Executive function in preschoolers with autism: Evidence consistent with a secondary deficit

Benjamin E. Yerys, Susan L. Hepburn, Bruce F. Pennington, Sally J Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent research on executive function (EF) deficits in autism has led investigators to conclude that EF deficits are secondary to the disorder. The current study has two major goals: (1) Examine whether specific EF deficits are present in the youngest autism group to date (mean = 2.9 years), and (2) examine whether such deficits are secondary to autism, or act as an early non-specific cognitive risk factor for autism by comparing EF abilities of this autism group to a CA-matched typically developing group. Results from Experiment 1 suggest no specific EF deficits in autism relative to MA-matched controls, while results from Experiment 2 are consistent with the hypothesis that EF deficits may emerge as a secondary deficit in autism. Alternative hypotheses are also considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1068-1079
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume37
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2007

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Children
  • Cognitive flexibility
  • Executive function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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