Behavioral problems in children with autism spectrum disorder with and without co-occurring intellectual disability

Margaret Kurzius-Spencer, Sydney D Pettygrove, Deborah Christensen, Anita L. Pedersen, Christopher M Cunniff, F. John Meaney, Gnakub Norbert Soke, Rebecca A. Harrington, Maureen Durkin, Sydney A Rice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), intellectual disability (ID), and behavioral problems commonly co-occur, leading to increased impairment, diagnostic confusion, and treatment delays. Using data from a large surveillance population of children with ASD, the objectives of the present study were to compare the relative risk of common behavioral problems in children with ASD, with and without co-occurring intellectual disability. Methods: Data from the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network (2006–2010) on 9378 8-year-old children who met case definition for ASD and had cognitive test scores and information on behavioral problems were analyzed using frequency measures, risk ratios, chi-squared tests, and trend tests. Results: Children with ASD with and without ID had on average six co-occurring behavioral problems. The relative risk (RR) of self-injurious behaviors, unusual fear responses, and eating abnormalities increased with increasing cognitive impairment among children with ASD and ID (all p<0.001). Conversely, RR of mood (p<0.001) and sleep abnormalities (p=0.013) declined with increasing levels of cognitive impairment. Conclusions: Children with ASD and ID are at greater risk of some behavioral problems and lower risk of others as compared to children with ASD only. Successful interventions depend on understanding the complex interactions between co-occurring neurodevelopmental and behavioral problems.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages61-71
Number of pages11
JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Volume56
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

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Intellectual Disability
Population Surveillance
Self-Injurious Behavior
Confusion
Developmental Disabilities
Problem Behavior
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autistic Disorder
Fear
Sleep
Eating
Odds Ratio

Keywords

  • Autism and developmental disabilities monitoring network
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Children
  • Intellectual disability
  • Problem behaviors
  • Self-injurious behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Behavioral problems in children with autism spectrum disorder with and without co-occurring intellectual disability. / Kurzius-Spencer, Margaret; Pettygrove, Sydney D; Christensen, Deborah; Pedersen, Anita L.; Cunniff, Christopher M; Meaney, F. John; Soke, Gnakub Norbert; Harrington, Rebecca A.; Durkin, Maureen; Rice, Sydney A.

In: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Vol. 56, 01.12.2018, p. 61-71.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kurzius-Spencer, Margaret ; Pettygrove, Sydney D ; Christensen, Deborah ; Pedersen, Anita L. ; Cunniff, Christopher M ; Meaney, F. John ; Soke, Gnakub Norbert ; Harrington, Rebecca A. ; Durkin, Maureen ; Rice, Sydney A. / Behavioral problems in children with autism spectrum disorder with and without co-occurring intellectual disability. In: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders. 2018 ; Vol. 56. pp. 61-71.
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