The development of executive function in autism

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Autism is a common and often highly debilitating neurodevelopmental condition, whose core behavioral features are believed to be rooted in disrupted neurocognitive processes, including especially “executive function.” Researchers have predominantly focused upon understanding the putative causal relationship between difficulties in EF and autistic symptomatology. This paper suggests, however, that the effects of individual differences in EF should be more far-reaching, playing a significant part in the real-life outcomes of individuals with autism, including their social competence, everyday adaptive behavior, and academic achievement. It further considers the nature of the EF-outcome relationship, including the possible determinants of individual differences in EF, and makes several recommendations for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Article number146132
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalAutism Research and Treatment
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2012. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • autism
  • executive function
  • development
  • cognitive control

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