Empirically based phenotypic profiles of children with pervasive developmental disorders: interpretation in the light of the DSM-5

J Autism Dev Disord. 2013 Aug;43(8):1784-97. doi: 10.1007/s10803-012-1724-4.


This study aimed to contribute to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) debates on the conceptualization of autism by investigating (1) whether empirically based distinct phenotypic profiles could be distinguished within a sample of mainly cognitively able children with pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), and (2) how profiles related to diagnoses and co-occurring behavioral and emotional problems. Six classes with distinct profiles were discerned. Three classes showed profiles not completely in line with the proposed DSM-5 conceptualization of autism. These classes included relatively many cognitively able individuals with PDD-not otherwise specified. However, profiles seemed to suit other diagnostic categories, such as social communication disorder. These alternative diagnoses could retain eligibility for services, and might adequately fit more specifically targeted interventions.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Asperger Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Asperger Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / classification*
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / diagnosis
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / diagnosis
  • Intellectual Disability / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Phenotype*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales