DSM-IV-defined Asperger syndrome: Cognitive, behavioral and early history differentiation from high-functioning autism

Sally J Ozonoff, Mikle South, Judith N. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

178 Scopus citations


This study compared 23 children with high-functioning autism with 12 children with Asperger syndrome, both defined according to strict DSM-IV diagnostic criteria. The groups were well matched on chronological age, gender and intellectual ability. Three matched on chronological age, gender and intellectual ability. Three possible sources of difference between Asperger syndrome and high functioning autism were examined: cognitive function, current symptomatology and early history. We found few group differences in current presentation and cognitive function, but many early history differences. The Asperger syndrome group generally demonstrated less severe early symptoms, a milder developmental course and better outcome than the high-functioning autism group. Many of the group differences appeared secondary to the initial group definition process, however. Overall, the results suggest that Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism involve the same fundamental symptomatology, differing only in degree or severity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-46
Number of pages18
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2000
Externally publishedYes



  • Asperger syndrome
  • Autism
  • External validity
  • Neuropsychological function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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