Non-significance of early speech delay in children with autism and normal intelligence and implications for DSM-IV Asperger's disorder

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Abstract

According to the DSM-IV, children with Asperger's disorder do not have significant cognitive or speech delays, whereas children with autistic disorder amy or may not. In our study, children with normal intelligence who had clinical diagnoses of autism or Asperger syndrome were divided into two groups: those with and without a significant speech delay. The purpose was to determine if clinically meaningful differences existed between the two groups that would support absence of speech delay as a DSM-IV criterion for Asperger's disorder. No significant differences were found between the 23 children with a speech delay and the 24 children without a speech delay on any of the 71 variables analyzed, including autistic symptoms and expressive language. Results suggest that early speech delay may be irrelevant to later functioning in children who have normal intelligence and clinical diagnoses of autism or Asperger syndrome and that speech delay as a DSM-IV distinction between Asperger's disorder and autism may not be justified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-94
Number of pages14
JournalAutism
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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