Article

Positive Effects of Methylphenidate on Social Communication and Self-Regulation in Children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders and Hyperactivity

School of Social and Family Dynamics, Arizona State University, Box 873701, Tempe, AZ 85287-3701, USA.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (Impact Factor: 3.06). 09/2008; 39(3):395-404. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-008-0636-9
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This report examined the effect of methylphenidate on social communication and self-regulation in children with pervasive developmental disorders and hyperactivity in a secondary analysis of RUPP Autism Network data. Participants were 33 children (29 boys) between the ages of 5 and 13 years who participated in a four-week crossover trial of placebo and increasing doses of methylphenidate given in random order each for one week. Observational measures of certain aspects of children's social communication, self-regulation, and affective behavior were obtained each week. A significant positive effect of methylphenidate was seen on children's use of joint attention initiations, response to bids for joint attention, self-regulation, and regulated affective state. The results go beyond the recent literature and suggest that methylphenidate may have positive effects on social behaviors in children with PDD and hyperactivity.

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    • "Some of these medications have clear value in the management of interfering symptoms and behaviors associated with ASD. Improvements in social behaviors have been noted in some trials, though these findings often derive from secondary analyses [e.g., studies of risperidone (Scahill et al. 2012)], or are from open-label studies, (Aman et al. 2009) or are from populations with specific comorbidity [e.g., hyperactivity in trials of methylphenidate and guanfacine (Scahill et al. 2006; Jahromi et al. 2009)]. By contrast, few studies have prospectively aimed to demonstrate an impact on the core social and communicative symptoms of ASD. "
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