Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 9, pp 2147–2158 | Cite as

The Role of Attention in the Academic Attainment of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Tamara May
  • Nicole Rinehart
  • John Wilding
  • Kim Cornish
Original Paper


Academic attainment in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is under-studied, with associated factors largely undetermined. Parent-reported attention symptoms, attentional-switching and sustained-attention tasks were examined to determine relationships with mathematics and reading attainment in 124 children aged 7–12 years; sixty-four with high-functioning ASD, half girls, and sixty age- and gender-matched typical children (TYP). With full-scale IQ controlled there were no differences in mathematics, reading, attentional switching or sustained attention. In regression analysis, attentional switching was related to mathematics achievement in ASD but not TYP children. Findings highlight attentional switching difficulties are linked with poorer mathematics outcomes in ASD.


Academic Autism spectrum disorder Reading Mathematics Attention switching Sustained attention 



We wish to thank all of the families who generously participated in this research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Developmental Psychiatry and Psychology, School of Psychology and PsychiatryMonash UniversityNotting HillAustralia
  2. 2.Royal Holloway, University of LondonEgham, SurreyUK
  3. 3.School of Psychology and PsychiatryMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia

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