International Meeting for Autism Research: *Types of Perseveration In Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

*Types of Perseveration In Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Friday, May 13, 2011
Elizabeth Ballroom E-F and Lirenta Foyer Level 2 (Manchester Grand Hyatt)
1:00 PM
T. Arora, Advanced Studies in Education & Counseling, California State University, Long Beach , Long Beach, CA

There is limited research on perseveration in autism spectrum disorder and even more reduced empirically based knowledge in the area of adulthood and ASD exists. Perseveration continues to exist in adults with ASD (Rapin & Katzman, 1998).  


There were 2 objectives of this study: 1) To determine the types of perseveration displayed by the adult participants with ASD, and 2) to examine whether the highest frequency of a type of perseveration displayed by an adult related with a particular domain of development that is a core deficit area in ASD.


The study examined perseveration in 6 adult participants with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder using DSM-IV criteria and ADOS. The participants had an average chronological age of 20 years and included 4 males and 2 females. Data regarding cognitive functioning, social and language skills were collected from Individual Transition Plans, medical and psychological files. Videotaped interactions were analyzed for perseveration using a revised version of The Timed Stereotypies Rating Scale, Revised (Luce, 2003). The scale contains 47 items that measure the frequency of perseveration. Independent coders blind to the objectives obtained an inter-reliability check of 76% using event coding to analyze the types of perseveration displayed. Coding of data is ongoing. Relationships will be examined between the highest frequency of a particular type of perseveration displayed for each participant and any particular domain of development, i.e., social, cognitive and language that is known as a core deficit developmental domain in ASD. Videotapes of perseverations will be presented.


The participants displayed perseveration that was object related, physical in terms of movements and routines, and verbal such as echolalia and topic related. The highest frequency of perseveration displayed for participants was verbal. Analysis is ongoing for patterns and relationships.


The adult participants displayed perseveration of all types. Data analyses to address the second objective is ongoing.

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