Associations Among Symptoms of Autism, Symptoms of Depression and Executive Functions in Children with High-Functioning Autism: A 2 Year Follow-Up Study

This study investigated the course of and association among changes in autism symptoms, depression symptoms and executive functions (EF) in children with high-functioning autism (HFA).


Thirty-four children with HFA and 45 typically developing children (age 9–16) were assessed at baseline and after 2 years. Children with HFA had impaired scores on all measures at both time points. According to parent reports, depressive symptoms decreased over time, while EF improved and autism symptoms were stable. Children’s reports did not reveal less depressive symptoms over time. A positive association was found only between changes in autism symptoms and changes in symptoms of depression. A possible implication is that interventions aimed at either autism symptoms or symptoms of depression may improve the other.

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 2015, DOI 10.1007/s10803-015-2415-8


Published Mar. 23, 2015 8:00 AM