March 11, 2018

ResearchOver a third of children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) met the criteria for intellectual or learning disability (ID) according to study results produced by Mélina Rivard and colleagues* based at the Université du Québec à Montréal in Canada.

Based on an analysis of over 250 young children, authors reported that 36% of study participants tested in the range of ID defined as scoring below 70 on schedules measuring IQ (intelligence quotient) and showing issues with adaptive behaviours. Most children with ID in the autism group fell into the mild range of ability with a reported IQ between 50-69.

As one of the more frequently reported comorbidities associated with cases of autism, the presence of LD has been the source of some speculation down the years with regards to prevalence and whether the percentage of people with autism and lD is a static statistic.


* Rivard M. et al. Indicators of Intellectual Disabilities in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. J Autism Dev Disord. 2014 Jul 29.

Read more about the paper at:

About the author 

Paul Whiteley Ph.D.

Researcher based in North East England. An academic background in psychology with a special interest in developmental psychology focused specifically on the autism spectrum and related conditions. Postgraduate degrees based on research examining the safety and efficacy of a gluten- and casein-free (GFCF) diet applied to autism and the potential importance of various comorbidity to the health and wellbeing of those on the autism spectrum, with a continuing research interest in these areas. Keen blogger and amateur science writer (but no formal qualifications in these areas). Science is based on probability.

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