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ASD Validity

Review article
Authors L. Waterhouse
E. London
Christopher Gillberg
Published in Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume 3
Issue 4
Pages 302-329
ISSN 2195-7177
Publication year 2016
Published at Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre
Pages 302-329
Language en
Keywords ASD, Autism, Comorbidity, Diagnosis, DSM-5, Heterogeneity, Validity
Subject categories Psychiatry


ASD research is at an important crossroads. The ASD diagnosis is important for assigning a child to early behavioral intervention and explaining a child’s condition. But ASD research has not provided a diagnosis-specific medical treatment, or a consistent early predictor, or a unified life course. If the ASD diagnosis also lacks biological and construct validity, a shift away from studying ASD-defined samples would be warranted. Consequently, this paper reviews recent findings for the neurobiological validity of ASD, the construct validity of ASD diagnostic criteria, and the construct validity of ASD spectrum features. The findings reviewed indicate that the ASD diagnosis lacks biological and construct validity. The paper concludes with proposals for research going forward. © 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

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