Many studies show that approximately up to 60% of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) also show signs of anxiety. In their recent study, Danielle Baribeau and colleagues (2022) suggest that the tendency to develop anxiety is even more significant in those autistic children that show a strong preference for sameness in their daily routines. 421 autistic children participated in this longitudinal study where parents were asked to fill out checklists describing their children’s levels of anxiety as well as insistence on sameness when they were 3, 4, 7, 9, and 11 years old. Studies showed that the link between anxiety symptoms and insistence on sameness was especially strong when the children were 6-9-year old and found no such link when the children had reached the age of 11.
“Developmental cascades between an insistence on sameness behavior and anxiety symptoms in autism spectrum disorder,” Danielle A. Baribeau, Simone N. Vigod, Eleanor Pullenayegum, Connor M. Kerns, Tracy Vaillancourt, Eric Duku, Isabel M. Smith, Joanne Volden, Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, Teresa Bennett, Mayada Elsabbagh, Anat Zaidman‑Zait, Annie E. Richard, and Peter Szatmari, European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, July 24, 2022 (online). Address: Danielle Baribeau, firstname.lastname@example.org.