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To examine the unique neuropsychological presentation in adults with high functioning autism spectrum disorders (HF-ASD) by comparison with adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Adults with ASD referred to a specialty clinic (n=26) were compared to two non-ASD groups with (n=52) and without (n=52) ADHD of similar age and sex.
No differences in IQ were found. Subjects with HF-ASD were significantly more impaired than both comparison groups in processing speed, cognitive flexibility and sight words. Subjects with HF-ASD were more impaired than controls in working memory, but not the ADHD group.
These findings suggest that there may be specific neuropsychological correlates of HF-ASD differing from ADHD that could have significant implications for identifying individuals at risk for ASD.
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