Aggression in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and a Clinic-Referred Group: A Critique

By Marissa Desiree Pardo

This issue of NASET’s Autism Spectrum Disorder series was written by Marissa Desiree Pardo of Florida International University. In the article “Aggression in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and a Clinic-Referred Comparison Group”, the researchers aimed to measure, categorize, and compare different subtypes of aggression in a large sample of participants between the ages of 7 to 21 with ASD and a comparison group where the possibility of being diagnosed with ASD was completely ruled out, referred to as the non-ASD (clinic-referred) group. The study took place across six different multi-state sites. The researchers also wanted to discover whether certain characteristics in both groups, including age, sex, IQ, adaptive behavior, and language skills affect aggression frequency within both groups. The researchers made no hypothesis as to which group may be more aggressive, but they did hypothesize that IQ and age may play a role in whether a participant in either group exhibits one or more of the subtypes of aggression. Upon reviewing and reading this literature, it was determined that the findings were important to a small but growing number of articles related to aggression in participants with Autism Spectrum Disorder; however, the researchers had multiple goals for this study which resulted in a more broad piece of research that addressed different types of discussions regarding aggression in participants with or without ASD in a clinical setting, rather than research aimed towards reaching one of the two goals posted.

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