According to DSM-IV, Autisms
constitutes a chronic mental ailments that develop in the early years of
childhood and persists throughout an individualâ€™s life. It is a prevalent
mental disorder that affects an estimated one out of eighty-eight children in the
United States. Despite the developments in diagnoses and treatments, autism
remains a mental health concern, particularly among children. The article,
â€œCognitive Effects of Risperidone in Children with Autism and Irritable
Behavior,â€ explores the importance of cognitive effects among children
diagnosed with autism and other mental conditions. The study sought to assess
the implications of Risperidone, an anti-psychotic medication, on cognitive
processes in children with the mental disorder. This paper will entail an
analysis of the components of the study including the hypothesis stated, the
ANOVA statistical tool employed, the limitations and findings of the study.
The researchers state that
the hypothesis of the study involved exploring the impacts of risperidone on
cognitive processes among children diagnosed with autism and irritable
behavior. They question the possibility of the association of risperidone with
severe behavioral disturbance among children. In the study, the researchers
sought to determine the effects of the anti-psychotic medication on children
with severe levels of autism. They conducted a multi-site investigation at five
distinct medical centers to examine the children diagnosed with autism and the
associated cognitive effects. The participants were both male and female
children within the age group of five to seventeen years old. They were
subjected to the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC) and irritability subscale.
The participants who scored eighteen and above were enlisted for the study. The
researchers utilized the clinical autism diagnosis to select the viable
participants for the study.
Several studies in the past
have researched the effectiveness of the use of risperidone in the treatment of
autism. However, the results from the studies were inconclusive in the
assessment of the lowest dose to control the symptoms including irritability
associated with autism. The hypothesis begs the question the cognitive effects
that accompany risperidone among children diagnosed with autism. Aman et al.
(2008) explored the issue of autism and risperidone in an eight-week trial
utilizing a range of independent variables. The participants were given 0.5-3.5
mg/day incremental doses based on the participantâ€™s weight and size. In the
study, the dependent variables constitute the children and adolescents between
ages 5-17 years old assessed with a mental capacity of >/= eighteen months.
According to the findings of the study, Aman et al. (2008) affirmed that the
risperidone given to the children diagnosed with autism during the eight-week
trial did not have a detrimental impact on the cognitive performance. The ANOVA
statistical tool showed the one-way repeated ANOVA measure in the examination
of the aberrant behavioral checklist (ABC).
Several limitations are
evident in the study including the over-emphasis of the statistical findings.
The researchers adopted the 0.5 alpha and none of the comparisons that exceeded
the alpha level (Tanner, 2016). A small portion of the participants in the
study completed such tasks. The difficulties of assessing children with autism
include another limitation of the study. The researchers further affirm that a
small percentage of participants completed the Dot test. However, the findings
indicate that use of risperidone does not have detrimental implications on the
cognitive effects. The results, therefore, prove the efficacy of the
antipsychotic medication in the treatment of autism.
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