Browsing by Subject "autism spectrum disorder"

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  • Koskinen, Emmi; Stevanovic, Melisa; Peräkylä, Anssi (2021)
    Objective: In storytelling environments, recipients' questions have mainly been described as non-affiliative. This article examines how the topicality of story-responsive questions relates to the recipients' displays of affiliation. Furthermore, we investigate whether there are differences between the practices of neurotypical participants (NT) and participants diagnosed with Asperger syndrome (AS) in this regard. While aiming to uncover the practices of story-responsive questions in general, we also seek to shed light on the specific interactional features associated with AS. Method: Our method is qualitative conversation analysis. Drawing on a dataset of Finnish quasi-natural conversations, we compare the interactional consequences of story-responsive questions asked by NT- and AS-participants. Results: We show how the NT-participants in our data use a specific set of practices to manage the topical relevance of their questions, while the AS-participants' production of otherwise very similar questions differs precisely with reference to these practices. Discussion: We argue that the different ways in which the NT- and AS-participants treat the topicality of their questions influence the relative affiliative import of the questions in subtle, but yet significant ways. Conclusions: The affiliative import of story-responsive questions can only really be seen in retrospect, since, in their subsequent turns, the questioner can cast their action as having prepared the ground for affiliation.
  • Hlushchenko, Iryna; Khanal, Pushpa; Abouelezz, Amr; Paavilainen, Ville O.; Hotulainen, Pirta (2018)
    Many actin cytoskeleton-regulating proteins control dendritic spine morphology and density, which are cellular features often altered in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Recent studies using animal models show that autism-related behavior can be rescued by either manipulating actin regulators or by reversing dendritic spine density or morphology. Based on these studies, the actin cytoskeleton is a potential target pathway for developing new ASD treatments. Thus, it is important to understand how different ASD-associated actin regulators contribute to the regulation of dendritic spines and how ASD-associated mutations modulate this regulation. For this study, we selected five genes encoding different actin-regulating proteins and induced ASD-associated de novo missense mutations in these proteins. We assessed the functionality of the wild-type and mutated proteins by analyzing their subcellular localization, and by analyzing the dendritic spine phenotypes induced by the expression of these proteins. As the imbalance between excitation and inhibition has been suggested to have a central role in ASD, we additionally evaluated the density, size and subcellular localization of inhibitory synapses. Common for all the proteins studied was the enrichment in dendritic spines. ASD-associated mutations induced changes in the localization of alpha-actinin-4, which localized less to dendritic spines, and for SWAP-70 and SrGAP3, which localized more to dendritic spines. Among the wild-type proteins studied, only alpha-actinin-4 expression caused a significant change in dendritic spine morphology by increasing the mushroom spine density and decreasing thin spine density. We hypothesized that mutations associated with ASD shift dendritic spine morphology from mushroom to thin spines. An M554V mutation in alpha-actinin-4 (ACTN4) resulted in the expected shift in dendritic spine morphology by increasing the density of thin spines. In addition, we observed a trend toward higher thin spine density withmutations inmyosin IXb and SWAP-70. Myosin IIb and myosin IXb expression increased the proportion of inhibitory synapses in spines. The expression of mutated myosin IIb (Y265C), SrGAP3 (E469K), and SWAP-70 (L544F) induced variable changes in inhibitory synapses.
  • Saure, Emma (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Background and objectives: Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are developmental neuropsychiatric disorders in which core symptoms are problems in communication and interaction as well as restrictive and repetitive behaviour and interests. ASD is 2-5 times more common in males than in females. In recent years, researchers have found, that there are differences between females and males in ASD symptoms, neuropsychological characteristics, comorbid problems, neurobiology and etiology. The purpose of this systematic review is to give a comprehensive picture about the role of female sex/gender in ASD. To establish this, the review covers symptoms of autism, neuropsychology, neurobiology, comorbidity, neurogenetics and neuroendocrinology. Research questions were the following: 1) Is there evidence of sex/gender differences in ASD symptoms and comorbidity disorders? 2) Are there sex/gender differences to be found in ASD etiology? 3) What kind of support different explanations about sex/gender bias have gotten in various research areas? The purpose of the study is also to integrate the existing theories into one model that takes account to different aspects of sex/gender differences in ASD. Methods: The protocol of this systematic review follows "The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses" (PRISMA) when applicable. Eligibly criteria and search terms were selected in a way that would offer the widest range of articles covering the subjects of this study. Literature search was conducted using the Medline and PsychINFO as search engines. The final sample consisted of a total of 129 articles. Data was extracted on all relevant variables of the study, that were the number of participants, age of participants, specific diagnoses, methods and results. Results: Sex/gender differences in ASD were found in all areas that were included in this systematic review. Females with high function ASD (HFASD) were found to have less problems in social communication and interaction and less repetitive and restricted behavior and interests than males with HFASD. In addition, HFASD were found to have better language skills than males with HFASD. However, females with ASD were found to have more sensory processing problems, mental health problems and epilepsy than males with ASD. Females with ASD were also found to have lower full-scale intelligence quotient than males with ASD. In the context of etiology, it has been found that there are sex/gender differences in neuroanatomy, susceptibility genes and hormone levels. Conclusions: Results from this systematic review suggest that females with HFASD are underdiagnosed. This results from etiological sex/gender differences that cause partially different clinical presentation of ASD between females and males. ASD research has also concentrated mostly on males with ASD while ignoring females with ASD. Underdiagnosing can have many unfavorable consequences for females with HFASD since if they do not have a diagnosis, they do not get support. In the future, it is crucial to pay attention to females with ASD in the clinical work and scientific research.
  • Häkkinen, Milla Susanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The purpose of the study is to highlight the processes of autism spectrum disorder’s social construction and to construe reality in behalf of more equal and free society. This thesis targets the theoretical framework of social constructionism to specific social contexts that illustrate autism spectrum disorder through real life experience. Material used in this thesis is published by the Finnish Association for Autism as a part of their 100 autisms campaign. Material is interpreted as a political statement by the Finnish Association for Autism that aims to advance positive knowledge of autism spectrum disorder. Analysis of this study is conducted with discourse analysis using Erving Goffman’s sociological perspective to interaction and theory on facework. The theoretical framework of social constructionism showed the social construction of autism spectrum disorder through language based meanings that gave the phenomenon its construed essence. As an element of social interaction autism spectrum disorder was to explain and help, but also something that brought both challenge and joy to other participants of interaction. Autism spectrum disorder was found to be an unnecessary element in certain circumstances.
  • Micai, M; Ciaramella, A; Salvitti, T; Fulceri, F; Fatta, LM; Poustka, L; Diehm, R; Iskrov, G; Stefanov, R; Guillon, Q; Roge, B; Staines, A; Sweeney, MR; Boilson, AM; Leosdottir, T; Saemundsen, E; Moilanen, I; Ebeling, H; Yliherva, A; Gissler, M; Parviainen, T; Tani, P; Kawa, R; Vicente, A; Rasga, C; Budisteanu, M; Dale, I; Povey, C; Flores, N; Jenaro, C; Monroy, ML; Primo, PG; Charman, T; Cramer, S; Warberg, CK; Canal-Bedia, R; Posada, M; Scattoni, ML; Schendel, D (2021)
  • Wiklund, Mari; Laakso, Minna (2020)
    This paper analyses disfluencies and ungrammatical expressions in the speech of 11–13-year-old Finnish-speaking boys with ASD (N = 5) and with neurotypical development (N=6). The ASD data were from authentic group therapy sessions and neurotypical data from teacher-led group discussions. The proportion of disfluencies and ungrammatical expressions was greater in the speech of participants with ASD (26.4%) than in the control group (15.5%). Furthermore, a qualitative difference was noted: The ASD group produced long, complex disfluent turns with word searches, self-repairs, false starts, fillers, prolongations, inconsistent syntactic structures and grammatical errors, whereas in the control group, the disfluencies were mainly fillers and sound prolongations. The disfluencies and ungrammatical expressions occurring in the ASD participants’ interactions also caused comprehension problems.
  • Roine, Ulrika; Salmi, Juha; Roine, Timo; Nieminen-von Wendt, Taina; Leppämäki, Sami; Rintahaka, Pertti; Tani, Pekka; Leemans, Alexander; Sams, Mikko (2015)
  • Koskinen, Emmi; Stevanovic, Melisa; Peräkylä, Anssi (2021)
    Erving Goffman has argued that the threat of losing one's face is an omnirelevant concern that penetrates all actions in encounters. However, studies have shown that compared with neurotypical individuals, persons diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder can be less preoccupied with how others perceive them and thus possibly less concerned of face in interaction. Drawing on a data set of Finnish quasinatural conversations, we use the means of conversation analysis to compare the practices of facework in storytelling sequences involving neurotypical (NT) participants and participants diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome (AS). We found differences in the ways in which the AS and NT participants in our data managed face threats in interaction, where they spontaneously assumed the roles of both storytellers and story recipients. We discuss our findings in relation to theories of self in interaction, with an aim to illuminate both typical and atypical interactional practices of facework.
  • Wiklund, Mari; Määttä, Simo K. (2021)
    The focus in this paper is on how two therapists orient a group of four French-speaking boys with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) towards achieving meaningful learning outcomes with regard to the topic of conversation. The analysis concentrates on the therapists’ output or response strategies when they orient the group discussion and assess speech produced by the children, either validating it or parts of it, or inviting them to provide more valid input. The material to be analysed comprises salient linguistic and interactional features in five examples representing the most frequent response categories. In terms of methodology, the study falls within the framework of conversation analysis, although insights from discourse analysis are also used to enhance the data interpretation. The results show that although a specific response category may have many functions, the aim in all of them is to maintain intersubjectivity among the participants. This is visible in the absence of overtly negative feedback, for example. The prosody gives strong clues concerning the additional meanings in the therapists’ response particles. Whereas the children maintain eye contact and show nuanced expressions such as smiling, the therapists’ attention is often directed towards notetaking and writing artefacts, behaviour that contradicts the ideal of “typical” communication.