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Intelligence profiles of Chinese school-aged boys with high-functioning ASD and ADHD

Authors Li G, Jiang W, Du Y, Rossbach K

Received 8 March 2017

Accepted for publication 28 April 2017

Published 15 June 2017 Volume 2017:13 Pages 1541—1549


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wai Kwong Tang

Video abstract presented by Gaizhi Li.

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Gaizhi Li,1,* Wenqing Jiang,2,* Yasong Du,2 Kathryn Rossbach3

1Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China; 3Emory Autism Center, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Purpose: This study aimed to explore the intelligence profiles of Chinese school-aged boys with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (HFASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Additionally, differences in intelligence quotient (IQ) between the HFASD group and the ADHD group were examined.
Patients and methods: Thirty-two boys with HFASD, 58 boys with ADHD, and 39 typically developing (TD) boys aged 6–16 years participated in this study. The ADHD group was divided into subgroups: ADHD-I (predominantly inattentive) and ADHD-C (combined type). (The ADHD-H [hyperactive] group was excluded because of small sample size). The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-IV Chinese version was administered to every participant, and the FSIQ (Full-Scale IQ) score was used as the measure of IQ.
Results: Both boys with HFASD and ADHD (ADHD-I and ADHD-C) showed impairments in Processing Speed Index and FSIQ, as compared to the TD group. Lower Verbal Comprehension Index scores were found in the ASD and ADHD-I groups. Interestingly, Working Memory Index was only impaired in children with ADHD. Additionally, equivalent Perceptual Reasoning Index (PRI) scores were found among the HFASD, ADHD, and TD groups.
Conclusion: Results indicated that both children with ADHD and HFASD have difficulty in processing speed, which may be explained by these children having neurodevelopmental disorders. These results also indicated that working memory appears to only be impacted by having ADHD. Children with ASD are known to have language difficulties while children with ADHD typically display working memory deficits; thus, these findings were expected.

Keywords: autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, child, intelligence, IQ, WISC-IV Chinese version

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