Adaptive Functioning in Autism Spectrum Disorder During the Transition to Adulthood

J Autism Dev Disord. 2015 Aug;45(8):2349-60. doi: 10.1007/s10803-015-2400-2.


There is a dearth of research regarding adaptive functioning during the transition to adulthood in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Profiles on the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, Second Edition were examined by age and intellectual ability in 75 participants with ASD (16-58 years). Results extend previous reports of a cognitive advantage over adaptive functioning in children by demonstrating a similar pattern in an older sample. Daily living skills were a relative strength compared to communication and socialization in adults, but not adolescents. In general, highest subdomain scores were observed in writing skills and lowest scores were observed in interpersonal skills. Regardless of cognitive ability, all standard scores were well below average, indicating a need for lifelong intervention that targets adaptive functioning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / diagnosis*
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / psychology*
  • Communication
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Social Skills
  • Socialization*
  • Young Adult