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Autism spectrum disorders in children and adolescents with Moebius sequence

[journal article]

Briegel, Wolfgang; Schimek, Martina; Kamp-Becker, Inge; Hofmann, Christina; Schwab, K. Otfried

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Abstract Moebius sequence is a rare congenital disorder usually defined as a combination of facial weakness with impairment of ocular abduction. A strong association of Moebius sequence with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) has been suggested in earlier studies with heterogenous age groups. The primary caregivers of all children and adolescents with Moebius sequence aged 6–17 years known to the German Moebius foundation were anonymously asked to complete two screening measures of ASD [Behavior and Communication Questionnaire (VSK); Marburger Asperger’s Syndrome Rating Scale (MBAS)]. For those who reached the cut-off for ASD, well standardized diagnostic instruments (Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised, Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, WISC-III, and Kinder-DIPS) should be administered. Minimal diagnostic criteria for Moebius sequence were congenital facial weakness (uni- or bilateral) and impairment of ocular abduction (uni- or bilateral). Familiar cases should be excluded. The primary caregivers of 35/46 children and adolescents (18 males, 17 females, mean age 11.5 years) sent back completed questionnaires, but only 27 subjects met inclusion criteria. According to the primary caregivers, none of these subjects showed mental retardation. Two probands (both males 9 and 16 years old) reached the cut-off of the MBAS whereas the results of the VSK did not indicate ASDs in any of the patients. The 9 year old boy could be examined personally and did not meet diagnostic criteria of ASD. ASDs might be not as frequent as reported in previous studies on patients with Moebius sequence, at least not in patients without mental retardation.
Classification Psychological Testing, Psychological Counseling, Psychological Methodology; Psychological Disorders, Mental Health Treatment and Prevention
Free Keywords Moebius sequence; Autism spectrum disorders; Children and adolescents
Document language English
Publication Year 2009
Page/Pages p. 515-519
Journal European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 18 (2009) 8
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00787-009-0003-1
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)