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J Autism Dev Disord. 2006 Jul;36(5):677-83.

Superior disembedding performance of high-functioning individuals with autism spectrum disorders and their parents: the need for subtle measures.

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Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, UMC Utrecht, HP B01.201, PO Box 85500, 3508 GA, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


We assessed the disembedding performance on the Embedded Figures Test (EFT) of high-functioning subjects with autism or autism spectrum disorders from multi-incidence families and the performance of their parents. The individuals with autism spectrum disorders were significantly faster than matched controls in locating the shape, but their parents were not faster than a control group of parents. However, both the individuals with autism spectrum disorders and their fathers made significantly fewer incorrect attempts before finding the right shape than matched controls. These results suggest that the number of incorrect attempts is a more subtle measure than accuracy or response time for assessing superior disembedding skills and therefore may be useful in the assessment of individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

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