Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 648–663 | Cite as

Language and Verbal Memory in Individuals with a History of Autism Spectrum Disorders Who Have Achieved Optimal Outcomes

  • Katherine Tyson
  • Elizabeth Kelley
  • Deborah Fein
  • Alyssa Orinstein
  • Eva Troyb
  • Marianne Barton
  • Inge-Marie Eigsti
  • Letitia Naigles
  • Robert T. Schultz
  • Michael Stevens
  • Molly Helt
  • Michael Rosenthal
Original Paper


Some individuals who lose their autism spectrum disorder diagnosis may continue to display subtle weaknesses in language. We examined language and verbal memory in 44 individuals with high-functioning autism (HFA), 34 individuals with “optimal outcomes” (OO) and 34 individuals with typical development (TD). The OO group scored in the average range or above on all measures and showed few differences from the TD group. The HFA group performed within the average range but showed significantly lower mean performance than the other groups on multiple language measures, even when controlling for verbal IQ. Results also indicate that OO individuals show strong language abilities in all areas tested, but that their language may show greater reliance on verbal memory.


Optimal outcome Language Recovery Autism 



The authors are very grateful to the participants and their families, to Dr. Lynn Brennan and Harriet Levin for help with recruitment, to our invaluable undergraduate research assistants, and for our Grant funding: NIH R01 MH076189.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine Tyson
    • 1
  • Elizabeth Kelley
    • 2
  • Deborah Fein
    • 1
    • 6
  • Alyssa Orinstein
    • 1
  • Eva Troyb
    • 1
  • Marianne Barton
    • 1
  • Inge-Marie Eigsti
    • 1
  • Letitia Naigles
    • 1
  • Robert T. Schultz
    • 3
  • Michael Stevens
    • 4
  • Molly Helt
    • 1
  • Michael Rosenthal
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyQueens UniversityKingstonCanada
  3. 3.Center for Autism ResearchChildren’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.Institute of LivingHartford HospitalHartfordUSA
  5. 5.Child Mind InstituteNew YorkUSA
  6. 6.Department of PediatricsUniversity of ConnecticutFarmingtonUSA

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