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Although executive functioning (EF) difficulties are well documented among children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), little is known about real-world measures of EF among adults with ASD. Therefore, this study examined parent-reported real-world EF problems among 35 adults with ASD without intellectual disability and their correlations with adaptive functioning and co-morbid anxiety and depression symptomatology. A variable EF profile was found with prominent deficits occurring in flexibility and metacognition. Flexibility problems were associated with anxiety-related symptoms while metacognition difficulties were associated with depression symptoms and impaired adaptive functioning (though the metacognition-adaptive functioning relationship was moderated by ADHD symptoms). These persistent EF problems are predictors of broader functioning and therefore remain an important treatment target among adults with ASD.
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- Real-World Executive Functions in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Profiles of Impairment and Associations with Adaptive Functioning and Co-morbid Anxiety and Depression
Gregory L. Wallace
Cara E. Pugliese
Haroon S. Popal
Emily I. White
- Springer US