Evidence for latent classes of IQ in young children with autism spectrum disorder

Jeffrey Munson, Geraldine Dawson, Lindsey Sterling, Theodore Beauchaine, Andrew Zhou, Elizabeth Koehler, Catherine Lord, Sally J Rogers, Marian Sigman, Annette Estes, Robert Abbott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


Autism is currently viewed as a spectrum condition that includes strikingly different severity levels; IQ is consistently described as one of the primary aspects of the heterogeneity in autism. To investigate the possibility of more than one distinct subtype of autism based on IQ, both latent class analysis and taxometrics methods were used to classify Mullen IQs in a sample of 456 children with autism spectrum disorder. We found evidence for multiple IQ-based subgroups using both methods. Groups differed in level of intellectual functioning and patterns of verbal versus nonverbal ability. Results support the notion of distinct subtypes of autism that differ in severity of intellectual ability, patterns of cognitive strengths and weaknesses, and severity of autism symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)439-452
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal on Mental Retardation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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