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The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10803-016-2945-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Sex differences in typical development can provide context for understanding ASD. Baron-Cohen (Trends Cogn Sci 6(6):248–254, 2002) suggested ASD could be considered an extreme expression of normal male, compared to female, phenotypic profiles. In this paper, sex-specific M-CHAT scores from N = 53,728 18-month-old toddlers, including n = 185 (32 females) with ASD, were examined. Results suggest a nuanced view of the “extreme male brain theory of autism”. At an item level, almost every male versus female disadvantage in the broader population was consistent with M-CHAT vulnerabilities in ASD. However, controlling for total M-CHAT failures, this male disadvantage was more equivocal and many classically ASD-associated features were found more common in non-ASD. Within ASD, females showed relative strengths in joint attention, but impairments in imitation.
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- Parent-Endorsed Sex Differences in Toddlers with and Without ASD: Utilizing the M-CHAT
Roald A. Øien
Carla A. Wall
Elizabeth S. Kim
Martin R. Eisemann
Fred R. Volkmar
- Springer US