Phenomenology and Impact of Internalizing Symptoms in ASD Across the Lifespan

Internalizing comorbidity in the ASD population has received increasing attention due to its observed prevalence and clinical reports of associated impairment, however its exact relation to and impact within ASD are unclear. In this panel, we elucidate the phenomenology of anxiety and depressive symptoms in ASD using well-characterized samples spanning early school-age to mid-adulthood. Data on internalizing comorbidity patterns will be presented from a developmental perspective, and with particular emphasis on disentangling whether these symptoms are consistent with the ASD phenotype versus separable and additive. Measurement of comorbid internalizing symptoms is considered across raters and using novel methodology (e.g., eye-tracking). Finally, we will present cutting-edge findings on the impact and outcome of affective distress in ASD from a variety of perspectives. We take a transdiagnostic approach to both internalizing symptoms (focusing on emotional distress and symptom ratings rather than categorical disorders), and to their potential mechanisms (e.g., gaze patterns and emotion regulation ratings are compared across ASD and typical controls). Discussion will focus on methodological considerations associated with psychiatric comorbidity patterns in ASD, and specifically on designing clinical research that is sensitive to transdiagnostic issues and employs state-of-the-art and novel measurement of internalizing symptoms across the lifespan.
Friday, May 16, 2014: 1:30 PM-3:30 PM
Imperial A (Marriott Marquis Atlanta)
1:55 PM
Is it Anxiety and Does it Matter? Exploring the Manifestations and Costs of Anxiety and Other Symptoms of Distress in Youth with ASD
C. M. Kerns, M. D. Lerner, S. W. White, P. C. Kendall, J. Herrington, J. Miller, M. Franklin, T. H. Ollendick, J. J. Wood, G. Ginsburg, B. McLeod, S. Compton and J. Piacentini