Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 351–372 | Cite as

Executive Functioning in Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder: Can We Differentiate Within the Spectrum?

  • Sylvie VertéEmail author
  • Hilde M.  Geurts
  • Herbert Roeyers
  • Jaap Oosterlaan
  • Joseph A.  Sergeant

The aim of this study was to investigate whether children with high-functioning autism (HFA), Asperger’s syndrome (AS), and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDDNOS) can be differentiated from each other and from normal controls on their neurocognitive executive functioning (EF) profile. Children with HFA and AS showed the most EF deficits. The EF profile of the PDDNOS group was more disturbed that the normal control group, but was less disturbed than the profile of the HFA and AS groups. Little difference was found between the three PDD subtypes with respect to EF. This study supports the view that executive dysfunctioning plays an important role in autism. The usefulness of a distinction between different PDD subtypes was not demonstrated.


high-functioning autism Asperger’s syndrome pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) executive functioning 



We want to thank the children and parents without whose participation this research would not have been possible.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sylvie Verté
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Hilde M.  Geurts
    • 2
    • 3
  • Herbert Roeyers
    • 1
  • Jaap Oosterlaan
    • 2
  • Joseph A.  Sergeant
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Research Group Developmental DisordersGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Clinical NeuropsychologyVrije Universiteit AmsterdamAmsterdamthe Netherlands
  3. 3.Division of PsychonomicsUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamthe Netherlands
  4. 4.Department of Psychology, Research Group Developmental DisordersGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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