[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sex chromosome trisomies (SCTs) are found on amniocentesis in 2.3-3.7 per 1000 same-sex births, yet there is a limited database on which to base a prognosis. Autism has been described in postnatally diagnosed cases of Klinefelter syndrome (XXY karyotype), but the prevalence in non-referred samples, and in other trisomies, is unclear. The authors recruited the largest sample including all three SCTs to be reported to date, including children identified on prenatal screening, to clarify this issue.
Parents of children with a SCT were recruited either via prenatal screening or via a parental support group, to give a sample of 58 XXX, 19 XXY and 58 XYY cases. Parents were interviewed using the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales and completed questionnaires about the communicative development of children with SCTs and their siblings (42 brothers and 26 sisters).
Rates of language and communication problems were high in all three trisomies. Diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were found in 2/19 cases of XXY (11%) and 11/58 XYY (19%). After excluding those with an ASD diagnosis, communicative profiles indicative of mild autistic features were common, although there was wide individual variation.
Autistic features have not previously been remarked upon in studies of non-referred samples with SCTs, yet the rate is substantially above population levels in this sample, even when attention is restricted to early-identified cases. The authors hypothesise that X-linked and Y-linked neuroligins may play a significant role in the aetiology of communication impairments and ASD.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2011 · Archives of Disease in Childhood
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To review systematically the neurodevelopmental characteristics of individuals with sex chromosome trisomies (SCTs).
A bibliographic search identified English-language articles on SCTs. The focus was on studies unbiased by clinical referral, with power of at least 0.69 to detect an effect size of 1.0.
We identified 35 articles on five neonatally identified samples that had adequate power for our review. An additional 11 studies were included where cases had been identified for reasons other than neurodevelopmental concerns. Individuals with an additional X chromosome had mean IQs that were within broadly normal limits but lower than the respective comparison groups, with verbal IQ most affected. Cognitive outcomes were poorest for females with XXX. Males with XYY had normal-range IQs, but all three SCT groups (XXX, XXY, and XYY) had marked difficulties in speech and language, motor skills, and educational achievement. Nevertheless, most adults with SCTs lived independently. Less evidence was available for brain structure and for attention, social, and psychiatric outcomes. Within each group there was much variation.
Individuals with SCTs are at risk of cognitive and behavioural difficulties. However, the evidence base is slender, and further research is needed to ascertain the nature, severity, and causes of these difficulties in unselected samples.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2010 · Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study evaluated The Transporters, an animated series designed to enhance emotion comprehension in children with autism spectrum conditions (ASC). n = 20 children with ASC (aged 4-7) watched The Transporters everyday for 4 weeks. Participants were tested before and after intervention on emotional vocabulary and emotion recognition at three levels of generalization. Two matched control groups of children (ASC group, n = 18 and typically developing group, n = 18) were also assessed twice without any intervention. The intervention group improved significantly more than the clinical control group on all task levels, performing comparably to typical controls at Time 2. We conclude that using The Transporters significantly improves emotion recognition in children with ASC. Future research should evaluate the series' effectiveness with lower-functioning individuals.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2009 · Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders