Exploring Traits of Autism and Their Impact on Functional Disability in Children with Somatic Symptom Disorder
Subclinical traits of autism were measured in children with somatic symptom disorder (SSD, n = 28) and compared with age-matched controls (n = 26) using the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) children’s version. The KINDLR quality of life questionnaire was used to assess functional disability. Although there was no significant group difference in total traits of autism, SSD group had significantly greater difficulty in attention switching domain. Logistic regression analysis confirmed attention switching and age were associated with increased likelihood of SSD. In SSD group, difficulty in attention switching significantly negatively correlated with total, family, and friends quality of life scores. In conclusion, assessment and treatment targeting difficulties in attention switching could be useful when dealing with children with SSD.
KeywordsSomatic symptom disorder Autism Spectrum Quotient Autism spectrum disorder Autistic traits Attention switching
We are grateful to Dr Seigo Shiga, Masato Kantake, Takahiro Kudo, and Tamiko Usui who contributed to data collection. The authors would like to thank Dr Shuko Nojiri for her guidance regarding the statistical analysis.
KH, MH, and KT developed the study concept. KH and MH collected the data. KH performed the analyses. KH drafted the paper, MH revised the paper and KT and TS provided critical advice. All authors approved the final version of the paper for submission.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflict of interest relevant to this article to disclose.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- Baron-Cohen, S., Wheelwright, S., Skinner, R., Martin, J., & Clubley, E. (2001). The autism-spectrum quotient (AQ): Evidence from Asperger syndrome/high-functioning autism, males and females, scientists and mathematicians. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 31, 5–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bishop, S. L., Richler, J., Cain, A. C., & Lord, C. (2007). Predictors of perceived negative impact in mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder. American journal of mental retardation: AJMR, 112, 450–461. https://doi.org/10.1352/0895-8017(2007)112%5B450:popnii%5D2.0.co;2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Cerutti, R., Presaghi, F., Spensieri, V., Valastro, C., & Guidetti, V. (2016). The potential impact of internet and mobile use on headache and other somatic symptoms in adolescence. A population-based cross-sectional study. Headache, 56, 1161–1170. https://doi.org/10.1111/head.12840.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Cerutti, R., Spensieri, V., Valastro, C., Presaghi, F., Canitano, R., & Guidetti, V. (2017). A comprehensive approach to understand somatic symptoms and their impact on emotional and psychosocial functioning in children. PLoS ONE, 12, e0171867. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0171867.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Chitkara, D. K., van Tilburg, M. A., Blois-Martin, N., & Whitehead, W. E. (2008). Early life risk factors that contribute to irritable bowel syndrome in adults: A systematic review. The American Journal of Gastroenterology, 103, 765–774. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1572-0241.2007.01722.x. (quiz 775)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Craig, F., Lamanna, A. L., Margari, F., Matera, E., Simone, M., & Margari, L. (2015). Overlap between autism spectrum disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Searching for distinctive/common clinical features. Autism Research: Official Journal of the International Society for Autism Research, 8, 328–337. https://doi.org/10.1002/aur.1449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Harrop, C., McBee, M., & Boyd, B. A. (2016). How are child restricted and repetitive behaviors associated with caregiver stress over time? A parallel process multilevel growth model. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 46, 1773–1783. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-016-2707-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hoekstra, R. A., Bartels, M., Cath, D. C., & Boomsma, D. I. (2008). Factor structure, reliability and criterion validity of the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ): A study in Dutch population and patient groups. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38, 1555–1566. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-008-0538-x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Ilola, A. M., Lempinen, L., Huttunen, J., Ristkari, T., & Sourander, A. (2016). Bullying and victimisation are common in four-year-old children and are associated with somatic symptoms and conduct and peer problems. Acta Paediatrica (Oslo, Norway: 1992), 105, 522–528. https://doi.org/10.1111/apa.13327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kimura, M., Chisaki, K., Yamaguchi, H., & Ikuno, T. (2006). Underlying developmental disorders in patients who visited the outoatient psychosomatic clinic of the development of pediatrics. Japanese Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine, 46, 309–317.Google Scholar
- Kiriyama, M. (2008). High-functioning pervasive developmental disorders presenting in school non-attendees in adolescence. Kawasaki Medical Journal, 34, 57–68.Google Scholar
- Matsuzaki, K., Nemoto, Y., & Shibata, R. (2007). A study of the Kiddo-KINDL (Questionnaire for Measuring Health-Related Quality of Life in Children, Revised Version for 13 to 1-year-olds) in Japan. The Journal of the Japan Pediatric Society, 111, 1404–1410.Google Scholar
- Nadig, A., Lee, I., Singh, L., Bosshart, K., & Ozonoff, S. (2010). How does the topic of conversation affect verbal exchange and eye gaze? A comparison between typical development and high-functioning autism. Neuropsychologia, 48, 2730–2739. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2010.05.020.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Nitahara, Y., Tachibana, Y., Koeda, T., & Okuyama, M. (2015). Kirituseicyousetusyougai no haikei ni jiheisyousupekutoramu wo mitometa 1 rei. Japanese Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 44, 1289–1292.Google Scholar
- Ravens-Sieberer, U., & Bullinger, M. (1998). Assessing health-related quality of life in chronically ill children with the German KINDL: First psychometric and content analytical results. Quality of Life Research: An International Journal of Quality of Life Aspects of Treatment, Care and Rehabilitation, 7, 399–407.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Shibata, R., Nemoto, Y., & Matuzaki, K. (2003). A Study of the Kid-KINDL questionnaire for measuring quality of life in elementary school children in Japan. The Journal of the Japan Pediatric Society, 107, 1514–1520.Google Scholar
- Shiokawa, H., & Momoi, M. (2002). Psychosomatic and behaviral problems in children with Asperger disorder. Journal of Japanese Society of Psychosomatic Pediatrics, 10, 128–133.Google Scholar
- Tanaka, Y., Ichikawa, H., & Ono, K. (2016). ADHD-RS hyoka sukeiru no nihonngobann hyojyunnka ni mukete. Clinical Psychiatry, 58, 317–326.Google Scholar
- Uljarevic, M., & Evans, D. W. (2017). Relationship between repetitive behaviour and fear across normative development, autism spectrum disorder, and down syndrome. Autism research: Official journal of the International Society for Autism Research, 10, 502–507. https://doi.org/10.1002/aur.1674.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Wallace, G. L., et al. (2016). Real-world executive functions in adults with autism spectrum disorder: Profiles of impairment and associations with adaptive functioning and co-morbid anxiety and depression. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 46, 1071–1083. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-015-2655-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar