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Follow-up study of young men diagnosed with Asperger syndrome in childhood

Participants: Adam Helles, Eva Billstedt, Carina Gillberg & Christopher Gillberg.

Background: Very few studies have followed a group of individuals with Asperger syndrome (AS) over time. Clinical experience suggests that the prognosis for individuals with AS vary considerably, from individuals with great difficulties managing their daily lives and who are marginalised in society, to well-functioning individuals who are fully integrated in society. Too little is known about the long-term prognosis for individuals with AS as a group and about what factors are influencing the outcome for different individuals. This study is aimed at answering these questions.

Study: The study consists of a follow-up of 100 young men who were diagnosed with AS between 1985 and 1999. The group has been studied once before in 2003-2004. We now conduct another evaluation of the AS diagnosis using Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication disorders (DISCO) and the Asperger Syndrome Diagnostic Interview (ASDI). The evaluation also involves measuring the general cognitive ability (WAIS-III), screening for ADHD-symptoms (ADHD-RS), screening for psychiatric comorbidity (M.I.N.I. and BDI-II), assessing global functioning (GAF), assessing outcome using Lotter’s outcome criteria, perceptual difficulties (Sensory Profile), quality of life (SF-36), executive difficulties (BADS-DEX), adaptive difficulties (Vineland), sense of coherence (KASAM), personality (TCI) and interviewing the individuals concerning their life situation, relationships, work, education and residential conditions. The results will be compared with data from medical records in childhood and with the follow-up study conducted in 2003-2004.

Results: The study’s data collection is finished and a first article regarding diagnostic stability has been submitted. When the article is published, the results will be summarised here. A second article regarding the general life situation of these men with AS is in the final stages of data processing and is planned to be submitted during the fall of 2014. More articles are planned to be submitted during 2015.

 

Page Manager: Anna Spyrou|Last update: 7/4/2014
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