, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 151-161

Comparing Rates of Psychiatric and Behavior Disorders in Adolescents and Young Adults with Severe Intellectual Disability with and without Autism

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Abstract

Eight males and four females with an Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) diagnosis of autism (mean age of 16.3 years) and severe intellectual disability (IQ < 40) were individually matched to controls on the basis of chronological age, gender, and nonverbal IQ. The dependent measure was the Diagnostic Assessment for the Severely Handicapped-II, which is used to screen for psychiatric and behavior disorders in lower-functioning individuals. Participants with autism showed significantly greater disturbances as measured by the Diagnostic Assessment for the Severely Handicapped-II total score and seven of 13 subscales. They also averaged 5.25 clinically significant disturbances compared with 1.25 disturbances for participants without autism. Specific vulnerabilities to anxiety, mood, sleep, organic syndromes, and stereotypies/tics were found in the participants with comorbid autism.