GAF score of 45 | Autism PDD


Hello all...just received Liam's full written report. 

His GAF score was 45 (based on this link I guess it is correct:) sment_Scale

(I know...the source isn't clinical but I beleive the ranges/scores are correct)

The report also noted that he has "islands of intelligence that are way above his age and developmental stage". 

What the heck does that mean.  In one sense...he is barely functional or perhaps you could call it highly effected...but then throw that intelligence thing in...totally blew me away. 

What the heck?  Anyone?


I think my ds got a level of 35 if I remember right - I thought that was a
little harsh. But he does not have the same level of independence in daily
functioning that other kids have. It means needing special ed or an aide
or being in diapers longer or more hypervigilance by a parent on the
playground. And many reports do use that level to qualify for services.

The islands of intelligence are one of the things that is more unique to
autism and helps rule out other kinds of developmental disabilities : it is
the cognitive scatter our kid tend to have - above age in some areas and
below age in others. Most other developmental disabilities show below
age level functioning in all areas.
So don't be too thrown off by the language: all it means is that your kid
has autism with it's characteristic scatter and that this causes him to
function at a lower level in everyday life. You probably already knew that.

Micki...yep...your last two sentences hit the nail on the ever present hammer.  Great music abilities, great sense of direction and can recreate a specific scene from a show with furniture arranged perfectly..yet has NO conversational  skills and can't put on his own shoes. 

Neat thing...this autism, huh?


I firmly believe that ANY evaluator has a professional DUTY to explain FULLY what the results of testing means.  I plain English.  As both a mom and an advocate, I always ask and persist until I do understand.  It'b best to ask the person who has seen and tested your child IN PERSON what all this means.