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Article

Subgroups of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder without Intellectual Disability: A Longitudinal Examination of Executive and Socio-Adaptive Behaviors in Adolescence

1
Division of Psychiatry, Imperial College London, London W12 0NN, UK
2
Division of Psychiatry, University Hospital Doctor Peset of Valencia, 46017 Valencia, Spain
3
Division of Developmental and Educational Psychology, University of Valencia, 46010 Valencia, Spain
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Division of Psychiatry, University of Valencia, 46010 Valencia, Spain
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Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, New York University Child Study Center, New York, NY 10016, USA
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Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, Solent NHS Trust, Southampton SO19 6DR, UK
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Centre for Innovation in Mental Health (CIMH), School of Psychology, Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
8
Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology, School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Lucia Margari
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(10), 2220; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10102220
Received: 30 March 2021 / Revised: 17 May 2021 / Accepted: 18 May 2021 / Published: 20 May 2021
Within the autistic spectrum, there is remarkable variability in the etiology, presentation, and treatment response. This prospective study was designed to identify, through cluster analysis, subgroups of individuals with ASD without intellectual disability (ID) based on the severity of the core symptoms in childhood. The secondary aim was to explore whether these subgroups and a group with typical development (TD) differ in cognitive, adaptive, and social aspects measured in adolescence. The sample at baseline was comprised of 52 children with ASD without ID and 37 children with TD, aged 7–11. Among the ASD group, three clusters were identified. Cluster 1 (40%), ‘high severity’, presented high symptom severity on the DSM-5 criteria and the Social Communication Questionnaire. Cluster 2 (34%) showed ‘moderate severity’ on most of the scores. Cluster 3 (25%) corresponded to ‘low severity’, showing moderate social impairment and low restrictive, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests and activities. At 5-year follow-up, 45 adolescents with ASD without ID and 27 adolescents with TD were assessed. All clusters had significantly more difficulties in EF, ToM, socialization and adaptive behavior compared to TD. Social and adaptive trajectories between the ASD subgroups were relatively different; Cluster 1 showed poorer socialization and daily living skills than the other two subgroups. These findings highlight the importance of fully assessing social, cognitive, and adaptive profiles to develop care plans tailored to specific needs. View Full-Text
Keywords: autism subgroups; adolescents; executive functioning; social skills; adaptive behavior autism subgroups; adolescents; executive functioning; social skills; adaptive behavior
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rosello, R.; Berenguer, C.; Martinez-Raga, J.; Miranda, A.; Cortese, S. Subgroups of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder without Intellectual Disability: A Longitudinal Examination of Executive and Socio-Adaptive Behaviors in Adolescence. J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10, 2220. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10102220

AMA Style

Rosello R, Berenguer C, Martinez-Raga J, Miranda A, Cortese S. Subgroups of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder without Intellectual Disability: A Longitudinal Examination of Executive and Socio-Adaptive Behaviors in Adolescence. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2021; 10(10):2220. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10102220

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rosello, Rocio, Carmen Berenguer, Jose Martinez-Raga, Ana Miranda, and Samuele Cortese. 2021. "Subgroups of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder without Intellectual Disability: A Longitudinal Examination of Executive and Socio-Adaptive Behaviors in Adolescence" Journal of Clinical Medicine 10, no. 10: 2220. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10102220

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