ADOS and IQ As Predictors of Success on a Social Skills Intervention

Friday, May 12, 2017: 5:00 PM-6:30 PM
Golden Gate Ballroom (Marriott Marquis Hotel)
A. D. Haendel1, A. J. McVey2, B. Dolan2, H. K. Schiltz2, K. A. Willar3, F. Mata-Greve2, A. M. Carson4, E. Vogt2, S. Stevens5 and A. V. Van Hecke6, (1)Interdisciplinary (Speech--Language Pathology & Psychology), Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, (2)Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, (3)Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora, CO, (4)Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, TX, (5)University of Minnesota Medical School, Blaine, MN, (6)Psychology, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI
Background:  Research has found that higher IQ scores are associated with lower frequency and severity of challenging behaviors in people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) (McTiernan, Leader, Healy, & Mannion, 2011). There is a paucity of research in the area of looking at IQ and ASD severity in relation to success on social skills intervention programs.

Objectives:  The primary objective of the current study was to examine the relationship between Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule- Generic (ADOS-G: Lord et al., 2000) Total scores and Full Scale IQ (FSIQ) scores on the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (K-BIT: Kaufman & Kaufman, 2004), and how they predict response to a social skills intervention.

Methods:  Following consent, 42 adolescents between the ages of 11-16 years, with FS IQ greater than 70 (confirmed by the KBIT) and ASD (confirmed by the ADOS-G), participated in the 14-week PEERS®intervention program (Laugeson & Frankel, 2010). PEERS® is a manualized, social skills/friendship training intervention for youth with social challenges that has a strong evidence-base for use with adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (Laugeson et al., 2012). Upon completion of PEERS, adolescents completed self-report surveys: the Quality of Socialization Questionnaire (QSQ: Laugeson & Frankel, 2010), the Friendship Quality Scale (FQS), and the Test of Adolescent Social Skills Knowledge (TASSK: Laugeson & Frankel, 2010). A composite outcome score was then generated from those three measures.

Results:  There were significant correlations between FSIQ and ADOS (r (40) = .40, p < .01), FS IQ and outcome (r (40) = -.42, p < .01), and ADOS and outcome (r (40) = -.52, p < .01). A multivariate linear regression indicated that the full model significantly predicted outcome, F (2, 39) = 9.46, p < .01, explaining 33% of the variance. However, with both ADOS and FSIQ in the model, only ADOS scores (β= -0.422, p < .01) were a significant predictor of average outcome, whereas FSIQ was not. 

Conclusions:  Our results demonstrate a relationship between ADOS scores and FSIQ scores in adolescents with ASD. However, when considered together, only ADOS scores were a significant predictor of outcome in a social skills intervention. Adolescents with higher ADOS scores, indicating more symptoms of ASD, were more likely to have lower PEERS outcome scores. These findings will be examined further by comparing additional participants as well as looking at these outcome measures at pre- and post-PEERS treatment to see if any changes were made due to the intervention. This study has the potential to add literature linking success on social skills intervention programs to FSIQ and ASD severity scores.