Master of Arts (MA)
Although there has been a recent increase in research directed toward autism spectrum disorders (ASD), the study of intellectually disabled adults with ASD has gone relatively neglected as efforts have focused largely on young children. Current diagnostic and assessment procedures were created for and validated on this latter group. Many intellectually disabled adults with ASD have not been diagnosed due to the novelty of such instruments and the overlap between symptoms of ASD and severe intellectual disability (ID). A new assessment instrument, the Autism Spectrum Disorders-Diagnostic Scale for Intellectually Disabled Adults (ASD-DA) has been shown to make this fine distinction. The items on this scale pertain to the three areas of impairment found in ASD: communication, socialization, and restricted behavior. Although social deficits associated with ASD have been extensively researched and believed by many to be the defining set of symptoms for the condition, very little is known about the nature of social impairment in adults with both ASD and ID. Distinctions were noted between those with ASD and controls, notably in the areas of positive social behaviors and nonverbal negative social behaviors. Those with autism displayed the greatest deficits in these areas. Implications of the results and directions for future research are discussed.
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Wilkins, Jonathan, "A Comparison of Social Skills Profiles in Intellectually Disabled Adults with and without ASD" (2007). LSU Master's Theses. 3633.