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Autism: Family Life - Tactics for Getting Normal Again
10 CEUs Substance Abuse: Growing Beyond 12 Step Program Dependency

Section 18
Special Considerations for ASD Diagnostic Evaluation

CEU Question 18 | CEU Answer Booklet | Table of Contents | Autism
Social Worker CEUs, Counselor CEUs, Psychologist CEs, MFT CEUs

 

The Flip Book below is from The Division of Developmental Disabilities, Missouri Department of Mental Healthealth.

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-Division of Developmental Disabilities, Missouri Department of Mental Health, Autism Spectrum Disorders:Missouri Best Practice Guidelines for Screening, Diagnosis, and Assessment, Thompson Foundation for Autism and the Division of Developmental Disabilities, Missouri Department of Mental Health, 2010, p. 66-77.
The article above contains foundational information. Articles below contain optional updates.

Online Continuing Education QUESTION 18
What are five ways that diagnosing older children or individuals may differ from evaluation of young children in a number of important ways? Record the letter of the correct answer the CEU Answer Booklet.

 
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CEU Answer Booklet for this course | Autism
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What are we targeting when we treat autism spectrum disorder? A systematic review of 406 clinical trials
Autism, Ahead of Print.
The number of trials aimed at evaluating treatments for autism spectrum disorder has been increasing progressively. However, it is not clear which outcome measures should be used to assess their efficacy, especially for treatments which target core symptoms. The present review aimed to provide a comprehensive overview regarding the outcome measures used in clinical trials for people with autism spectrum disorder. We systematically searched the Web of KnowledgeSM database between 1980 and 2016 to identify published controlled trials investigating the efficacy of interventions in autism spectrum disorder. We included 406 trials in the final database, from which a total of 327 outcome measures were identified. Only seven scales were used in more than 5% of the studies, among which only three measured core symptoms (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Childhood Autism Rating Scale, and Social Responsiveness Scale). Of note, 69% of the tools were used in the literature only once. Our systematic review has shown that the evaluation of efficacy in intervention trials for autism spectrum disorder relies on heterogeneous and often non-specific tools for this condition. The fragmentation of tools may significantly hamper the comparisons between studies and thus the discovery of effective treatments for autism spectrum disorder. Greater consensus regarding the choice of these measures should be reached.
Self-reported motivations for offending by autistic sexual offenders
Autism, Ahead of Print.
Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder estimated to have elevated prevalence in forensic populations (approximately 4.5%). It has been suggested that offenders with autism spectrum disorder engage more frequently in crimes against the person and sexual offences than other types of offences such as property, driving and drug offences. To date little is empirically known about the reasons why autistic individuals engage in sexual offences, yet understanding the motivation(s) for offending are key to developing and implementing effective interventions to help reduce both initial offending and also re-offending. In this study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine autistic sexual offenders in prisons and probation services across England and Wales. Thematic analyses revealed five main themes (social difficulties, misunderstanding, sex and relationship deficits, inadequate control and disequilibrium). Analyses indicated that social skills difficulties, lack of perspective/weak central coherence, misunderstanding the seriousness of their behaviours and a lack of appropriate relationships were the main reasons for offending reported by this group of autistic sexual offenders. Findings highlight a need to develop sex and relationship education interventions which are tailored to the needs of autistic individuals, to address both their reported reasons for offending and their reported lack of sexual knowledge and awareness.
Acting on observed social exclusion and pro-social behaviour in autism spectrum disorder
Autism, Ahead of Print.
Humans are commonly motivated towards cooperation and prosociality. In this study, we examined this motivational predisposition in autistic individuals. Using an adaptation of the Cyberball paradigm, we investigated subsequent pro-social behaviour after witnessing social exclusion. Participants witnessed and played a series of Cyberball games, rated their affective state and valued emotional faces with respect to their approachability. Results showed that participants from both groups were aware of the social exclusion. However, while neurotypically developing participants engaged in pro-social behaviour in reaction to the exclusion, autistic participants showed less alterations, in terms of either behaviour or affective state. The current findings suggest a distinct motivational drive and processing of social reward stimuli in autism, which may result in behavioural responses divergent from typical development when engaging in the social world.
Self-reported social impairments predict depressive disorder in adults with autism spectrum disorder
Autism, Ahead of Print.
In adults with autism spectrum disorder, co-occurring psychiatric conditions are prevalent, and depression is one of the most common co-occurring disorders. This study examined the relationship between depression and cognitive ability, autism symptom severity, and self-reported social impairments in autism spectrum disorder. A total of 33 adults with autism spectrum disorder and 28 adults with typical development completed a standardized psychiatric interview, cognitive test, measure of clinician-rated autism symptom severity, and self-report of social impairments. Nine participants with autism spectrum disorder (27%) met the criteria for a depressive disorder (autism spectrum disorder + depressive disorder). Relatively more females with autism spectrum disorder had a co-occurring depressive disorder. The typical development group had a higher intelligence quotient than the autism spectrum disorder group, but the autism spectrum disorder + depressive disorder group did not differ from the typical development or autism spectrum disorder group. While the autism spectrum disorder + depressive disorder group had lower clinician-rated autism symptom severity than the autism spectrum disorder group, the autism spectrum disorder + depressive disorder group reported more social impairments than the autism spectrum disorder group. Self-reported social impairments predicted depression in adults with autism spectrum disorder when accounting for symptom severity and cognitive ability. These findings suggest that more self-perceived social impairments are related to depressive disorders in autism spectrum disorder, and may help clinicians identify individuals who are vulnerable in developing a co-occurring depressive disorder. Future directions include follow-up studies with larger cohorts and longitudinal designs to support inferences regarding directionality of these relationships.
Complex facial emotion recognition and atypical gaze patterns in autistic adults
Autism, Ahead of Print.
While altered gaze behaviour during facial emotion recognition has been observed in autistic individuals, there remains marked inconsistency in findings, with the majority of previous research focused towards the processing of basic emotional expressions. There is a need to examine whether atypical gaze during facial emotion recognition extends to more complex emotional expressions, which are experienced as part of everyday social functioning. The eye gaze of 20 autistic and 20 IQ-matched neurotypical adults was examined during a facial emotion recognition task of complex, dynamic emotion displays. Autistic adults fixated longer on the mouth region when viewing complex emotions compared to neurotypical adults, indicating that altered prioritization of visual information may contribute to facial emotion recognition impairment. Results confirm the need for more ecologically valid stimuli for the elucidation of the mechanisms underlying facial emotion recognition difficulty in autistic individuals.

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