Date of Conferral
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects communication, socialization, and restricted/repetitive behaviors. In 2012, one out of every 55 children (1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls) have been diagnosed with ASD in the United States. Only 30-40% of ASD has a known etiology (e.g., genetic predisposition) and the other 60-70% is unknown. Prior to this study, there was no known literature on age and gender differences related to neuro-developmental functioning of ASD. The purpose of this study was to examine how the differences in age and gender of people with ASD were related to total and domain scores, as measured by the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS-2). This quantitative research study included a sample size of 80 and 2 independent variables: age groupings (ages 1-4, 5-8, 9-17, and 18-older), and gender (male and female). The 4 dependent variables were the total and domain scores measured by the ADOS-2. The statistical analyses included a multiple analysis of variance (MANOVA) and a 2-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) to examine age and gender differences in the ADOS-2 domain and total scores. There was a statistically signiï¬?cant difference for age on the domain dependent variables, F(9, 171) = 2.64, p = .007; Wilks' Lambda = .73; partial Î·2 = .10. However, there were no statistically significant differences for gender on domain scores and there were no statistically significant differences for age and gender on the overall scores. Those with ASD between ages 5-8 were more severely impaired for socialization when compared to other age groups and other domains. This research can be used for the improvement of intervention strategies for the diverse ASD population, and to improve the understanding of the neurodevelopmental functioning of individuals with ASD based on age and gender.