, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 351-372
Date: 31 Mar 2006

Executive Functioning in Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder: Can We Differentiate Within the Spectrum?

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The aim of this study was to investigate whether children with high-functioning autism (HFA), Asperger’s syndrome (AS), and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDDNOS) can be differentiated from each other and from normal controls on their neurocognitive executive functioning (EF) profile. Children with HFA and AS showed the most EF deficits. The EF profile of the PDDNOS group was more disturbed that the normal control group, but was less disturbed than the profile of the HFA and AS groups. Little difference was found between the three PDD subtypes with respect to EF. This study supports the view that executive dysfunctioning plays an important role in autism. The usefulness of a distinction between different PDD subtypes was not demonstrated.