Article

Alexithymia and autism diagnostic assessments: evidence from twins at genetic risk of autism and adults with anorexia nervosa

Hannah Hobson, Heather Westwood, Jane Conway, Fiona McEwen, Emma Colvert, Caroline Catmur, Geoffrey Bird, and Francesca Happe

Abstract

Alexithymia, a difficulty identifying and communicating one’s own emotions, affects socio-emotional processes, such as emotion recognition and empathy. Co-occurring alexithymia is prevalent in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and underlies some socio-emotional difficulties usually attributed to autism. Socio-emotional abilities are examined during behavioural diagnostic assessments of autism, yet the effect of alexithymia on these assessments is not known. This study aimed to examine the associations between alexithymia and Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) assessment scores.

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Published in

Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, vol. 73, May 2020