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The nature and prevalence of catatonic symptoms in young people with autism

Breen, J. and Hare, Dougal J. 2017. The nature and prevalence of catatonic symptoms in young people with autism. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research 61 (6) , pp. 580-593. 10.1111/jir.12362

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Background A proportion of young people with autism are reported to show catatonic-like symptoms in adolescence. The aetiology and prevalence of such presentations is unknown but include a set of behaviours that can best be described as attenuated. Method The current study empirically investigated the presence and nature of such attenuated behaviours in children and adolescents with autism using a newly developed 34-item third party report measure, the Attenuated Behaviour Questionnaire. Caregivers or parents of young people with autism reported on the presentation of symptoms via the online completion of the Attenuated Behaviour Questionnaire and two established clinical measures of repetitive behaviour and depression. Results Initial results indicate that the Attenuated Behaviour Questionnaire is a workable clinical measure in this population with a degree of discriminant validity with regard to catatonia. Attenuated behaviour indicative of catatonia was relatively common in young people with autism with up to 20.2% having an existing diagnosis of catatonia and evidence of a relationship between attenuated behaviours and measures of depression and repetitive and restricted behaviours. Conclusion Catatonic symptoms are more prevalent in young people with autism than previously thought, and the Attenuated Behaviour Questionnaire has potential as a clinical and research tool.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: attenuated behaviour; autism; catatonia
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
ISSN: 0964-2633
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 July 2017
Date of Acceptance: 21 December 2016
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2020 01:23

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