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J Autism Dev Disord. 2009 Apr;39(4):557-71. doi: 10.1007/s10803-008-0656-5. Epub 2008 Oct 21.

Dimensional structure of the autism phenotype: relations between early development and current presentation.

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  • 1Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Philipps-University Marburg, Marburg, Germany.


The dimensional structure of higher functioning autism phenotype was investigated by factor analysis. The goal of this study was to identify the degree to which early symptoms of autism (measured using the ADI-R) could be predictive of the current symptoms of autism as identified using the ADOS, the adaptive behavior scales, IQ scores and theory of mind scores. Participants included 140 subjects with Full Scale IQ > 70 (104 with autism spectrum diagnosis, 36 with non autism diagnosis, age range 6-24). For the early development as well as for the current presentation a multi-factor solution was found. In line with other studies we found that the social interaction and communication domains are closely related to one factor namely: Social communication. An additional factor implies anxious and compulsive behavior which is associated with current social communication functioning.

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