Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 390–400 | Cite as

Impact of IQ Discrepancy on Executive Function in High-Functioning Autism: Insight into Twice Exceptionality

  • M. Layne KalbfleischEmail author
  • Ashlee R. Loughan
Original Paper


We examined the impact of IQ discrepancy (IQD) within (1) and above (1+) one standard deviation on executive function in HFA using the BRIEF. We hypothesized that IQD would benefit executive function. IQD 1 is hallmarked by deficits in BRIEF indices and subscales inhibit, shift, initiate, working memory, planning and organization, and monitor (MANCOVA, p < .003, corrected). As IQD increases to 1+, deficits are fewer, corresponding to subscales inhibit, shift, and initiate. Pearson correlations (p < .004, corrected) identify significant relationships for FSIQ and BRIEF Global Composite (r = −.66, p = .002) and Metacognition subscales plan/organize (r = −.64, p = .003) and monitor (r = −.63, p = .004). Results suggest IQD 1+ favoring verbal IQ may support these aspects of executive function in HFA.


Executive function High-functioning autism IQ discrepancy BRIEF Twice exceptionality WASI 



The authors would like to thank Dorothy Zhang, M.S., for her assistance with data collection and manuscript coordination.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Education and Human DevelopmentGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  2. 2.KIDLABGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsThe George Washington School of Medicine and Health SciencesWashingtonUSA

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