Fever does not relieve the challenging features in most autistic children

Translation of spectrumnews.org Fever does not ease the challenging features in most autistic children

Fever does not relieve difficult character traits in most autistic children

By Angie Voyles Askham / May 17, 2022

Cabinet Making Essaouira (Morocco)

According to a new unpublished study, most autistic children, like their autistic peers, become less social, less communicative, and more irritable when they have a fever.

Researchers presented these results at the annual meeting on 12 May 2022‘International Society for Autism Research. (…)

Although sick children are often tired and painful, the anecdotal report suggests that fever reduces the behavioral difficulties of some autistic children. According to a 2017 study, up to 17% of children with autism have a fever and become calm and social.

That study, however, may be biased by the search for improved behavior, says Katherine Lord, an emeritus professor of psychiatry and education at the University of California, Los Angeles, who led the study alongside the novel. Participating parents knew that researchers were studying behavioral changes during a fever and were more likely to understand and report the effects, she says.

In the new study, Lord and his colleagues designed an app to collect data from 141 autistic children aged 2 to 7 and 103 non-autistic children between the ages of 2 and 7 – in a less biased way.

The team found that most children were less happy, active and social when they had a fever than when they were healthy, and the negative changes were more pronounced in children with autism.

This does not mean that some autistic children do not improve their behavior when they have a fever, said Katherine Byrne, a graduate student at Lord’s Lab who presented the research work. However, he said, “The nature of this phenomenon is not yet well understood and it is probably not ideal for most children with autism

Lord, Byrne and their colleagues have asked parents to report their children’s behavior and temperature using a cell phone app three times a week, regardless of the child’s health status. They asked parents to write down any common occurrences in the app, whether it was a child with a fever or traveling. Therefore, according to Lord, unlike previous studies, parents were not specifically instructed to observe behavioral changes with fever.

Most parents reported more negative behavior during a fever, but they did not report such behavioral changes during non-febrile illness, the team found.

What happens during a fever contributes to this behavioral change“Byrne said during a recorded presentation of this work.

Notably, three children with autism have deviated from the trend: their parents reported less irritability during fever and other improved behaviors – suggesting that children with these atypical reactions may have a subset of autism, the researchers say. But there was no obvious similarity between the children showing these improvements.

It is always difficult to generalize from a sample of three“, Says the Lord.

Future studies should go beyond simply reducing systemic bias by investigating possible links between fever and challenging behaviors in autism, he said.

If you really want to know who it affects, you need to have a really big sample.

Read more reports from the 2022 annual meeting of the International Society for Autism Research.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)


January 8, 2020 – The immune effect of fever on the brain reduces the autism feature

An immune molecule produced during a fever may temporarily relieve behavioral problems in some autistic children.

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