Assessment of Social Interaction in FXS

Evaluating Social Interactions Using the Autism Screening Instrument for Education Planning-3rd Edition (ASIEP-3): Interaction Assessment in Children and Adults with Fragile X Syndrome.

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ABSTRACT

An efficient and direct measure of social interactions and autism symptoms is needed for fragile X syndrome (FXS) research and clinical care. The Autism Screening Instrument for Educational Planning-Third Edition (ASIEP-3) Interaction assessment is a brief standardized measure that quantifies social responses under different conditions. The feasibility and validity of the ASIEP-3 was evaluated in 26 males and 13 females with FXS, along with cognitive testing and behavior questionnaires. The videos were scored at 10-second intervals, and the observed behaviors were scored as an interaction, independent play, no response, or aggression. In total, 39/41 participants successfully completed the ASIEP-3 (age M = 14.4 ± 10.2), with a range of cognitive abilities (abbreviated IQ (ABIQ) M = 58.9 ± 17.3, median = 50), behaviors (Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC) Total M = 37.00 ± 27.3), and autism diagnoses (N = 22/39). Reliable administration was demonstrated by all team members. The mean coded behaviors included interaction (40.6%), independent play (36.8%), no response (21.1%), and aggressive behavior (<10%). The interaction score was negatively correlated with the Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ) score (p = 0.037), and the profiles differed by autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis. The intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) ranged from 0.79 to 0.93 for master’s level and above. Administration of the ASIEP-3 was feasible for FXS across sex, age, ability, and behavior ratings by a trained research team. Reliable scoring required advanced training in the assessment of social development and FXS experience. The scores correlated to ratings and diagnoses of ASD. The ASIEP-3 shows promise to reliably index social interactions in FXS.

Cordeiro, L.; Braden, M.; Coan, E.; Welnick, N.; Tanda, T.; Tartaglia, N. Evaluating Social Interactions Using the Autism Screening Instrument for Education Planning-3rd Edition (ASIEP-3): Interaction Assessment in Children and Adults with Fragile X Syndrome. Brain Sci. 202010, 248.

Repetitive Behaviors in FXS

Delineating Repetitive Behavior Profiles across the Lifespan in Fragile X Syndrome.

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ABSTRACT

Restricted repetitive behaviors (RRBs) are a core area of impairment in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but also affect several other neurodevelopmental disorders including fragile X syndrome (FXS). Current literature has begun to describe the RRB profile in FXS up through adolescence; however, little is known about the subtypes of RRBs in adolescents and adults. Further, literature on the RRB profile of females with FXS is limited. The present study examines the RRB profile across subtypes and specific items in both males and females with FXS while assessing for differences based on age, ASD diagnosis and the impact of IQ. Participants included 154 individuals with FXS (ages 2 to 50 years old). Results revealed a peak in RRB severity in FXS between 7–12 years for the majority of RRB subscales with the exception of Sensory-Motor behaviors peaking between 2 and 12 years before declining. Distinct RRB profiles in males and females with FXS emerged in addition to significant overlap among the item and subscale levels of RRBs across gender. Further, an added diagnosis of ASD significantly increased rates of RRBs across all subscale levels, but not necessarily across all items. Lastly, IQ did not solely account for the presence of RRBs in FXS, with Sensory-Motor behaviors being driven by comorbid ASD in males with FXS, and Restricted Interest behaviors being driven by comorbid ASD regardless of gender. These findings build on the current understanding of RRBs in FXS based on gender and comorbid ASD and lay important groundwork for the development of targeted behavioral and pharmacological treatments.

Reisinger, D.L.; Shaffer, R.C.; Tartaglia, N.; Berry-Kravis, E.; Erickson, C.A. Delineating Repetitive Behavior Profiles across the Lifespan in Fragile X Syndrome. Brain Sci. 202010, 239.

Health-related quality of life in FXS

Examination of Correlates to Health-Related Quality of Life in Individuals with Fragile X Syndrome.

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ABSTRACT

Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is a multidimensional concept involving physical, psychological, social, and cognitive aspects of life. Individuals with Fragile X syndrome (FXS) experience a life-long disorder that impacts the HRQoL of the affected individual and their family. Thus, HRQoL may be an important outcome measure following intervention. However, it is yet not known whether HRQoL concerns relate to observed impairments in FXS. In the present study, we examined the nature and degree of association between HRQoL and established measures of functioning in FXS using the Parent Report for Children version of the PedsQL 4.0 Generic Core Scales and Cognitive Functioning Scale. We observed significant relationships between HRQoL and measures of adaptive behavior, maladaptive behaviors, and social functioning. The present study has implications for treatment outcomes for clinical trials in FXS.

Coffman, M.C.; Shaffer, R.C.; Schmitt, L.M.; Dominick, K.C.; Pedapati, E.; Wang, A.; Berry-Kravis, E.; Tartaglia, N.; Erickson, C.A. Examination of Correlates to Health-Related Quality of Life in Individuals with Fragile X Syndrome. Brain Sci. 202010, 213.

FXS & Language Across the Lifespan

Language across the Lifespan in Fragile X Syndrome: Characteristics and Considerations for Assessment

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ABSTRACT

While it is widely acknowledged that language development is delayed for the majority of individuals with fragile X syndrome (FXS), there has been limited research into how best to assess this area. This study aimed to deepen the understanding of standardized language assessment in FXS by addressing the three following objectives: (1) Examine the feasibility and validity of widely-used, standardized assessments in participants with FXS; (2) describe linguistic and cognitive profiles for a large sample of individuals with FXS; and (3) Compare results obtained from objective testing in clinic to those obtained using caregiver report.

Results indicate that previous results indicating strong correlations between cognition and language results hold true across a wide range of ages as well as across multiple assessments, with an exception in very young children. Caregiver report tended to give lower estimates of language ability than what was found using an objectively administered assessment. Appropriate assessments remain difficult to find as a significant percentage of individuals scored at floor when scaled scores were calculated. Further, a sub-group of participants were coded for behavioral response to testing demands, the majority being able to complete a standardized assessment. These results speak to the need for assessments that provide a wider range of items so individuals can both achieve a valid score and demonstrate progress in their attainment of language skills.

Hoffmann, A.; Wang, A.; Berger, N.; Cordeiro, L.; Shaffer, R.; Tartaglia, N.; Erickson, C.; Berry-Kravis, E. Language across the Lifespan in Fragile X Syndrome: Characteristics and Considerations for Assessment. Brain Sci. 202010, 212.

Early Life Language Development in FXS

A Pilot Quantitative Evaluation of Early Life Language Development in Fragile X Syndrome.

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ABSTRACT

Language delay and communication deficits are a core characteristic of the fragile X syndrome (FXS) phenotype. To date, the literature examining early language development in FXS is limited potentially due to barriers in language assessment in very young children. The present study is one of the first to examine early language development through vocal production and the language learning environment in infants and toddlers with FXS utilizing an automated vocal analysis system. Child vocalizations, conversational turns, and adult word counts in the home environment were collected and analyzed in a group of nine infants and toddlers with FXS and compared to a typically developing (TD) normative sample. Results suggest infants and toddlers with FXS are exhibiting deficits in their early language skills when compared to their chronological expectations. Despite this, when accounting for overall developmental level, their early language skills appear to be on track. Additionally, FXS caregivers utilize less vocalizations around infants and toddlers with FXS; however, additional research is needed to understand the true gap between FXS caregivers and TD caregivers. These findings provide preliminary information about the early language learning environment and support for the feasibility of utilizing an automated vocal analysis system within the FXS population that could ease data collection and further our understanding of the emergence of language development.

Reisinger, D.L.; Shaffer, R.C.; Pedapati, E.V.; Dominick, K.C.; Erickson, C.A. A Pilot Quantitative Evaluation of Early Life Language Development in Fragile X Syndrome. Brain Sci. 20199, 27.