Samantha Lee

Exploratory Analysis of Adaptive Behavior and Cognitive Skills of Toddlers with Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum

Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum (ACC) occurs when there is partial or complete absence of the corpus callosum, the primary bundle of nerve fibers responsible for communication between the two hemispheres in the brain. Toddlers with ACC have been identified to have delays in adaptive skills such as social, communication, and motor skills and to be at higher risk for an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis. This study examined adaptive behavior, cognitive skills, and presentation of ASD features for 17 toddlers (25-44 months) with ACC utilizing the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, the Bayley-IV, and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), respectively. Methods from this analysis were modeled from a study by Ray-Subramanian et. al (2011), which examined adaptive behavior and cognitive skills for toddlers with ASD. A series of t-tests between the adaptive skills domains did not find a significant difference between ACC toddlers’ performance across the Vineland domains at 24 months. A series of Pearson correlations showed that Bayley cognitive scores positively correlated with all Vineland subdomain and composite scores, and negatively correlated with ADOS severity scores. As determined by a hierarchical regression, ADOS scores did not contribute more to Vineland-3 scores beyond the cognitive Bayley score. This relationship between adaptive behavior skills, cognitive level, and autistic symptoms is similar to that seen in toddlers with ASD and indicates that early adaptive behavior delays are strongly linked to cognitive level in children with ACC and with ASD.