Understanding the gap between cognitive abilities and daily living skills in adolescents with autism spectrum disorders with average intelligence

Autism. 2015 Jan;19(1):64-72. doi: 10.1177/1362361313510068. Epub 2013 Nov 25.


Daily living skills standard scores on the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales-2nd edition were examined in 417 adolescents from the Simons Simplex Collection. All participants had at least average intelligence and a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Descriptive statistics and binary logistic regressions were used to examine the prevalence and predictors of a "daily living skills deficit," defined as below average daily living skills in the context of average intelligence quotient. Approximately half of the adolescents were identified as having a daily living skills deficit. Autism symptomatology, intelligence quotient, maternal education, age, and sex accounted for only 10% of the variance in predicting a daily living skills deficit. Identifying factors associated with better or worse daily living skills may help shed light on the variability in adult outcome in individuals with autism spectrum disorder with average intelligence.

Keywords: adaptive behavior; adolescence; autism spectrum disorder; cognitive abilities; daily living skills.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / psychology*
  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Asperger Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Asperger Syndrome / psychology*
  • Autistic Disorder / physiopathology
  • Autistic Disorder / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / physiopathology
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / psychology
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intelligence / physiology*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Severity of Illness Index