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Non-Verbal Cognitive Profile of Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

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DOI: 10.4236/psych.2014.511151    4,117 Downloads   5,337 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

The literature shows that children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) demonstrate a heterogeneous pattern of cognitive abilities, including nonverbal abilities. However, there is a need for better cognitive characterization of this population for both research and intervention purposes. The present study aims to verify the Leiter-R performance profile for 40 children between the ages of 3 and 8 years old with ASD. The performance of the ASD children in each subtest and their total scores were compared to those of a control group of typically developing children, and intragroup analysis was conducted to verify the strengths and weaknesses of the children with ASD. The results show that individuals with ASD have difficulties with abstract reasoning related to fluid intelligence as well as selective attention and inhibition. Conversely, their visuo-spatial abilities are their strength. Cluster and comparative intra-group analyses indicate that nonverbal cognitive abilities are heterogeneous among the individuals within the ASD group. Performance in nonverbal tasks is positively correlated with adaptive functioning in communication and daily skills domains and inversely correlated with symptom severity as measured by the Autism Behavior Checklist. These results corroborate the literature associating cognition and functionality in ASD.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Mecca, T. , Orsati, F. & Macedo, E. (2014). Non-Verbal Cognitive Profile of Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Psychology, 5, 1404-1417. doi: 10.4236/psych.2014.511151.

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