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24-03-2018 | Original Paper | Uitgave 8/2018

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 8/2018

The Broader Autism Phenotype and Visual Perception in Children

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders > Uitgave 8/2018
Auteurs:
Antoinette Sabatino DiCriscio, Vanessa Troiani
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10803-018-3534-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Abstract

Atypical visual perception has increasingly been described in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and linked to quantitative, autism-like features that are present in children and adults without ASD. We investigated whether individual differences in visual processing skills were related to quantitative measures of autism traits in a pediatric sample with a range of clinical features. Visual processing was comprehensively characterized using the test of visual perceptual skills (TVPS), a standardized test of visual perception with seven subtests that capture a range of visual processing abilities. The TVPS Figure Ground (TVPS-FG) subtest requires an individual to disembed a smaller figure from a larger scene. TVPS-FG subtest scores were positively correlated with children’s autism features as measured by a parental report of the Broader Autism Phenotype Questionnaire (BAP-Q). The correlation with BAP-Q was specific to the TVPS-FG subtest, as the other TVPS subtest scores were not significantly related to the BAP-Q. This adds to the growing body of research documenting that atypical visual processing is associated with the autism phenotype and highlights the importance of capturing quantitative traits in heterogeneous developmental brain disorders.

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