Benjamin E Yerys

Benjamin E Yerys
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia | CHOP · Center for Autism Research

PhD

About

120
Publications
28,628
Reads
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4,681
Citations
Citations since 2017
54 Research Items
2958 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500600
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500600
Additional affiliations
September 2011 - present
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
September 2011 - present
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
August 2006 - August 2011
Children's National Medical Center
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (120)
Article
Full-text available
Background: Neurobiological research in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has paid little attention on brain mechanisms that cause and maintain restricted and repetitive behaviors and interests (RRBIs). Evidence indicates an imbalance in the brain's reward system responsiveness to social and non-social stimuli may contribute to both social deficits...
Article
Importance The social motivation hypothesis posits that individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) find social stimuli less rewarding than do people with neurotypical activity. However, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies of reward processing have yielded mixed results. Objectives To examine whether individuals with ASD proce...
Article
Lay abstract: Outcomes for autistic adults are generally poor, including activities of daily living and self-ratings of quality of life. Co-occurring psychiatric conditions contribute to these poor outcomes. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is one of the most common co-occurring conditions in autistic individuals. However, we know little a...
Article
Background Autism spectrum disorder is specifically approved for medical cannabis consumption in 20 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the Territory of Puerto Rico. Despite increased access, there is limited knowledge about who consumes medical cannabis, what they consume, and perceived effectiveness. We addressed these gaps by conducting a...
Article
Purpose: Adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have 30%-40% higher crash rates. However, we still do not understand which factors underlie heightened crash risk and if crash circumstances differ for drivers with ADHD. We compared prevalences of crash responsibility, driver actions, and crash types among adolescent and yo...
Article
Purpose We surveyed healthcare providers to determine the extent to which they discuss transition-to-adulthood topics with autistic patients without intellectual disabilities. Methods Seventy-four healthcare providers in the Philadelphia area reported on the patient age at which they begin transition conversations, topics covered, and provider com...
Chapter
Compared to people with access to reliable means of transportation, individuals with transportation barriers are more likely to have chronic diseases or other health problems—making it especially important for these individuals to attend regular health appointments and adhere to their medications. In this chapter, we will discuss transportation in...
Article
Full-text available
We examined COVID-19 symptoms and infection rates, disruptions to functioning, and moderators of pandemic response for 620 youth with ADHD and 614 individually matched controls (70% male; M age = 12.4) participating in the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development study. There were no group differences in COVID-19 infection rate; however, youth wi...
Article
Objective To characterize healthcare and behavioral service providers’ transportation-related discussions with their autistic and non-autistic patients.Method78 providers completed a cross-sectional survey assessing their transportation discussions with patients. We used Mann–Whitney U tests and chi-square tests to compare differences in provider r...
Article
Full-text available
Background Despite decades of research, there is continued uncertainty regarding whether autism is associated with a specific profile of gray matter (GM) structure. This inconsistency may stem from the widespread use of voxel-based morphometry (VBM) methods that combine indices of GM density and GM volume. If GM density or volume, but not both, pro...
Article
Lay abstract: Executive functioning skills are important for children to be able to control thoughts, emotions, and actions, and for their ability to adapt to different settings. Previous studies have found that autistic children have difficulty with executive functioning, but most of these studies took place in the home setting. Executive functio...
Preprint
Outcomes for autistic adults are generally poor across multiple foundational metrics, including quality of life and activities of daily living. Co occurring psychiatric conditions, including depression and anxiety, contribute to these poor outcomes. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common co-occurring conditions in...
Preprint
Full-text available
Objective: To characterize healthcare and behavioral service providers’ transportation-related discussions with their autistic and non-autistic patients. Method: Seventy-eight providers completed a cross-sectional survey assessing their transportation discussions with patients. We used Mann-Whitney U tests and chi-square tests to compare difference...
Article
Importance: In the transition to adulthood, driving supports independence. For autistic adolescents, training provided by specialized driving instructors, including occupational therapists, may establish fitness to drive and continued independence. Objective: To examine specialized driving instructors’ experiences providing behind-the-wheel instruc...
Article
Full-text available
This review synthesized current literature of behavioral and cognitive studies targeting reward processing in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The National Institute of Mental Health’s Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) Positive Valence System (PVS) domain was used as an overarching framework. The objectives were to determine which component operations...
Article
Background Children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis have high rates of behaviors such as aggression, oppositional behaviors, and tantrums. Despite effectiveness of interventions for these behavior challenges in a considerable number of autistic children, there is little information on stakeholder perspectives about available interv...
Article
Full-text available
Current literature suggesting a shared endophenotype between individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) related to executive functioning (EF) has several limitations: performance-based instead of ecologically valid measures of set-shifting are used, lack of comparisons between same-sex groups, and reliance on adult sa...
Article
Objective One-third of autistic individuals obtain a driver’s license by age 21; however, prior studies suggest they may be at heightened risk for motor vehicle crashes. We compared objective rates of crashes, traffic violations, and license suspensions for newly licensed autistic and non-autistic adolescents. Method This retrospective cohort stud...
Article
Full-text available
Intelligence assessment is an integral part of a comprehensive autism evaluation. Many past studies have described a cognitive profile of autistic individuals characterized by higher nonverbal than verbal IQ scores. The diagnostic utility of this profile, however, remains unknown. We leveraged receiver operating characteristic methods to determine...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The frequently cited Early Overgrowth Hypothesis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) postulates that there is overgrowth of the brain in the first 2 years of life, which is followed by a period of arrested growth leading to normalized brain volume in late childhood and beyond. While there is consistent evidence for early brain overgrowth...
Article
Navigating social interactions and relationships is a complex endeavor. The successful management of these activities calls upon a variety of underlying biological and behavioral mechanisms that are contextualized by environmental demands. Social challenges can arise for many different reasons, but autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the prototypical...
Article
Executive functioning is thought to contribute to adaptive behavior skills development in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, supporting data are largely based on caregiver reports of executive functioning. The current study evaluated whether performance-based measures of executive functioning (working memory and inhibition) e...
Article
The Differential Abilities Scales, 2nd edition (DAS‐II) is frequently used to assess intelligence in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, it remains unknown whether the DAS‐II measurement model (e.g., factor structure, loadings), which was developed on a normative sample, holds for the autistic population or requires alternative score interpret...
Article
Full-text available
Cognitive and behavioral flexibility are important predictors of adaptive behavior in school-age autistic youth. While prior research has utilized broad measures of flexibility, the current study uses the multi-dimensional Flexibility Scale-Revised to examine which specific flexibility skills relate to adaptive functioning. Through parent-report me...
Article
Background: Limited transportation access may curtail education, occupational training, social, and community engagement opportunities for autistic adolescents. Nearly one-third of autistic adolescents obtain a driver's license by age 21 years, which may increase mobility and improve autistic adolescents' transition to independent adulthood. This s...
Article
Objectives: To compare monthly rates of specific types of crashes, violations, and license suspensions over the first years of licensure for drivers with and without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Methods: We identified patients of New Jersey primary care locations of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia who were born in 198...
Article
Adaptive behavior is a critical metric for measuring outcomes in those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Executive function skills predict adaptive behavior in youth with ASD with average or higher IQ; however, no study has examined this relationship in ASD with lower IQ (IQ ≤ 75). The current study evaluated whether executive function predicted...
Chapter
How do individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) think and understand the world around them? Twenty years ago, when Margot Prior and Sally Ozonoff wrote the first version of the present chapter, a great deal of autism research was built on the effort to define the “cognitive style” at the foundation of the various manifestations of ASD, using...
Article
Full-text available
Cambridge Core - Psychiatry - Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders - edited by Fred R. Volkmar
Article
Objective: To investigate the predictive power of comorbid attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms on adaptive behavior skills in children who have an autism specrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis. Method: This case-control study recruited 347 children from specialty clinics, primary care, and the community. Linear regression was used...
Article
The presence of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is associated with worse cognitive control. Children with ASD and ADHD often respond poorly to medications, thus we need alternative treatments. We examined the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of Project Evo—...
Article
Full-text available
Background Research on neurobiological markers of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been elusive. However, radionuclide studies of cerebral blood flow (CBF) have shown decreased blood flow (hypoperfusion) in the temporal lobes of individuals with ASD across ages and intelligence. This observation fits with current neuroscientific models that impli...
Conference Paper
ADHD often persists into adolescence when motor vehicle crash risk peaks. Small studies suggest that adolescents with ADHD have increased crash risk, but had substantial methodologic limitations and were conducted before Graduated Driver Licensing polices were implemented. We conducted the first longitudinal study to estimate crash rates over the e...
Article
Full-text available
There is growing evidence of a camouflaging effect among females with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), particularly among those without intellectual disability, which may affect performance on gold-standard diagnostic measures. This study utilized an age- and IQ-matched sample of school-aged youth (n = 228) diagnosed with ASD to assess sex differenc...
Article
Full-text available
Background Previous studies have reported no clear critical region for medical comorbidities in children with deletions or duplications of 22q11.2. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether individuals with small nested deletions or duplications of the LCR-A to B region of 22q11.2 show an elevated rate of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) comp...
Article
Full-text available
Background Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is diagnosed more frequently in boys than girls, even when girls are equally symptomatic. Cutting-edge behavioral imaging has detected “camouflaging” in girls with ASD, wherein social behaviors appear superficially typical, complicating diagnosis. The present study explores a new kind of camouflage based on...
Conference Paper
Statement of purpose ADHD often persists into adolescence when motor vehicle crash risk peaks. Small studies have suggested that adolescents with ADHD have more driving errors and increased crash risk. We compared monthly rates of police-reported crashes, traffic-related citations, and license suspensions over the first four years of licensure for...
Article
Many children with autism spectrum disorder display challenging behaviors. These behaviors are not limited to those with cognitive and/or language impairments. The Collaborative and Proactive Solutions framework proposes that challenging behaviors result from an incompatibility between environmental demands and a child’s “lagging skills.” The prima...
Article
Full-text available
Flexibility is a key component of executive function, and is related to everyday functioning and adult outcomes. However, existing informant reports do not densely sample cognitive aspects of flexibility; the Flexibility Scale (FS) was developed to address this gap. This study investigates the validity of the FS in 221 youth with ASD and 57 typical...
Article
Full-text available
Background There is a lack of agreement about functional connectivity differences in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Studies using absolute strength have found reduced connectivity, while those using relative strength––a measure of system topology––reveal mostly enhanced connectivity. We hypothesized that mixed findings may be driv...
Article
Driving may increase mobility and independence for adolescents with autism without intellectual disability (autism spectrum disorder); however, little is known about rates of licensure. To compare the proportion of adolescents with and without autism spectrum disorder who acquire a learner's permit and driver's license, as well as the rate at which...
Article
Background: A critical agenda of the National Institutes of Health Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) initiative is establishing whether domains within the RDoC matrix are truly transdiagnostic. Rates of anxiety disorders are elevated in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but it is unclear whether the same mechanisms contribute to anxiety in individuals...
Article
Full-text available
Scientists and clinicians regularly use clinical screening tools for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to assess comorbidity without empirical evidence that these measures are valid in youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We examined the prevalence of youth meeting ADHD criteria on the ADHD rating scale fourth edition (ADHD-RS-I...
Article
Objective: To validate an electronic health record (EHR)-based algorithm to classify ADHD status of pediatric patients. Method: As part of an applied study, we identified all primary care patients of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia [CHOP] health care network who were born 1987-1995 and residents of New Jersey. Patients were classified wi...
Chapter
Empirical evidence for executive function (EF) impairments in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) was first established more than 30. years ago. In the interim, a large literature has emerged that supports a profile of relatively intact and impaired (e.g., flexibility) EF subdomains in ASD. We pick up where our last review (Kenworthy, Yerys, Anthony, &...
Article
Full-text available
Background Two-thirds of teens with ASD without intellectual disability (ID) reported that they plan to drive but deficits in attention, cognition, and executive function may impact their ability to drive safely. Almost nothing is known about licensure and crash rates among these teens. We conducted a longitudinal study within a large paediatric he...
Article
Analogical reasoning is an important mechanism for social cognition in typically developing children, and recent evidence suggests that some forms of analogical reasoning may be preserved in autism spectrum disorder. An unanswered question is whether children with autism spectrum disorder can apply analogical reasoning to social information. In all...
Article
Full-text available
In typical development there is a bias to orient visual attention to social information. Children with ASD do not reliably demonstrate this bias, and the role of attention orienting has not been well studied. We examined attention orienting via the inhibition of return (IOR) mechanism in a spatial cueing task using social-emotional cues; we studied...
Article
Full-text available
Recent updates have been proposed to the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-2 Module 4 diagnostic algorithm. This new algorithm, however, has not yet been validated in an independent sample without intellectual disability (ID). This multi-site study compared the original and revised algorithms in individuals with ASD without ID. The revised alg...
Chapter
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) present with a variety of repetitive behaviors. These include stereotypies, compulsions and sameness behaviors, sensory disturbances, and intense preoccupations of topics. Animal models of repetitive behaviors led to hypotheses about the role of corticostriatal loops as the underlying neurobiology, in...
Article
Full-text available
Functional pathology of the default mode network is posited to be central to social-cognitive impairment in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Altered functional connectivity of the default mode network's midline core may be a potential endophenotype for social deficits in ASD. Generalizability from prior studies is limited by inclusion of medicated...
Article
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have difficulty generalizing-i.e., relating new stimuli to past experiences. Few experimental studies have addressed this weakness, despite its impact on intervention effects. In a reanalysis of data (de Marchena et al. Cognition 119(1):96-113, 2011), we tested a novel form of generalization-the abili...
Article
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is often associated with high levels of inflexible thinking and rigid behavior. The neural correlates of these behaviors have been investigated in adults and older adolescents, but not children. Prior studies utilized set-shifting tasks that engaged multiple levels of shifting, and depended on learning abstract rules...
Article
Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) exhibit a deficit in spontaneously recognizing abstract similarities that are crucial for generalizing learning to new situations. This may contribute to deficits in the development of appropriate schemas for navigating novel situations, including social interactions. Analogical reasoning is the central...
Article
Full-text available
Objective Functional connectivity (FC) among language regions is decreased in adults with epilepsy compared to controls, but less is known about FC in children with epilepsy. We sought to determine if language FC is reduced in pediatric epilepsy, and examined clinical factors that associate with language FC in this population.Methods We assessed FC...
Article
Full-text available
There is accumulating evidence that the neurobiology of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is linked to atypical neural communication and connectivity. This body of work emphasizes the need to characterize the function of multiple regions that comprise neural circuits rather than focusing on singular regions as contributing to deficits in ASD. Multimo...
Article
Full-text available
Parents of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) consistently report executive functioning (EF) deficits. This study investigates the factor structure of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) as reported by parents of children with ASD and typically developing children (TDC). BRIEFs for 411 children with ASD and 467 TD...
Conference Paper
Background: Self-regulation enables individuals to make decisions, control impulses or thoughts, and to engage in pro-social behavior. Impaired self-regulation contributes to pervasive impairments and poor outcomes in a variety of childhood disorders, including children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). A number of studies have examined cogni...
Poster
Background: Repetitive behaviors have been associated with DSM-defined anxiety in ASD using parent-report measures (Rodgers et al., 2012). However, this association has not yet been well studied using gold-standard, clinician directed measures of anxiety. It also has not been determined whether a similar association exists in individuals without AS...
Article
Full-text available
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting nearly 1 in 88 children, is thought to result from aberrant brain connectivity. Remarkably, there have been no systematic attempts to characterize whole-brain connectivity in children with ASD. Here, we use neuroimaging to show that there are more instances of greater functiona...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: The present investigation examined whether higher functioning children with autism would demonstrate impaired response inhibition performance in an emotional go/no-go task, and whether severity of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or autism symptoms correlated with performance. Method: Forty-four children (21 meeting cri...
Article
The apparent contradiction between preserved or even enhanced perceptual processing speed on inspection time tasks in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and impaired performance on complex processing speed tasks that require motor output (e.g., Wechsler Processing Speed Index) has not yet been systematically investigated. This study investigates wheth...
Article
Full-text available
Although circumscribed interests are pathognomonic with autism, much about these interests remains unknown. Using the Interests Scale (IS), this study compares interests between 76 neurotypical (NT) individuals and 109 individuals with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (HF-ASD) matched groupwise on age, IQ, and gender ratio. Participants an...
Article
Full-text available
Parents of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) consistently report executive functioning (EF) deficits. This study investigates the factor structure of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) as reported by parents of children with ASD and typically developing children (TDC). BRIEFs for 411 children with ASD and 467 TD...