Irritability in Autism
Irritability in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been a long-standing target of clinical research including pharmacological and behavioral interventions. Historically, the term irritability was used in ASD literature as an umbrella category for severe disruptive behaviors including temper tantrums, aggression, and noncompliance. The rates of co-occurrence of ASD with disruptive behavior disorders ranges from 16% to 37% for oppositional defiant and 2–9.6% for conduct disorder. However, up to 65% of children with ASD can have physically aggressive behavior towards their peers or caregivers. (Kanne and Mazurek 2011). Using a more recent conceptualization of irritability, as a cluster of mood symptoms, 45% of children with ASD were reported to have high levels of angry mood and temper tantrums (Mayes et al. 2017). Irritability and associated behavioral problems are distressing in their own right for children and families, and they also contribute to the gap between...
References and Reading
- Aman, M. G., & Singh, N. N. (2017). Aberrant behavior checklist – Second edition (ABC-2). Wood Dale: Stoelting.Google Scholar
- Aman, M. G., McDougle, C. J., Scahill, L., Handen, B., Arnold, L. E., Johnson, C., … Wagner, A. (2009). Medication and parent training in children with pervasive developmental disorders and serious behavior problems: Results from a randomized clinical trial. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 48(12), 1143–1154.Google Scholar
- Bearss, K., Johnson, C., Smith, T., Lecavalier, L., Swiezy, N., Aman, M., … Scahill, L. (2015). Effect of parent training vs parent education on behavioral problems in children with autism spectrum disorder: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA, 313(15), 1524–1533. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2015.31502275445.
- Fung, L. K., Mahajan, R., Nozzolillo, A., Bernal, P., Krasner, A., Jo, B., … Hardan, A. Y. (2016). Pharmacologic treatment of severe irritability and problem behaviors in autism: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Pediatrics, 137, S124-S135. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2015-2851K.
- Johnson, C. R., Handen, B. L., Butter, E., Wagner, A., Mulick, J., Sukhodolsky, D. G., … Vitello, B. (2007). Development of a parent management training program for children with pervasive developmental disorders. Behavioral Interventions, 22, 201–221.Google Scholar
- Mayes, S. D., Calhoun, S. L., Aggarwal, R., Baker, C., Mathapati, S., Anderson, R., & Petersen, C. (2012). Explosive, oppositional, and aggressive behavior in children with autism compared to other clinical disorders and typical children. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 6(1), 1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Mayes, S. D., Kokotovich, C., Mathiowetz, C., Baweja, R., Calhoun, S. L., & Waxmonsky, J. (2017). Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder symptoms by age in autism, ADHD, and general population samples. Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 10(4), 345–359. https://doi.org/10.1080/19315864.2017.1338804.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Patel, S., Day, T. N., Jones, N., & Mazefsky, C. A. (2017). Association between anger rumination and autism symptom severity, depression symptoms, aggression, and general dysregulation in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Autism, 21(2), 181–189. https://doi.org/10.1177/1362361316633566.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Postorino, V., Sharp, W. G., McCracken, C. E., Bearss, K., Burrell, T. L., Evans, A. N., & Scahill, L. (2017). A systematic review and meta-analysis of parent training for disruptive behavior in children with autism Spectrum disorder. [Review]. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 20(4), 391–402. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10567-017-0237-2.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Shattuck, P. T., Seltzer, M. M., Greenberg, J. S., Orsmond, G. I., Bolt, D., Kring, S., … Lord, C. (2007). Change in autism symptoms and maladaptive behaviors in adolescents and adults with an autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37(9), 1735–1747.Google Scholar
- Siegel, M., Milligan, B., Chemelski, B., Payne, D., Ellsworth, B., Harmon, J., … Smith, K. A. (2014). Specialized inpatient psychiatry for serious behavioral disturbance in autism and intellectual disability. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44(12), 3026–3032. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-014-2157-z.
- Stringaris, A., Goodman, R., Ferdinando, S., Razdan, V., Muhrer, E., Leibenluft, E., & Brotman, M. A. (2012). The affective reactivity index: A concise irritability scale for clinical and research settings. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 53, 1109. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2012.02561.x.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Volkmar, F., Siegel, M., Woodbury-Smith, M., King, B., McCracken, J., & State, M. (2014). Practice parameter for the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 53(2), 237–257. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2013.10.013.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Williams, S. K., Scahill, L., Vitiello, B., Aman, M. G., Arnold, L. E., McDougle, C. J., … Sparrow, S. (2006). Risperidone and adaptive behavior in children with autism. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 45(4), 439.Google Scholar