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LORRAINE HASELDEN

Severity of ASD Symptoms in Relation


to Childrens Gender

Research Question

Which gender presents the most


severe effects of autism?

http://www.snagglebox.com/article/autism-play

Background
Better understand how Autism affects those who

have it, therefore gaining a better idea of how to treat


it.
Giving specific genders of children afflicted with ASD
better and more direct attention.
Although there is previous research where gender
frequency in ASD has been studied, there has never
been research where the severity of symptoms in
relation to gender has been studied

Similar Studies
Study done on prenatal exposure to testosterone and

whether or not it effected the likelihood of a female twin


developing autism spectrum disorders (ASD).1

This study was only looking for the presence of ASD, and not the
severity of symptoms.

This was a study done on the childs characteristics and

how they factor into the childs score on the CARS

This study didnt differentiate based on gender.2

This study was done comparing the effects of attention

deficit disorder (ADHD) on the symptoms of autism


spectrum disorders (ASD).3

This study compares the symptoms of children with ADHD and ASD
to children with only ASD as opposed to comparing male and female
children with ASD.

This research has never been


done before.

Dr. Jane Roberts, University of South Carolina 4

http://kimberlykaplan.com/category/socialskills/page/2/

Basic Science Behind ASD


Autism Spectrum Disorder has been found to have a

genetic bias

It has been found to have 12-15 locations on the multiple genes

Approximately 40% of people diagnosed with ASD

have intellectual disabilities

Basic Science Behind Project


Autism affects 1 in

68 children
1

in 42 boys
1 in 189 girls
Boys are nearly 5

times more likely to


be diagnosed with
ASD than girls are5

http://kimberlykaplan.com/category/socialskills/page/2/

Hypothesis

If the severity of symptoms of both male and


females with ASD are studied using the Childhood
Autism Rating Scale (CARS), then males will be
found to demonstrate the most severe symptoms.

http://wonderwoman.intoday.in/story/animals-helpautistic-children-interact-better/1/102892.html

Methodology
1. Attain data from Dr. Roberts
a.
This data was collected in conjunction with many of her
studies done in the past 10 years
2. Analyze data using an independent sample t-test

with the mean scores of male and female being


compared

http://kimberlykaplan.com/category/social-skills/page/2/

Data
This is a screenshot showing a
portion of the data collected by
Dr. Roberts that I analyzed.
On the left it shows the data for
females and the right shows the
data for males.

Results
The data has been collected and given to me by Dr.

Roberts

The data was gathered by an analysis of video interaction for


each male or female child

The data has been analyzed using a 2 sample t-test


I found the my hypothesis was correct in that males presented
more severe effects of ASD within the data set

http://www.mydiffability.com.au/blogs/news/3826
592-activities-for-autistic-children

Descriptive Statistics

These are the descriptive statistics for the totals of this data.
They are separated by the female statistics on the top, and the male
statistics on the bottom
These show that the mean for the female is significantly lower than the
male means
They also show that the standard deviations are close enough for the data
to be comparable

Statistical Significance

The p-value of the analyzed data was less than 0.05,


meaning that the hypothesis is correct and
statistically significant.

Graphical Analysis

Results
The hypothesis of my project was, If the severity of symptoms of both male
and females with ASD are studied using the Childhood Autism Rating Scale
(CARS), then males will be found to demonstrate the most severe symptoms.
2.
This hypothesis was proved by the analysis of the data.
a.
Through the analysis, it was found that on average males have higher rates
of severity of the symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
i.
This study included 501 data points
ii.
74 of those points were females and 427 were males.
iii.
A possible limit of this study is that there were far less data points for
females than there were for males. This could be due to the fact that
males are nearly 5 times more likely than females to be diagnosed with
ASD, according to AutismSpeaks.org.
1.

Conclusions
The results of this study can help to provide more understanding
of ASD. It can also help to let people know that males with ASD
might need more specialized help or attention.
a.
This could mean that in education, there needs to be
differential treatment for males and females.
2.
From this study and the research experience gained through it,
Ive learned a lot more about ASD and how it affects males and
females. I also learned how to conduct research and how to
analyze data using Minitab and excel. This project could be
expanded by helping educators to apply this information into their
Autism programs.
1.

Citations
Attermann, J., Obel, C., Bilenberg, N., Nordenbk, C., Skytthe, A.,&
Olsen, J. (2012). Traits of ADHD and autism in girls with a twin
brother: a Mendelian randomization study. European Child &
Adolescent Psychiatry, 21(9), 503-509. doi:10.1007/s00787-012-02874
2 Effects of Child Characteristics on the Autism Diagnostic
Interview-Revised: Implications for Use of Scores as a
Measure of ASD Severity - Springer. (2013, February
01). Retrieved December 2, 2014, from http://link.springer.com
3The Impact of ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorders on
Temperament, Character, and Personality Development.
(n.d.). Retrieved December 4, 2014, from
http://focus.psychiatryonline.org
4 Severity of ASD Symptoms in Relation to Childrens Gender [Personal interview].
(2014, June).
5Learn the Signs of Autism. (n.d.). Retrieved from
http://www.autismspeaks.org
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