The origin and developmental course of stereotypic and self-injurious behaviour among individuals with developmental disabilities such as intellectual disability (ID) or pervasive development disorders such as autism is not well understood.
Twelve studies designed to document the prevalence, nature, or development of stereotypic and/or self-injurious behaviour in children under 5 years of age and identified as at risk for developmental delay or disability were reviewed. Comparisons were made with similar studies with typically developing children.
It appears that the onset of naturally occurring rhythmic motor stereotypies is delayed in young at-risk children, but that the sequencing may be similar. A very small database, differences in samples, measures, and designs limited the degree to which comparisons could be made across studies.
Future work is needed based on appropriately designed prospective comparison studies and uniform quantitative measures to provide an empirical basis for new knowledge about the early development of one of the most serious behaviour disorders afflicting children with ID and related problems of development.
"Only a few studies have characterized stereotypies in detail (Symons et al., 2005). Our collection of 129 preschool children with a DSM–III-R (American Psychiatric Association, 1987) Autism Disorder diagnosis (the more severe classical form of autism) provided the opportunity to describe in depth each stereotypy observed over a fixed time interval (15 min) under standard play conditions (Goldman et al., 2009). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In autism, stereotypies are frequent and disabling, and whether they correspond to a hyperkinetic movement disorder, a homeostatic response aiming at sensory modulation, or a regulator of arousal remains to be established. So far, it has been challenging to distinguish among these different possibilities, not only because of lack of objective and quantitative means to assess stereotypies, but in our opinion also because of the underappreciated diversity of their clinical presentations. Herein, we illustrate the broad spectrum of stereotypies and demonstrate the usefulness of video-assisted clinical observations of children with autism. The clips presented were extracted from play sessions of 129 children with autism disorder. We conclude that
compared to widely used questionnaires and interviews, systematic video observations provide a unique means to classify and score precisely the clinical features of stereotypies. We believe this approach will prove useful to both clinicians and researchers as it offers the level of detail from retrievable images necessary to begin to assess effects of age and treatments on stereotypies, and to embark on the type of investigations required to unravel the physiological basis of motor behaviors in autism.
Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience 01/2013; 6:1-5. DOI:10.3389/fnint.2012.00121
"Emerging evidence has demonstrated that motor stereotypies occur not only in children with ASD, and other developmental disabilities but also in normally developing children and adolescents (Barry, Baird, Lascelles, Bunton, & Hedderly, 2011; Harris, Mahone, & Singer, 2008; Mahone, Bridges, Prahme, & Singer, 2004). The nature and developmental course of stereotypies among individuals with ASD is not well understood (Symons, Sperry, Dropik, & Bodfish, 2005). Moreover, observational research has revealed that motor stereotypies may be more prevalent during times of emotional or social demand (e.g., times of excitement or stress, situations with increased social engagement) and in times of boredom (Schlaggar & Mink, 2003). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study reports on the relationship between motor stereotypies and impairments in executive functions (EF) in children with Autistic Disorder (AD) and in children with Developmental Language Disorders (DLD). We hypothesized that low EF performance would predict higher frequency and longer durations of stereotypies in the AD group only. Twenty-two children (age range = 7-9 years, 6 months, girls = 5) with AD were recruited from a longitudinal multi-site study and compared to twenty-two non-autistic children with DLD (age range = 7-9 years, 6 months, girls = 5). The two groups were matched on non-verbal IQ and demographic characteristics. Frequency and duration of stereotypies were coded from videotaped semi-structured play sessions. EF measures included the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task (WCST) Categories, Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised (WISC-R) Mazes, and Stanford-Binet Fourth Edition (SB-IV) Matrices. The scores for frequency and duration of stereotypies were higher in the AD group. Separate linear regressions revealed that group status, EF, and their interactions predict stereotypies. Specifically, lower EF scores predicted higher frequencies and longer durations of stereotypies in the AD group only. Analyses controlled for age, gender, and parent education. Findings suggest that in AD, EF impairments and stereotypies may be linked to shared brain pathways.
Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders 07/2012; 6(3):1099-1106. DOI:10.1016/j.rasd.2012.03.001 · 2.96 Impact Factor
"The three major phenotypic domains that characterize autism—language deficits, social deficits and stereotypies/ repetitive behaviours—can often be seen to varying degrees in individuals with ID. Individuals with ID often display stereotypies, which tend to become more pronounced and often self-injurious with decreasing IQ (Symons et al., 2005). Studies have found that 30-60% of individuals with ID display some form of stereotypy (Bodfish et al., 1995; Bodfish et al., 2000; Goldman et al., 2009). "
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