Brief Report: Examining Executive and Social Functioning in Elementary-Aged Children with Autism
There is a paucity of literature examining the relationship between executive and social functioning in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Twenty-three school-aged children with ASD participated. Executive functioning was measured using the Developmental Neuropsychological Assessment, Second Edition and Differential Ability Scales, Second Edition, and the teacher-rated Behavior Rating of Inventory of Executive Function. Independent assessors observed children’s social functioning on the playground while children with ASD and their peers completed a survey to measure peer friendships and rejections. Overall, poorer executive functioning was associated with increased playground isolation and less engagement with peers. This suggests that metacognitive skills such as initiation, working memory, and planning and organization are associated with children’s social functioning.
Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder; Executive functioning; Social skills.