Autism spectrum disorder on the basis of executive functioning profile


  • Maria Ishtiaq Clinical Psychologist Pak Red Crescent Medical & Dental College, Kasur, Punjab
  • Hafsa Noreen Speech & Language Pathologist Riphah International University, Lahore, Punjab



Autism Spectrum Disorder, Executive Functioning, DSM-5 Diagnostic statistical Manual-5, Applied Behavior Analysis


Introduction: Executive Functioning (EF) has been studied separately in both normal and Autistic children but there are no specific studies on the comparative analysis of strength and weaknesses of executive functioning among children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and normal children.

Objective:  To evaluate and compare the strength and weakness of executive functioning (EF) among children with autism spectrum disorder and normal children.

Materials & Methods: A comparative cross-sectional survey was conducted through purposive sampling from July 2018 to February 2019 involving parents of normal school going children and diagnosed Autistic children. Children aged 3 to 8 years old with ASD (n=96) and normally developed children (n=96) were compared on a battery of Executive Functioning (EF) tasks in both groups. Data were analyzed by SPSS version 21 for descriptive statistics; comparisons were done by Independent Samples T Test, keeping p≤0.05 as significant.

Results: There was a male preponderance among the autistic children (67 versus 45 males in normal children). The most represented ages were 4-4.11 years and 7-8 years. Tests of Executive Function showed significant decline in all the abilities (p<0.05), except in Time Management (p=0.21).

Conclusion: Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder show major deficits in Executive Functioning when compared to normal children.