Late Diagnosis of High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder


Although the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has risen, High Functioning ASD is still often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, and is, on average, diagnosed later in life than lower functioning disorders. Delayed diagnosis prevents important early intervention in treatment. Methods of diagnosis, such as the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS/a gold-standard tool), can diagnose ASD as early as 12 months. Early intervention, like Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) or the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), can help children be included in regular education classrooms, improve “symptoms” of ASD, and improve the IQ of children with ASD compared to the usual treatment (Rogers et al., 2012). Understanding why High Functioning ASD is diagnosed later in life is key to diagnosing it earlier and can be attributed to comorbid psychiatric diagnoses with similar symptoms to ASD. Most cases of ASD that receive late diagnoses are High Functioning Autism (Lenhardt, Gawronski, Volpert, Schilbach, Tepest, & Vogeley, 2011). An understanding of the autism spectrum and “High Functioning Autism’s” symptoms, particularly in social communication and interaction, will help specialists working with young children detect ASD earlier in life.

Keywords:ASD, Autism Spectrum, High Functioning

Year Manuscript Completed

Fall 2019

Senior Project Advisor

Amanda Joyce, PhD

Degree Awarded

Bachelor of Integrated Studies Degree

Field of Study

Social Sciences

Document Type


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