Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 35, Issue 5, pp 665–673 | Cite as

Brief Report: Autism in Individuals with Down Syndrome

  • Elizabeth M. StarrEmail author
  • Sibel Kazak Berument
  • Megan Tomlins
  • Katerina Papanikolaou
  • Michael Rutter
Brief Report

As an off-shoot of a study examining the reliability and validity of an adapted version of the Pre-Linguistic Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (A-PL-ADOS), 13 individuals with Down syndrome with IQs ranging between 24 and 48 were administered the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) and the A-PL-ADOS, which are well-validated interview and observational diagnostic measures. Three out of 13 met lifetime criteria on the ADI-R, but none of these three showed behavior that met the criterion for autism on the A-PL-ADOS (although two nearly did so). However, two individuals did meet the A-PL-ADOS criterion and showed behavior that fell only just short of meeting lifetime criteria on the ADI-R. Altogether, 5 individuals with Down syndrome may be considered to show an autism spectrum disorder. Of the remaining 8, some showed a few autistic features, and some showed none. The findings raise both methodological and conceptual issues.


Autism Down syndrome severe mental retardation. 



This research was supported by a grant to Michael Rutter by the Medical Research Council of the United Kingdom. We are most grateful to the families who provided generous cooperation with the study. We also thank Julie Burnell and Stuart Newman for secretarial and data analysis assistance, respectively.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth M. Starr
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Sibel Kazak Berument
    • 1
  • Megan Tomlins
    • 1
  • Katerina Papanikolaou
    • 1
  • Michael Rutter
    • 1
  1. 1.MRC Child Psychiatry UnitUniversity of London UK
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationUniversity of WindsorWindsorCanada

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