Everyday Executive Function in Children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or Autism Spectrum Disorder

Authors: Sara Kover , Julia Mattson , and John Thorne (Gatlinburg Conference Poster Submission)


Among other developmental difficulties, children with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) experience executive function deficits, including in the areas of shifting, planning, and working memory (Rai et al., 2017). Executive function is also an area of challenge for many children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD; Rosenthal et al., 2013).

Recent work has shown that parent ratings of everyday executive function are related to a range of outcomes, such as social functioning in children with ASD (Torske et al., 2018). Cross-syndrome comparisons of everyday executive function can inform the specificity of deficits in executive function (Wilde & Oliver, 2017). Further, comparisons between FAS and ASD have revealed both overlapping and distinct skills (Bishop et al., 2007), but have not addressed executive function or its relation to social function.

Utilizing parent report, the current study asked:

(1) Do children with FAS and ASD show relative strengths and weaknesses across clinical scales of everyday executive function relative to normative expectations and cut-offs for clinically significant symptoms?

(2) Does everyday executive function correlate with parent-reported social function in children with FAS and ASD?

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