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CDC Facts: Autistic Disorder and Intellectual Disability

Posted May 09 2010 8:04am


Honest discussion of many autism subjects will invite hostility from different quarters of the alleged autism community. One example is the connection between Autistic Disorder and Intellectual Disability.  Few will even discuss the obvious fact that many persons with Autistic Disorder are also Intellectually Disabled.  Attempts to discuss Autistic Disorder and Intellectual Disability are met with overt hostitlity even though Intellectual Disability is a fact of classic autism or Autistic Disorder:.

The CDC Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) Facts section of the CDC web site states this fact simply and clearly:

Autistic Disorder (also called “classic” autism)

This is what most people think of when hearing the word “autism.” People with autistic disorder usually have significant language delays, social and communication challenges, and unusual behaviors and interests. Many people with autistic disorder also have intellectual disability

(emphasis added -HLD)


With the expansion of the definition of autism in the 1994 DSM-IV the concept of autism has come to include many very intelligent, high functioning persons as autistic and the intellectual disability component of autistic disorder is erroneously but intentionally set aside as a "comorbid" or "coincidental" condition, a process that will be worsened with the New Autism Spectrum Disorder category in the DSM-5.  The obvious connection between autism (pervasive developmental delay) and intellectual disability will be pushed even further from our consciousness.  
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