J Autism Dev Disord 2004 Apr;34(2):223-8
Yale Child Study Center, PO Box 207900, New Haven, CT 06520-7900, USA.
The purpose of this study is to provide a microanalysis of differences in adaptive functioning seen between well-matched groups of school-aged children with autism and those diagnosed as having Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified, all of whom functioned in the mild to moderate range of intellectual impairment. Findings indicate that the major area of difference between children with autism and those with Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified, was expressive communication; specifically, the use of elaborations in syntax and morphology and in pragmatic use of language to convey and to seek information in discourse. Linear discriminant function analysis revealed that scores on just three of these expressive communication item sets correctly identified subjects in the two diagnostic categories with 80% overall accuracy. Implications of these findings for both diagnosis and intervention with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders will be discussed.