Journal article

The misnomer of 'high functioning autism': Intelligence is an imprecise predictor of functional abilities at diagnosis

Gail A Alvares, Keely Bebbington, Dominique Cleary, Kiah Evans, Emma J Glasson, Murray T Maybery, Sarah Pillar, Mirko Uljarevic, Kandice Varcin, John Wray, Andrew JO Whitehouse

Autism | SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD | Published : 2020


'High functioning autism' is a term often used for individuals with autism spectrum disorder without an intellectual disability. Over time, this term has become synonymous with expectations of greater functional skills and better long-term outcomes, despite contradictory clinical observations. This study investigated the relationship between adaptive behaviour, cognitive estimates (intelligence quotient) and age at diagnosis in autism spectrum disorder. Participants (n = 2225, 1-18 years of age) were notified at diagnosis to a prospective register and grouped by presence (n = 1041) or absence (n = 1184) of intellectual disability. Functional abilities were reported using the Vineland Adaptiv..

View full abstract