Frequency of learning disability in autism

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.

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