Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) tend to have significant delays in adaptive functioning. In this study, the relationship between adaptive behavior and ASD symptomatology was investigated in minimally verbal, school-aged children with ASD (n = 333). Both the social affect (SA) and restricted and repetitive behavior (RRB) domains from the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) were analyzed in relation to adaptive skills. ADOS SA scores contributed unique variance to scores in each Vineland domain, though cognitive ability and age accounted for considerably more variance across domains. Results indicate that there is a significant, but small, association between social affect deficits and adaptive skills, challenging clinicians, educators, and caregivers to target adaptive skills in addition to more specific features of ASD.

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