The Relationship Between Symptoms and Abilities in Autism

  • Murray J. DyckEmail author
  • Jan P. Piek
  • David A. Hay
  • Joachim F. Hallmayer
Original Article


We assessed if autism symptoms relate to ability deficits and achievement discrepancies in 29 children aged 4–13 years with a diagnosis of Autistic Disorder. Symptoms, intelligence, language, motor coordination and social cognition were assessed. Children with autism underachieve on all ability measures. There were significant achievement discrepancies between Performance IQ and theory of mind, fine and gross motor coordination. The most common discrepancy was between Performance IQ scores and motor coordination scores, which was observed in 86% of children. Early developmental abnormalities related to most abilities, social interaction symptoms related to motor coordination and receptive language, and symptoms related to discrepancies between PIQ and social cognitive abilities.


Autism Intelligence Empathy Motor coordination Language 



This research was supported by project grant #141107 from the National Health and Medical Research Council. We wish to thank all of the children and parents who helped us with this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Murray J. Dyck
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jan P. Piek
    • 2
  • David A. Hay
    • 2
  • Joachim F. Hallmayer
    • 3
  1. 1.School of PsychologyGriffith UniversityQLDAustralia
  2. 2.School of PsychologyCurtin University of TechnologyBentleyAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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