The Flexibility Scale: A Parent-Report Inventory of Flexibility Skills in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders without ID
Objectives: Evaluate the factor structure of the FS in children with ASD.
Methods: The original 50-item FS was developed through an iterative process based on known RRBI/flexibility characteristics in ASD without ID. Parents of 227 children with ASD (age 7-14) completed the FS. Polychoric exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and assessments of internal consistency were conducted.
Results: Minimum Average Partial and Parrallel Analysis tests indicated best fit with a 5-factor model accounting for 45% of the variance. Items with factor correlations falling below .4 were eliminated. Ten international ASD/executive function experts evaluated significantly cross-loaded items for factor placement or removal, and generated descriptions of the factors based on item set and known ASD flexibility characteristics. The resulting 29-item questionnaire has 5 factors: Routine/Rituals, Transitions/Change, Special Interests, Social Flexibility, and Generativity.
Conclusions: These results suggest that RRBI/flexibility characteristics in ASD without ID are multi-dimensional. If confirmed, this factor structure has important implications for the phenotypes of RRBI in ASD without ID, including intervention development and measurement.
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