, Volume 37, Issue 9, pp 1735-1747
Date: 05 Dec 2006

Change in Autism Symptoms and Maladaptive Behaviors in Adolescents and Adults with an Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Abstract

This study examined change prospectively in autism symptoms and maladaptive behaviors during a 4.5 year period in 241 adolescents and adults with an autism spectrum disorder who were 10–52 years old (mean = 22.0) when the study began. Although many individuals’ symptoms remained stable, a greater proportion of the sample experienced declines than increases in their level of autism symptoms and maladaptive behaviors, and there were significant improvements in mean levels of symptoms. Individuals with mental retardation had more autism symptoms and maladaptive behaviors than those without mental retardation, and they improved less over time. Compared to adolescents, older sample members (31 and older) had fewer maladaptive behaviors and experienced more improvement in these behaviors over time.