Κολαΐτης Γεράσιμος, Καθηγητής, Ιατρική Σχολή, ΕΚΠΑ
Μαγιορκίνης Γκίκας, Επίκουρος Καθηγητής, Ιατρική Σχολή, ΕΚΠΑ
Παπανικολάου Αικατερίνη, Αναπληρώτρια Καθηγήτρια, Ιατρική Σχολή, ΕΚΠΑ, Επιβλέπουσα
Introduction: Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder with multiple causes and variety of clinical features .Researchers tried to answer whether there is homogeneity of symptoms and severity in siblings with autism, by comparing their phenotypic presentation. However, the results of previous studies have not come to a safe conclusion yet. Αim: In the present study, we compare certain clinical features (severity, symptoms, functionality) collected from siblings diagnosed with Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Method: This is a retrospective correlation study, which includes 21 pairs of siblings diagnosed with ASD (N = 42, 31 boys - 11 girls, Mean Age 4.8 years (SD 2,8). The information was taken by their medical records and all subjects had been assessed by clinicians in the ASD Clinic, at the Child Psychiatry Clinic of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, included data from their psychosocial history, their scores in the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-2 (Calibrated Severity Scale), Autism Diagnostic Interview -Revised and the Vineland Adaptive Behavioral Scale. All of the above nformation was compared betweet the siblings and also was associated with other factors from their psychosocial history (gender, birth order, pre / perinatal complications and maternal and father's age). Results: There was significant agreement between the siblings in the domains of ADI "communication" (ICC = 0.56) and "repetitive behaviors" (ICC = 0.58) and in Vineland’s domains of "communication" (ICC = 0.74), "motor skills" (ICC = 0.88) and "Adaptive Behavioral Composite" which is the overall score of functionality (ICC = 0.75). In addition, younger siblings had the tendency to score lower in the "restrictive and repetitive behaviors" dimension of the ADI scale, which means they had fewer problems, compared to older siblings (p = 0.09). Ιt was also found that as the age of the mother was getting higher, the better the score of the child was in the "communication" and "social interaction" of ADI-R (p = 0.03). Conclusions: Siblings showed homogeneity in some of their symptoms, but not in every domain. Importantly, no homogeneity was found regarding the severity of the disorder (CSS). The birth order was found to affect some domains, while the ADOS-2, ADI-R and Vineland scores were unaffected by the age of onset of speech and walking or by the age when parents first noticed the children’s symptoms. Finally, the existence of prenatal / perinatal problems and the age of the father at birth were not significant correlated with the factors we studied.
Autism, Siblings, Severity comparison, Functionality, ADOS-2, ADI-R, VABS