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J Autism Dev Disord. 2017 Aug;47(8):2502-2518. doi: 10.1007/s10803-017-3152-y.

The Flexibility Scale: Development and Preliminary Validation of a Cognitive Flexibility Measure in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Author information

1
Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders, Children's National Health System, Washington, DC, USA. jstrang@childrensnational.org.
2
Children's Research Institute, Children's National Health System, Washington, DC, USA. jstrang@childrensnational.org.
3
Division of Pediatric Neuropsychology, Children's National Health System, Washington, DC, USA. jstrang@childrensnational.org.
4
Children's National Medical Center, 15245 Shady Grove Road Suite 350, Rockville, MD, 20850, USA. jstrang@childrensnational.org.
5
Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders, Children's National Health System, Washington, DC, USA.
6
Children's Research Institute, Children's National Health System, Washington, DC, USA.
7
Division of Pediatric Neuropsychology, Children's National Health System, Washington, DC, USA.
8
Center for Autism Research, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
9
Department of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
10
Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA.

Abstract

Flexibility is a key component of executive function, and is related to everyday functioning and adult outcomes. However, existing informant reports do not densely sample cognitive aspects of flexibility; the Flexibility Scale (FS) was developed to address this gap. This study investigates the validity of the FS in 221 youth with ASD and 57 typically developing children. Exploratory factor analysis indicates a five-factor scale: Routines/rituals, transitions/change, special interests, social flexibility, and generativity. The FS demonstrated convergent and divergent validity with comparative domains of function in other measures, save for the Generativity factor. The FS discriminated participants with ASD and controls. Thus, this study suggests the FS may be a viable, comprehensive measure of flexibility in everyday settings.

KEYWORDS:

Autism spectrum disorder; Children; Executive function; Flexibility

PMID:
28527097
DOI:
10.1007/s10803-017-3152-y
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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