The IMAGINE ID Team was invited by the International Society for Autism Research in May 2023 to present at their annual conference in Stockholm.
Impact of Covid-19 crisis on the Behaviour and Well-being of Children and Young People with Autism
We presented findings about the impact of COVID on children and young people (CYP) in IMAGINE who have an autism diagnosis and intellectual disability compared to IMAGINE CYP who had intellectual disability (ID) alone. Our key findings were:
- Compared to CYP whose ID was not associated with autistic traits, during the COVID-19 lockdown, caregivers of autistic CYP told us that their children experienced:
- more challenges with anxiety
- greater negative behavioural changes (irritable, more restless)
- less positive behavioural changes (happier, more relaxed)
To see the poster please click here: Impact of Covid-19 crisis on the behavioural and emotional adjustment of children with autism and their families: a national study
Gastrointestinal issues in Autism: lack of evidence for specificity
We shared findings on the lack of evidence for the specificity of gastrointestinal issues in children with autism. We found that:
- The is no difference in the nature of gastrointestinal symptoms when we compared children with autism and ID with children whose ID was not associated with autism traits.
- Although it had previously been suggested that the high number of gastrointestinal issues observed in CYP with autism is causally linked to autism – it seems that this is not the case.
To see the poster please click here: Gastrointestinal Issues in Autism: lack of Evidence for Specificity
Sex Differences in the Phenotype of Children with Autism of known genetic aetiology
We presented findings on sex differences in the behaviour of IMAGINE ID CYP with autism compared to those without. We found that:
- Girls with autism are more likely to experience emotional difficulties and are reported as more helpful than boys with autism.
- These sex differences are not exclusive to those with autism. They are also observed in children with intellectual disability without autism.
- Girls who have intellectual disability without autism are less likely to have issues with conduct or hyperactivity than boys who have intellectual disability without autism.
- There is no sex difference in issues conduct or hyperactivity observed for IMAGINE CYP with autism.
To see the poster please click here: Sex differences in the phenotype of children with autism of known genetic aetiology
IMAGINE-ID Longitudinal Study: Mental Health and Behavioural Trajectories in Children with Autism and an intellectual disability of genetic aetiology
We shared findings on the behavioural trajectories of children with autism and an intellectual disability linked to their genetic condition. We found that:
- Only 1 in 5 participants with autism experienced clinically significant improvements in their overall emotional and behavioural adjustment during childhood.
- In those with co-occurring intellectual disability and autism, there were reductions in conduct and hyperactivity difficulties and improvements in prosocial behaviour across childhood.
- Emotional difficulties appear not to resolve developmentally and may require targeted intervention.