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01-03-2015 | Original Paper | Uitgave 3/2015

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 3/2015

Does Gender Influence Core Deficits in ASD? An Investigation into Social-Communication and Play of Girls and Boys with ASD

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders > Uitgave 3/2015
Clare Harrop, Stephanie Shire, Amanda Gulsrud, Ya-Chih Chang, Eric Ishijima, Kathy Lawton, Connie Kasari


Due to the predominance of boys diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), girls are rarely studied independently. Research specifically focusing on play and social-communication in girls with ASD is extremely varied. We were interested in whether girls with ASD demonstrated equivalent social-communication and play skills in early childhood relative to boys, using two measures focused on the specific quantification of these variables. We also examined whether the associations between developmental variables and social-communication and play differed by gender. Forty girls with ASD were individually matched to 40 boys based on ASD severity. Our results suggest that girls and boys were more similar than different, however they also raise questions about the potential differential associations between development and requesting ability in girls and boys with ASD.

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