Gauging Autistic Intelligence: Asperger Syndrome
However, this study reports that Asperger individuals' scores are much higher when they are evaluated by a test called Raven's Progressive Matrices, which encompasses reasoning, novel problem-solving abilities, and high-level abstraction. By comparison, scores for non-Asperger individuals are much more consistent across different tests. Interestingly, Asperger participants' performance on Raven's Matrices was associated with their strongest peaks of performance on Wechsler.
A previous study by the same group found very similar results for autistic individuals as well, whose peaks of ability are perceptual, rather than verbal as in Asperger individuals. This suggests a common information processing mechanism applied to different aspects of information (verbal vs. perceptual).
According to co-author Michelle Dawson, "while we know autistics process information atypically, very little thought has gone into how to fairly assess their abilities. In fact there is so little understanding of what autistics do well that their strong abilities are often regarded as dysfunctional. Here we have again found that measurable strengths in autistic spectrum individuals are not "isolated islets of abilities" as previously thought, but are in fact representative of autistics' intellectual abilities. This in turn raises questions about how we can provide autistics with the kinds of information they can process well, as we do with non-autistic individuals. We consider the effort to understand and encourage autistic strengths to be of paramount importance. "
Based on these results, the authors emphasize that autistic spectrum intelligence is atypical, but also genuine, general, and underestimated.
Citation: Soulieres I, Dawson M, Gernsbacher MA, Mottron L (2011) The Level and Nature of Autistic Intelligence II: What about Asperger Syndrome?PLoS ONE 6(9): e25372. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0025372
Financial Disclosure: This work was supported by a grant from Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR; grant MOP-84243) to LM and a postdoctoral award from CIHR to IS. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Competing Interest Statement: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
LINK TO THE SCIENTIFIC ARTICLE: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0025372
Public Library of Science
Source: EurekAlert!, the online, global news service operated by AAAS, the science society
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
Public Library of Science. "Gauging Autistic Intelligence: Asperger Syndrome." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 29 Sep. 2011. Web.
24 May. 2017. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/235186.php>
Public Library of Science. (2011, September 29). "Gauging Autistic Intelligence: Asperger Syndrome." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
Contact our news editors
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact our editorial team, please see our contact page.
Copyright Medical News Today: Excluding email/sharing services explicitly offered on this website, material published on Medical News Today may not be reproduced, or distributed without the prior written permission of Medilexicon International Ltd. Please contact us for further details.