Flashcards in Social understanding and neurodevelopmental disorders Deck (14)
Developmental disorders are often associated with...
Disproportionate social difficulties
Variation in understanding social concepts is linked to variation in what 3 things?
1. Variation in social experience (e.g. older siblings)
2. Variation in cognitive ability and control
3. Variation in language
What do deaf children born to either deaf or hearing parents show about social understanding?
Deaf children born to hearing parents are exposed to less rich language as their parents are only now learning sign language - these children show significant language delay and delay in social understanding
Deaf children born to deaf parents are exposed to more rich language as their parents natively use sign language - these children show typical onset of language and social understanding
What is Fragile X syndrome (FXS)? Link to autism
What are the physical characteristics of a child with FXS?
A genetic disorder resulting from an abnormality in X chromosome; affects 1 in 3600 males and is comorbid with autism
Long, thin face, large ears, sometimes double-jointed
What intellectual difficulties does a child with FXS have?
Impaired attention, low verbal intelligence, impaired executive function (e.g. impaired inhibitory control and working memory), language difficulties
What social difficulties does a child with FXS have?
Social anxiety, reduced and/or unusual eye contact, trouble interpreting social and emotional cues, trouble interpreting facial expressions, slow at turn-taking in conversations, trouble acknowledging false belief in reality unknown false belief task (even more so if child with FXS also has autism)
What is Williams syndrome? Link to autism
What are the physical characteristics of a child with Williams syndrome?
A genetic disorder resulting from too short chromosome 7; affects 1 in 10,000 of the population and is quite different to autism
Fragile, underweight, small teeth and large gums, underdeveloped circulatory system
How does Williams syndrome affect sociability and visuospatial ability?
Children with Williams syndrome have high sociability (make sustained eye contact with others, even strangers, are friendly and sociable) and poor visuospatial ability (impaired navigation and poor memory for configuration of physical objects)
What is autism/autism spectrum disorder (ASD)? Autism is comorbid with...
What do we mean by autistic spectrum?
What disorder is at the lower end of the spectrum (is a mild form of ASD)?
A neurodevelopmental disorder with an unknown cause; affect 1 in 100 of the population; disproportionately affects boys (4:1)
Comorbid with learning disabilities, difficulties and Fragile X syndrome (FXS)
Autistic spectrum from mild to severe - not all individuals with autism have same symptoms to same degree
Asperger's syndrome is at the lower end of the autistic spectrum and is a mild form of ASD where there are social impairments without language delay
According to Kanner (1943), what is the triad of impairments in autism?
Impairment in social behaviour and relatedness (difficulty relating to others and interpreting social cues, irregular and unusual eye contact, difficulties following others' gaze)
Impairment of verbal and non-verbal communication (delayed language development, language impairment, pecularities of speech inc. pronoun reversal and echolalia, mutism, naive honesty)
Narrowing of interests/circumscribed interest (obsessive interest in unusual topics or objects, resistance to change in routine, stereotyped behaviour inc. flapping hands, self-injurious behaviour, lack of pretend play, need for categorising)
What is the theory of mind hypothesis of autism?
What task shows this?
Autism is due to lack of understanding of the theory of mind - children with ASD fail to understand others' mental states, lack concept of beliefs
Sally-Ann task - 80% of children with ASD fail at 11yo where 85% of typically-developing children pass at 4-5yo
What are two problems with the theory of mind hypothesis of autism?
1. Not universal - 20% of children with ASD pass the Sally-Ann task meaning the theory of mind hypothesis cannot explain ASD in all children who have it
2. Not unique - lack of understanding of the theory of mind is present in other disorders such as Down's syndrome (however, theory of mind seems more involved in ASD as 86% of 11yo with Down's syndrome passed the Sally-Ann task)
What is the mental inflexibility hypothesis of autism?
What task shows this?
Autism is due to deficits in executive functioning, possibly due to underdeveloped frontal lobe; autism is due to rigidity of thought
Wisconsin card sorting task - cards are placed in stacks and must be sorted according to an unspecified rule that the experimenter changes halfway through without telling the child; children with ASD perform poorly because they have difficulty switching rule (perserverance) and have problems inhibiting the initial rule