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01-11-2014 | Original Paper | Uitgave 11/2014

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 11/2014

Language Impairment and Early Social Competence in Preschoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Comparison of DSM-5 Profiles

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders > Uitgave 11/2014
T. A. Bennett, P. Szatmari, K. Georgiades, S. Hanna, M. Janus, S. Georgiades, E. Duku, S. Bryson, E. Fombonne, I. M. Smith, P. Mirenda, J. Volden, C. Waddell, W. Roberts, T. Vaillancourt, L. Zwaigenbaum, M. Elsabbagh, A. Thompson, The Pathways in ASD Study Team
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The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s10803-014-2138-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.


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.

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