Academic achievement in high functioning autistic individuals

J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 1994 Apr;16(2):261-70. doi: 10.1080/01688639408402637.


Academic achievement levels in 54 high functioning (IQ > 70) autistic subjects were compared with those of 41 normal controls, who did not differ significantly in age, IQ, gender, race, or SES from the autistic subjects. The measures of academic achievement used included portions of the Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude-2, the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test, and the Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement. Based on prior neuropsychological findings, it was hypothesized that autistic subjects would not differ from controls on subtests assessing mechanical and procedural skills, but would differ on subtests measuring comprehension and interpretive skills. As predicted, the autistic subjects performed significantly less well than controls on comprehension tasks, but not on mechanical reading, spelling, and computational tasks. This pattern is at variance with the typical academic profile of individuals with disabilities in reading or spelling, but shares some features with the nonverbal learning disabilities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aptitude Tests
  • Autistic Disorder / psychology*
  • Autistic Disorder / rehabilitation
  • Child
  • Concept Formation
  • Educational Status*
  • Humans
  • Intelligence*
  • Male
  • Mental Recall
  • Problem Solving
  • Serial Learning
  • Speech Perception