Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 341–359

Cognitive shifting as a predictor of progress in social understanding in high-functioning adolescents with autism: A prospective study

  • Hans J. C. Berger
  • Karel P. M. van Spaendonck
  • Martin W. I. M. Horstink
  • Elly L. Buytenhuijs
  • Patty W. J. M. Lammers
  • Alexander R. Cools
Article

Abstract

Although striking and pervasive failure of social understanding is commonly viewed as a major defining characteristic of people with autism, few follow-up reports were published that have focused on improvement of social intelligence. In this prospective study in which 17 high-functioning adolescents with autism were involved, cognitive shifting as measured by card sorting tests, unlike overall intelligence, was shown to be the only significant factor in predicting progress in social understanding as assessed by social comprehension tests. A pretestposttest design was used. During the 2-year follow-up all the subjects were in residential care and enrolled in educational curricula focusing on the development of social intelligence, living, and vocational skills.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans J. C. Berger
    • 1
  • Karel P. M. van Spaendonck
    • 1
  • Martin W. I. M. Horstink
    • 1
  • Elly L. Buytenhuijs
    • 1
  • Patty W. J. M. Lammers
    • 1
  • Alexander R. Cools
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical PsychologyUniversity of NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands

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