, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 275-293

Empirically derived subclassification of the autistic syndrome

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A method is presented for empirical subclassification of autistic and autisticlike children, based on observations of current behavior. The advantage of the method is that it identifies profiles of cooccurring behaviors and accordingly assigns children to subtypes. The subtypes are more clinically homogeneous than the overall sample of autistic children. Preliminary findings are presented, including an effort to validate the subclasses by suggesting possible relationships between subtype membership and perinatal markers, developmental milestones, and independent measures of concurrent behavior.

This work was supported by postdoctoral training grants MH-15147 and MH-16744 from the National Institute of Mental Health (Siegel), by the Scottish Rite Foundation (Anders, Siegel), by the John Merck Fund (Ciaranello), and by the National Institute of Mental Health grant MH-38064 (Anders, Ciaranello). A portion of this work was presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Society for Children and Adults with Autism, Salt Lake City, July 1983.