A follow-up study of high-functioning autistic children
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- Szatmari, P., Bartolucci, G., Bremner, R. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (1989) 19: 213. doi:10.1007/BF02211842
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It is well known that IQ is an important prognostic variable in the outcome of autistic children. There are, however, very few data available on the outcome of nonretarded autistic children as adults. We identified 16 such probands from records and followed them up between 11 and 27 years since discharge from a center specializing in the assessment of autistic children. There were 12 males and 4 females, average age was 26, and mean IQ was 92 (range 68–110). Although the majority were functioning poorly in terms of occupational-social outcome and psychiatric symptoms, a surprising number (4) had a very good outcome and might be considered recovered. The severity of early autistic behavior was a poor predictor of outcome, but neuropsychologic measures of nonverbal problem solving were highly correlated with outcomes. The results of the study indicate that a small percentage of nonretarded autistic children can be expected to recover to a substantial degree.