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J Autism Dev Disord. 2009 Nov;39(11):1613-9. doi: 10.1007/s10803-009-0795-3. Epub 2009 Jul 2.

Brief report: IQ split predicts social symptoms and communication abilities in high-functioning children with autism spectrum disorders.

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  • 1Pediatric Developmental Neuroscience Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-1255, USA.


We investigated the relationship of discrepancies between VIQ and NVIQ (IQ split) to autism symptoms and adaptive behavior in a sample of high-functioning (mean FSIQ = 98.5) school-age children with autism spectrum disorders divided into three groups: discrepantly high VIQ (n = 18); discrepantly high NVIQ (n = 24); and equivalent VIQ and NVIQ (n = 36). Discrepantly high VIQ and NVIQ were associated with autism social symptoms but not communication symptoms or repetitive behaviors. Higher VIQ and NVIQ were associated with better adaptive communication but not socialization or Daily Living Skills. IQ discrepancy may be an important phenotypic marker in autism. Although better verbal abilities are associated with better functional outcomes in autism, discrepantly high VIQ in high-functioning children may also be associated with social difficulties.

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