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The functional impact of cognition in adults with autism spectrum disorders

Journal article
Authors Johan Nyrenius
Eva Billstedt
Published in Nordic Journal of Psychiatry
Volume 74
Issue 3
Pages 220-225
ISSN 0803-9488
Publication year 2020
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Pages 220-225
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1080/08039488.2019.16...
Keywords Neurodevelopmental disorders, autism spectrum disorder, adaptive, behaviour, executive function, cognitive ability, adaptive-behavior, executive functions, individuals, adolescence, children, plus, Psychiatry
Subject categories Psychiatry

Abstract

Purpose and aim: The overall aim of this study was to examine the relationship between adaptive function and cognitive factors in young adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in adult age. Methods: The study included 30 adults (age 18-30) diagnosed with ASD in adulthood. All participants were clinically referred to an adult psychiatric clinic for assessment. Adaptive functioning was measured with Adaptive Behavior Assessment System - 2nd edition (parent version). Wechsler scales of intelligence and Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System were used to measure intelligence and executive function. Results: We found considerable adaptive functioning deficits regardless of Full Scale Intelligence Quotient (FSIQ) level. FSIQ, working memory and processing speed were positively associated with adaptive functioning. No associations were found between adaptive functioning and cognitive flexibility, inhibition, word generation or shifting. Regression analysis showed that working memory and processing speed predicted 23% of the variance in adaptive functioning in this group. Conclusions: The results suggest that cognitive dysfunction could be an important area for intervention to improve adaptive functioning in ASD. years) diagnosed with ASD in adult age. We found considerable adaptive functioning deficits regardless of IQ level. IQ, working memory and processing speed were positively associated with adaptive functioning. No association was found between adaptive functioning and cognitive flexibility, inhibition, word generation or shifting. Our results suggest that working memory and processing speed predict 23% of the variance in adaptive functioning in this group. The results suggest that cognitive dysfunction could be an important area for targeted support in the ASD group.

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