Co-occurring Down Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder: Cognitive, Adaptive, and Behavioral Characteristics

Kathryn R. Bradbury, Emily I. Anderberg, Lark Huang-Storms, Iulia Vasile, Rachel K. Greene, Susanne W. Duvall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The current study explores functioning in individuals with co-occurring Autism Spectrum Disorder and Down Syndrome (ASD+DS; n = 23), individuals with ASD and cognitive impairment (ASD+ID; n = 99) and individuals with idiopathic ID (n = 38). ANCOVA results revealed that individuals with ASD+DS showed strengths in behavioral functioning compared to individuals with ID and more similar behavioral functioning to those with ASD+ID (η2 = 0.12), with the exception of disruptive behaviors. Cognitive functioning (ɸc = 0.41) and ASD symptomatology (η2 = 0.11) were more comparable for children with ASD+DS and ASD + ID than for individuals with ID. Individuals with ASD+DS had the lowest overall adaptive skills (η2 = 0.11). Findings highlight similarities between ASD+DS and ASD+ID groups, emphasizing the importance of ASD identification within the DS population to provide access to specific interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1235-1246
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of autism and developmental disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Adaptive functioning
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Cognitive functioning
  • Down syndrome
  • Dual diagnosis
  • Emotional and behavioral functioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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