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Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 44, Issue 8, pp 2026–2040 | Cite as

Cognitive, Adaptive, and Psychosocial Differences Between High Ability Youth With and Without Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Alissa F. Doobay
  • Megan Foley-Nicpon
  • Saba R. Ali
  • Susan G. Assouline
Original Paper

Abstract

Research on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is thriving; however, scant empirical research has investigated how ASD manifests in high ability youth. Further research is necessary to accurately differentiate high ability students with ASD from those without the disorder, and thus decrease the risk of misdiagnosis. The purpose of the present study is to provide an empirical account of the intellectual, adaptive, and psychosocial functioning of high ability youth with and without ASD utilizing a group study design. Forty youth with high cognitive ability and ASD and a control group of 41 youth with high cognitive ability and no psychological diagnosis were included in the study. In comparison to the control group, the ASD group showed poorer functioning on measures of processing speed, adaptive skills, and broad psychological functioning, as perceived by parents and teachers. These findings have significant implications for diagnosing ASD among those with high ability, and the development of related psychological and educational interventions to address talent domains and areas of concern.

Keywords

Autism Gifted Intelligence Adaptive functioning Psychosocial 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We wish to acknowledge members of the dissertation committee who helped to make this project possible. Thank you Dr. Nicholas Colangelo, Dr. Timothy Ansley, and Dr. William Liu for your contribution to this research. We also wish express our appreciation to the staff of the University of Iowa Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, where the research was conducted. Finally, this project would not have been possible without funding from the Javits Twice Exceptional Research grant.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alissa F. Doobay
    • 1
  • Megan Foley-Nicpon
    • 1
  • Saba R. Ali
    • 2
  • Susan G. Assouline
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of IowaIowa CityUSA
  2. 2.The University of IowaIowa CityUSA

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