Visuo-spatial construction trajectories in Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD): Evidence of cognitive heterogeneity within neurodevelopmental conditions

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Abstract

Background/Aims

There have been discrepancies reported in visuo-spatial construction ability in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), fragile X Syndrome (FXS) and those with a comorbid diagnosis of FXS and ASD (AFXS). This study aimed to provide a better understanding of the visuo-spatial processing styles in these heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorders.

Methods and procedure

Navon-type tasks were used to assess visuo-spatial construction ability across 5 groups of children: typically developing, FXS, AFXS, ASD children who scored low–moderate (HFA) and ASD children that scored severe (LFA) on the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS). Analyses of their developmental trajectories compared the performance of these groups.

Outcomes and results

Each group produced their own distinct trajectory. HFA achieved higher scores from an earlier age than the TD group, while the LFA group’s performance was driven by a bias in local processing. The FXS performance was normalised by using mental age as a predictor while neither mental nor chronological age predicted the AFXS group performance.

Conclusions and implications

The study showed unique processing styles. These findings highlight the importance of taking comorbidity and the severity of symptoms within each condition into account in order to understand cognitive abilities and cognitive profiles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113 - 125
Number of pages12
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Volume70
Early online date18 Sep 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017

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