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Understanding autism
Understanding autism

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3.1 Cognition, language and adaptive functioning

The researchers reported that cognitive function (for instance as measured by IQ scores) remains stable for many adults on the autism spectrum.

However, there is much individual variation, with evidence that IQ improves for some individuals and declines for others. Language function tends to improve in adulthood, but in most cases significant difficulties remain. Adaptive functioning means an individual’s capacity to deal with everyday tasks such as dressing and washing oneself, and communicating personal needs.

On the whole, measures of both adaptive functioning and the severity of core autism symptoms show improvements, but again there are individual variations.