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J Autism Dev Disord. 1996 Feb;26(1):59-86.

Diagnosis and classification in autism.

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  • 1Trenton State College, New Jersey 08650-4700, USA.


This study compared four systems for the diagnosis of autism (DSM-III, DSM-III-R, DSM-IV, and ICD-10) with two empirically derived taxa of autism, and with three social subgroups of autism (Aloof, Passive, and Active-but-Odd) in 194 preschool children with salient social impairment. There were significant behavior and IQ differences between autistic and other-PDD groups for all four diagnostic systems, and a significant association was found (a) for Taxon B, diagnoses of autism, and the Aloof subgroup, and (b) for Taxon A, other-PDD, and the Active-but-Odd subgroup. Findings offer support for two major overlapping continua within idiopathic Pervasive Developmental Disorder.

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