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Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2001 Jun;10(2):105-16.

Do autism spectrum disorders differ from each other and from non-spectrum disorders on emotion recognition tests?

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1
School of Psychology, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia.

Abstract

We tested whether dimensional measures of empathic ability, theory of mind, and intelligence would differentiate autism spectrum disorders from each other and from non-spectrum disorders. Tests were administered to children with a diagnosis of Autistic Disorder (AutD; n = 20), Asperger's Disorder (AspD; n = 28), Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (Inattentive Type) (ADHD; n = 35), Mental Retardation (Mild) (MR; n = 34), Anxiety Disorder (AnxD; n = 14), or No Psychological Disorder (NPD; n = 36). Results showed that empathic ability discriminated among groups on the autism spectrum (AutD < AspD < NPD). Because empathic ability is not independent of intelligence (AutD < AspD < NPD on intelligence; MR < ADHD < NPD on empathic ability), both dimensions are necessary to discriminate autism spectrum from non-spectrum disorders. When intelligence is covaried, empathic ability discriminated AutD, but not AspD, from other disorders (AutD < MR < ADHD < NPD = AnxD = AspD).

PMID:
11469282
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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