Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are a group of neurodevelopmental disorders that are generally first diagnosed in childhood. With the advances in technology to identify this group of disorders, children are being identified at younger and younger ages. Early identification of ASD is critical due to the beneficial effects of early intensive behavioral interventions. While children are being diagnosed with the disorder at very high rates, etiology and definitions of the disorders are still being investigated. Great variability exists with regard to symptoms between individuals. Additionally, less is known about symptom expression in individuals without ASD and symptoms of ASD occurring as a discrete category or along a dimension across populations. Taxometric analysis was employed to determine the underlying latent structure of ASD in toddlers at risk for developmental disabilities. A dimensional latent structure of ASD in a population of toddlers at risk for developmental disabilities was found. This has important implications for the upcoming DSM-V, and the proposal of collapsing PDD-NOS and Asperger’s Disorder into a single autism spectrum disorder category.
Document Availability at the Time of Submission
Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.
Boisjoli, Jessica Ann, "A taxometric analysis of Autism Spectrum Disorders in toddlers" (2010). LSU Doctoral Dissertations. 2816.
Matson, Johnny L.