Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 187–196

A comparative evaluation of adaptive behavior in children and adolescents with autism, Down syndrome, and normal development

  • James R. Rodrigue
  • Sam B. Morgan
  • Gary R. Geffken

DOI: 10.1007/BF02284759

Cite this article as:
Rodrigue, J.R., Morgan, S.B. & Geffken, G.R. J Autism Dev Disord (1991) 21: 187. doi:10.1007/BF02284759


The adaptive behaviors of 20 autistic, 20 Down syndrome, and 20 developmentally normal children were compared using the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale. Unlike previous studies, we included a comparison group of very young normally developing children and matched subjects on overall adaptive behavior as well as several pertinent demographic characteristics. Findings revealed that, relative to children with Down syndrome or normal development, autistic children displayed significant and pervasive deficits in the acquisition of adaptive social skills, and greater variability in adaptive skills. These findings underscore the need to longitudinally assess the development of socialization in autistic children and further highlight the utility of the Vineland in operationally defining the nature of social dysfunction in autistic children.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • James R. Rodrigue
    • 1
  • Sam B. Morgan
    • 2
  • Gary R. Geffken
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Clinical and Health PsychologyJHMHC, University of FloridaGainesville
  2. 2.Memphis State UniversityUSA
  3. 3.University of FloridaUSA