Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 137–142

Age and IQ at Intake as Predictors of Placement for Young Children with Autism: A Four- to Six-Year Follow-Up

  • Sandra L. Harris
  • Jan S. Handleman

DOI: 10.1023/A:1005459606120

Cite this article as:
Harris, S.L. & Handleman, J.S. J Autism Dev Disord (2000) 30: 137. doi:10.1023/A:1005459606120


The predictive power of age and IQ at time of admission to an intensive treatment program using applied behavior analysis were examined in a 4- to 6-year follow-up of educational placement. Twenty-seven children with autistic disorder who were between the ages of 31 and 65 months and had IQs on the Stanford Binet between 35 and 109 at time of admission to the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center were followed up 4 to 6 years after they left the preschool. The results showed that having a higher IQ at intake (M = 78) and being of younger age (M = 42 months) were both predictive of being in a regular education class after discharge, whereas having a lower IQ (M = 46) and being older at intake (M = 54 months) were closely related to placement in a special education classroom. The results are interpreted as pointing to the need for very early intervention for children with Autistic Disorder. It is also emphasized that older children and those with lower IQs in the present study showed measurable gains in IQ from treatment. The data should not be taken to suggest that children older than 4 years of age do not merit high quality treatment.

Autistic disorderageIQplacement in special educationapplied behavior analysis

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandra L. Harris
    • 1
  • Jan S. Handleman
    • 2
  1. 1.Rutgers, The State University of New JerseyPiscataway
  2. 2.Rutgers, The State University of New JerseyPiscataway