Neuropsychological impairments on the NEPSY-II among children with FASD Academic Article uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: We examined the pattern of neuropsychological impairments of children with FASD (compared to controls) on NEPSY-II measures of attention and executive functioning, language, memory, visuospatial processing, and social perception. METHODS: Participants included 32 children with FASD and 30 typically developing control children, ranging in age from 6 to 16 years. Children were tested on the following subtests of the NEPSY-II: Attention and Executive Functioning (animal sorting, auditory attention/response set, and inhibition), Language (comprehension of instructions and speeded naming), Memory (memory for names/delayed memory for names), Visual-Spatial Processing (arrows), and Social Perception (theory of mind). Groups were compared using MANOVA. RESULTS: Children with FASD were impaired relative to controls on the following subtests: animal sorting, response set, inhibition (naming and switching conditions), comprehension of instructions, speeded naming, and memory for names total and delayed, but group differences were not significant on auditory attention, inhibition (inhibition condition), arrows, and theory of mind. Among the FASD group, IQ scores were not correlated with performance on the NEPSY-II subtests, and there were no significant differences between those with and without comorbid ADHD. CONCLUSIONS: The NEPSY-II is an effective and useful tool for measuring a variety of neuropsychological impairments among children with FASD. Children with FASD displayed a pattern of results with impairments (relative to controls) on measures of executive functioning (set shifting, concept formation, and inhibition), language, and memory, and relative strengths on measures of basic attention, visual spatial processing, and social perception.


  • Rasmussen, Carmen
  • Tamana, Sukhpreet
  • Baugh, Lauren
  • Andrew, Gail
  • Tough, Suzanne
  • Zwaigenbaum, Lonnie

publication date

  • July 2013