Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 3–22 | Cite as

Subtypes of autism by cluster analysis

  • Linda C. Eaves
  • Helena H. Ho
  • David M. Eaves
Article

Abstract

Multidisciplinary data from 166 children with autistic spectrum disorders were subjected to cluster analysis. Cross-validation between random halves of the sample showed acceptable consistency of the clustering method. Four clinically meaningful subtypes emerged from the analysis. They did not differ in demographic characteristics but did show, on average, distinct differences in behavioral and cognitive areas. Over half of the sample fell into a subtype described as typically autistic with abnormal verbal and nonverbal communication, aloofness, impaired social skills, and sensory disturbances. Another 19% were similarly autistic but with moderate to severe mental handicap. The remaining children formed two subtypes: a high-functioning Asperger-like group who were overactive and aggressive, and a small group who were impaired in social and language skills, had restricted interests, and a family history of learning problems. This study highlights important differences among children with autism and emphasizes relationships between cognitive functioning and subtypes of the disorder.

Keywords

Autistic Spectrum Disorder Family History Cluster Analysis Cognitive Functioning Social Skill 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda C. Eaves
    • 1
  • Helena H. Ho
    • 2
  • David M. Eaves
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologySunny Hill Hospital for ChildrenVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Department of PaediatricsUniversity of British Columbia and Sunny Hill Hospital for ChildrenCanada
  3. 3.Department of Mathematics and StatisticsSimon Fraser UniversityCanada

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