Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cognitive Skills in Children with Autism Vary and Improve, Study Finds

Article adapted by the Autism Society from a press release of the Society for Research in Child Development:
New study from the Society for Research in Child Development

People with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are thought to have a specific profile of cognitive strengths and weaknesses—difficulties appreciating others’ thoughts and feelings, problems regulating and controlling their behavior, and an enhanced ability to perceive details— but few studies have tracked children’s cognitive skills over time. Now new longitudinal research provides clues that can inform our understanding of ASD.

“Parents and clinicians already know that the behavioral signs of ASD wax and wane throughout development,” notes Elizabeth Pellicano, senior lecturer of autism education at the Institute of Education in London, who carried out the study. “What we know a lot less about is how the cognitive skills of children with ASD change over time. In this study, we found that these skills vary from child to child, and also that some of them can improve over time.”

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