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J Autism Dev Disord. 2014 Nov;44(11):2797-808. doi: 10.1007/s10803-014-2138-2.

Language impairment and early social competence in preschoolers with autism spectrum disorders: a comparison of DSM-5 profiles.

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Offord Centre for Child Studies, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada,


Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and structural language impairment (LI) may be at risk of more adverse social-developmental outcomes. We examined trajectories of early social competence (using the Vineland-II) in 330 children aged 2-4 years recently diagnosed with ASD, and compared 3 subgroups classified by: language impairment (ASD/LI); intellectual disability (ASD/ID) and ASD without LI or ID (ASD/alone). Children with ASD/LI were significantly more socially impaired at baseline than the ASD/alone subgroup, and less impaired than those with ASD/ID. Growth in social competence was significantly slower for the ASD/ID group. Many preschool-aged children with ASD/LI at time of diagnosis resembled "late talkers" who appeared to catch up linguistically. Children with ASD/ID were more severely impaired and continued to lag further behind.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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