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Asperger’s Disorder and Nonverbal Learning Disability: Similarity Between Cognitive Profile and Memory Functions Research Article

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Author(s): Ayşe Kılınçaslan | Nahit Motavallı Mukaddes | Gökçe Sözen Küçükyazıcı | Hakan Gürvit

Journal: Nöropsikiyatri Arşivi
ISSN 1300-0667

Volume: 48;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 140;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Asperger’s disorder | Non-verbal learning disorder | neuropsychology | memory

ABSTRACT
Objective: Nonverbal learning disability (NVLD) is a condition associated with prominent nonverbal deficits such as reduced perceptual and spatial abilities, while the verbal abilities remain relatively intact. Some researchers have reported that there is a considerable overlap between cognitive and behavioral features of Asperger’s Disorder (AD) and NVLD. The present study aimed to assess the hypothesis of the presence of NVLD in AD using a neuropsychological battery, which primarily focused on memory, in a group of children and adolescents from the Turkish population. Methods: 21 individuals, aged 7-16 years, - who referred to Istanbul Medical Faculty Child Psychiatry Department and were diagnosed with AD according to DSM-IV criteria, and 18 age-, gender-, IQ- and education level-matched volunteer controls were evaluated. The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised, California Verbal Learning Test-Children’s Version, Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test, and The Benton Judgment of Line Orientation and Facial Recognition tests were administered to the participants.Results: The AD group performed similarly to the controls on verbal memory and verbal comprehension, but was significantly poorer in short- and long-term visual memory, perceptual organization and visuospatial constructional abilities. Conclusion: This study confirmed that the neuropsychological profile of the individuals with AD is closely similar to that of NVLD. (Archives of Neuropsychiatry 2011; 48: 140-6)

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