Objectives: The current study examines verbal learning of a small cohort of children once diagnosed with an ASD who have since lost their diagnosis (labeled the Optimal Outcome group).
Methods: Seven Optimal Outcome children were matched on age, sex, and IQ to seven of their typically developing peers. We compared the groups' performance on the California Verbal Learning Test.
Results: On most of the CVLT variables, including Trial 1, Trial 5, Trials1-5, List B, long-delay recall, semantic clustering, and learning slope, the groups did not differ. However, the Optimal Outcome group tended to use serial clustering strategies more than the typical control group (p = .063) and tended to perform worse on a short-delay cued recall task (p = .061). In contrast to the Optimal Outcome group's average performance on both serial clustering and short-delay cued recall, the typical control group's performance was slightly better than average on both these aspects of the CVLT.
Conclusions: These preliminary results suggest that these Optimal Outcome children do not differ from typical peers on most verbal learning characteristics, and score well within the average range on all learning variables.