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Early Tests May Predict Adult IQ in Autism

Date Published: 
January 21, 2014

A new study looked at 85 children with autism spectrum disorder at different points in time from ages 2 to 19 to see if their intelligence scores as toddlers would predict the presence of intellectual disability in adulthood. About 85 percent of the time, researchers found that the early measurements did predict the presence of significant intellectual disabilities at age 19, according to a study published in Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.1

However, it was more complex to predict outcomes for toddlers with average or higher IQ scores. About 9 percent of the toddlers in the higher IQ group had lost their autism diagnosis by age 19. Those youths "were more likely to have participated in treatment and had a greater reduction in repetitive behaviors between age 2 and 3 compared to other" children with higher verbal IQ scores.

The study concluded that more research using larger, random groups is needed.