Predicting Problematic Behavior in Autism Spectrum Disorder Using Medical History and Environmental Data


Jennifer Ferina, Melanie Kruger, Uwe Kruger, Daniel Ryan, Conor Anderson, Jenny Foster, Theresa Hamlin, Juergen Hahn


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), characterized by social, communication, and behavioral abnormalities, affects 1 in 36 children according to the CDC. Several co-occurring conditions are often associated with ASD, including sleep and immune disorders and gastrointestinal (GI) problems. ASD is also associated with sensory sensitivities. Some individuals with ASD exhibit episodes of challenging behaviors that can endanger themselves or others, including aggression and self-injurious behavior (SIB). In this work, we explored the use of artificial intelligence models to predict behavior episodes based on past data of co-occurring conditions and environmental factors for 80 individuals in a residential setting. We found that our models predict occurrences of behavior and non-behavior with accuracies as high as 90% for some individuals, and that environmental, as well as gastrointestinal, factors are notable predictors across the population examined. While more work is needed to examine the underlying connections between the factors and the behaviors, having reasonably accurate predictions for behaviors has the potential to improve the quality of life of some individuals with ASD.

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