Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 38 (9), 1611-24

Examining the Validity of Autism Spectrum Disorder Subtypes


Examining the Validity of Autism Spectrum Disorder Subtypes

Andrea N Witwer et al. J Autism Dev Disord.


The classification of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) is a topic of debate among clinicians and researchers with many questioning the validity of the distinction among subtypes. This manuscript examines the validity of three ASD subtypes (Autism, Asperger's, and PDDNOS) by reviewing 22 studies published between 1994 and 2006. We reviewed studies that examined differences between the subtypes in terms of clinical and demographic characteristics, neuropsychological profiles, comorbidity, and prognosis. Results largely did not support differences between autism and Asperger's disorder based on current diagnostic criteria. Overall, the most salient group differences were noted when samples were categorized on IQ. Drawing definitive conclusions is difficult due to the inconsistent application of diagnostic criteria and circularity in methods.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 38 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles


    1. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1996 Jan;37(1):3-12 - PubMed
    1. J Autism Dev Disord. 2000 Jun;30(3):205-23 - PubMed
    1. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2002 Apr;41(4):467-74 - PubMed
    1. J Autism Dev Disord. 2006 Nov;36(8):1101-14 - PubMed
    1. Am J Med Genet. 2001 Jan 8;105(1):36-8 - PubMed

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources