Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 155–168

Neuropsychological divergence of high-level autism and severe dyslexia

  • Judith M. Rumsey
  • Susan D. Hamburger

DOI: 10.1007/BF02284715

Cite this article as:
Rumsey, J.M. & Hamburger, S.D. J Autism Dev Disord (1990) 20: 155. doi:10.1007/BF02284715


The relationship between cognitive deficits in high-level autism and those in learning disabilities has received little attention. To determine whether high-functioning autistic patients and individuals with severe dyslexia display different cognitive characteristics, 10 nonretarded men (mean age 26 years) with infantile autism, residual state, were compared with 15 severely dyslexic men (mean age 22 years) and 25 matched controls on a neuropsychological test battery. The two clinical groups were dissociated by a reduced digit span seen in the dyslexics and by impaired problem-solving skills (Wisconsin Card Sort and selected subtests from the Binet) seen in the autistic group. These results suggest different localization of brain dysfunction and different educational/habilitative needs.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judith M. Rumsey
    • 1
  • Susan D. Hamburger
    • 1
  1. 1.Child Psychiatry BranchNational Institute of Mental HealthBethesda

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