), which participates in the aspartate/malate reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide shuttle and is physiologically activated by calcium (Ca 2). AGC transport rates were significantly higher in tissue homogenates from all six patients, including those with no history of seizures and with normal electroencephalograms prior to death. This increase was consistently blunted by the Ca 2 chelator ethylene glycol tetraacetic acid; neocortical Ca 2 levels were significantly higher in all six patients; no difference in AGC transport rates was found in isolated mitochondria from patients and controls following removal of the Ca 2-containing postmitochondrial supernatant. Expression of AGC1, the predominant AGC isoform in brain, and cytochrome c oxidase activity were both increased in autistic patients, indicating an activation of mitochondrial metabolism. Furthermore, oxidized mitochondrial proteins were markedly increased in four of the six patients. Variants of the AGC1-encoding SLC25A12 gene were neither correlated with AGC activation nor associated with autism-spectrum disorders in 309 simplex and 17 multiplex families, whereas some unaffected siblings may carry a protective gene variant. Therefore, excessive Ca 2 levels are responsible for boosting AGC activity, mitochondrial metabolism and, to a more variable degree, oxidative stress in autistic brains. AGC and altered Ca 2 homeostasis play a key interactive role in the cascade of signaling events leading to autism: their modulation could provide new preventive and therapeutic strategies. © 2010 Nature Publishing Group All rights reserved. Source

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