Explaining communication-related aggressive behaviors in males with autism spectrum disorder

Explaining Communication-related Aggressive Behaviors In Males With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Explaining communication-related aggressive behaviors in males with autism spectrum disorder

Writer: Grace Hawkins

New studies indicate that communication difficulties are more likely to characterize aggression in males diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. In contrast, females diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder may not have a close connection between aggression and communication.

If this is proven, The results of aggressive behavior can give males the support they need, As study researcher Emily Newhouse said, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington Seattle “Thinking about why undesirable behaviors occur is important for professionals, teachers, and for parents and caregivers.

By school age, one-third to two-thirds of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder may display aggressive behaviors, picking up verbal behaviors from others. Such as, insults and threats, physical behaviour, damage to property and attempts to cause harm to others. But the factors that contribute to these behaviors in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder are not well understood, so the new findings should prompt a re-evaluation of the term “aggression.”

As Elsie Nines says, Professor of Special Education at the University of Leuven in Belgium, who did not participate in this study, “When we see problematic behavior in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, We should not focus only on problem behavior, But we must think about what is happening behind this behavior, And to think about how to help a child with autism spectrum disorder improve the level of skills he lacks.

Previous research has linked aggression to communication problems in children not diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, Newhouse says. Since children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder often suffer from communication difficulties, About a third may have minimal speech, Others may face greater communication challenges.

The team analyzed data from a study on gender differences in autism spectrum disorder to examine the relationship between communication and aggression in children with autism spectrum disorder. The study focused on 80 males and 65 females, all of whom were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, were between 8 and 17 years old, and spoke the language fluently.

“Because these children diagnosed with ASD have basic language skills in terms of strong vocabulary and grammar, they may not be identified as having significant language delays and needing support in those areas,” Newhouse says.

The data set included three measures of verbal ability and one measure of aggression for each study participant. The team found that scores on one particular test, the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale, which assesses an individual’s communication skills in social settings and situations as well as in written language, There can be a correlation with aggressive behaviour. Although this observation held true when they looked at males only, This disappeared when the team looked at only females.

Studies of autism spectrum disorder often have more male than female participants in the sample. Large sample sizes may make it easier to achieve a statistically significant result. Newhouse says the sample used in this study was far from representative.

“One of the strengths of this study may be that it may give us a female population in a setting that we have historically not been able to study rigorously.” As it may be the result of the team’s observation to look at the difference between the sexes is more than just a statistical tool.

Related studies

Males and females had similar scores on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), It is the tool used by the team to assess aggression. This finding may also account for the difference, says Nuyens. The CBCL score reflects the individual’s level of aggression in relation to others of the same gender and age. Therefore, one of the females getting the same score on the CBCL represents the same age as one of the males showing less aggressive behaviour.

“According to what they said, there is no difference in the degree of aggression between males and females, but this contradicts the frequency of occurrence of the behaviors in daily life,” Noynes says.

Stephen, director of the Autism Center in New York City, says: Who did not participate in the study: According to him, since the reality of the results of the CBCL test includes information about the individual’s age and gender, Thus the CBCL score is a measure that takes into account a child’s average score compared to other children of the same age and gender.

New House says the results actually suggest that communication difficulties may cause aggressive behaviors in males with autism spectrum disorder, but the explanation may be simplistic compared to the measures used by the team, since they are based (CBCL) and Vineland on information provided by parents only.

“All scales where there is information provided by parents tend to correlate, with some parents also indicating systematic answers that may give higher or lower answers in the study,” Kahn says.

In the conclusion, New House says: “Other tools used in the study, including measures reported by doctors or teachers, could confirm that the new finding is not just a methodological fluke.”


Communication struggles may explain aggression in some autistic boys | Spectrum | Autism Research News (spectrum news.org)