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They found that by age 22, 96 percent of the group had been awarded a disability pension from the government. Nearly all were unmarried — 99 percent of those with autistic disorder, compared with 92 percent of those with PDD-NOS. And Asperger syndrome and PDD-NOS were not included until the DSM-IV’s release in 1994. To address the diagnostic changes, the researchers used detailed descriptions of symptoms, psychological test results, school performance and other records to retroactively diagnose autism or PDD-NOS in the study participants according to DSM-IV criteria.
For example, a study published earlier this year found that in the U.
“The PDD-NOS group is generally better functioning, at least in childhood, so we would expect them to do better as adults,” says Sigmund Eldevik, associate professor of behavioral science at the Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, who was not involved with the study.
In July, Eldevik reported that young children with autism who receive behavioral interventions in preschool have higher IQs and adaptive behavior scores than those who do not receive the intervention.
But until today’s children with autism reach maturity, it will be hard to say how much behavioral intervention at a young age can alter the course of their lives.
“The implication of our findings is that the consequences of having an autism spectrum disorder with profound difficulties in communication skills and social impairment can’t be compensated for by either high intellectual level or normal language function,” says lead investigator Anne Myhre, associate professor of mental health and addiction at the University of Oslo in Norway.
Another study by some of the same researchers showed that 70 adults with Down syndrome enjoy higher levels of independence, more social opportunities and receive more services compared with 70 adults who have autism.