According to DSM-IV, Autisms constitutes a chronic mental ailments that develop in the early years of childhood and persists throughout an individual’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, “Cognitive Effects of Risperidone in Children with Autism and Irritable Behavior,” 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 participant’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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