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Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2000 Sep;9(3):180-5.

Autism spectrum and attention-deficit disorders in girls. Some neuropsychological aspects.

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Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Göteborg, Sweden.


This study compared the neuropsychological test profiles of non-mentally retarded girls and boys consecutively referred to a neuropsychiatric clinic and those of contrast cases of girls from mainstream classrooms of one Göteborg school district. To avoid overreliance on the male prototype with regard to diagnostic criteria the clinical group comprised a mixed sample of girls and boys without diagnostic subgrouping. Clinic girls had a lower IQ than comparison girls. Girls were more impaired than the boys with respect to executive functions and scored less well on theory of mind tasks. Previous studies have shown girls with autism and mental retardation to be more severely affected than boys both with regard to level of intellectual functioning and overall measures of brain dysfunction. The present study indicates that clinic girls with a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders at higher levels of intellectual functioning (some of which met diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder) may also be more severely affected than boys with corresponding types of "surface" problems.

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