Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 41, Issue 8, pp 1007–1018

The Role of Adaptive Behavior in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Implications for Functional Outcome


    • Department of Health PsychologyUniversity of Missouri–Columbia, Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders
  • Andrew J. Gerber
    • Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric InstituteColumbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • Linda M. Quirmbach
    • UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment (CART)
  • Sara S. Sparrow
    • Yale Child Study CenterYale University School of Medicine
  • Domenic V. Cicchetti
    • Yale Child Study CenterYale University School of Medicine
  • Celine A. Saulnier
    • Yale Child Study CenterYale University School of Medicine
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-010-1126-4

Cite this article as:
Kanne, S.M., Gerber, A.J., Quirmbach, L.M. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2011) 41: 1007. doi:10.1007/s10803-010-1126-4


The relationship between adaptive functioning and autism symptomatology was examined in 1,089 verbal youths with ASD examining results on Vineland-II, IQ, and measures of ASD severity. Strong positive relationships were found between Vineland subscales and IQ. Vineland Composite was negatively associated with age. IQ accounted a significant amount of the variance in overall adaptive skills (55%) beyond age and ASD severity. Individuals with ASD demonstrated significant adaptive deficits and negligible associations were found between the level of autism symptomatology and adaptive behavior. The results indicate that IQ is a strong predictor of adaptive behavior, the gap between IQ and adaptive impairments decreases in lower functioning individuals with ASD, and older individuals have a greater gap between IQ and adaptive skills.


AutismAutism spectrum disorderAdaptive functioningVineland

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010