Autism Spectrum Symptomatology in Children with Williams Syndrome Who Have Phrase Speech or Fluent Language
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To characterize autism spectrum-related symptomatology in children with Williams syndrome (WS) with phrase speech or fluent language, the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule Module 2 or 3 was administered. The cutoff for autism spectrum was met by 35% (14/40) who completed Module 2 and 30% (18/60) who completed Module 3. Similarities and differences in socio-communicative strengths and weaknesses as a function of language ability were identified. Symptom severity was negatively associated with IQ for participants with phrase speech but not for those with fluent language. The findings suggest an elevated risk of ASD for individuals with WS relative to the general population and contribute to a more nuanced sense of the socio-communicative functioning of children with WS.
KeywordsWilliams syndrome Intellectual disability Autism spectrum disorders Social communication
Many of the participants in this study also were included in FvdF’s dissertation research. This research was supported by grants NIMH R03 MH069400, a University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee Graduate School Research Committee Award, and Williams Syndrome Association (WSA) 0110 (to BPKT) and by grant R01 NS35102 from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, grant R37 HD29957 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and grants WSA 0104 and WSA 0111 from the Williams Syndrome Association (to CBM). We would like to thank the children and parents who participated in this study; their generosity made this research possible. We also thank the Williams Syndrome Association for facilitating our research. We are grateful to Rebecca McNally, who administered most of the ADOS protocols to the children tested at the University of Louisville.
BPKT and CBM conceptualized and designed the study, coordinated participant recruitment, and supervised the intellectual assessments. BPKT conducted and/or oversaw the ADOS assessments. BPKT and FvdF conducted the analyses and BPKT and CBM worked together on interpretation of the results. FvdF drafted the manuscript which was reviewed and edited by BPKT and CBM. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest to report.
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.
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