1. New discovery: autistic talents
A new study published in the online journal PLoS ONE, suggests specialized testing concerning to IQ Testing Underestimates Autism Spectrum Intelligence are needed for Asperger individuals.
Traditionally, Asperger’s syndrome is related to autism spectrum disorders that have generally been associated with uneven intellectual profiles and impairment.
People with Asperger’s display symptoms including repetitive rituals, odd speech, and socially and emotionally inappropriate behavior.
However, back to our main issue in this article about IQ score of this speacial population, the study showed that Asperger’s 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. In contrast, scores for non-Asperger’s 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 the traditional Wechsler.
This observation suggests that individuals with autism spectrum disorders get a typical information processing mechanism for different features of information (verbal vs. perceptual).
As reported by co-author Michelle Dawson, “whereas we know autistics process information atypically, very little thought has gone into how to relatively assess their capabilities. Actually, there is so little awareness of what autistics do well that their positive abilities are often regarded as dysfunctional.
Dawson said that considerable 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 to provide autistics with the kinds of information they can process well.
“We consider the effort to understand and motivate autistic talents to be of paramount importance,” Dawson said.
Final results propose that although autistic spectrum intelligence is atypical, it is also genuine, general and undervalued.
2. Living with a child of Asperger’s syndrome
And what was the solutions for their son? The family made three different attempts to place their son in preschool and after many difficulties, they have gain some first positive achievements.
The family has scoured the Baltimore area to identify the best resources for their child. She identified these programs as especially helpful:
- Pathfinders for Autism: Located in Hunt Valley, this is one of the first places parents should contact if they suspect behavior on the autism spectrum. Whether you want to attend a workshop, need some articles or would like a referral to a doctor or dentist who will best service your child, the staff will get you pointed in the right direction.
- Child Find: Baltimore County Public Schools Special Education department offers educational services for children age 3 through 21.
- Trellis Services: Located in Hunt Valley, Trellis offers special services, a school, therapy, a clinic and more to children with autism or communication disorders.
- The Superflex Curriculum: This unique curriculum is taught to many children with autism and is now taught to all preschoolers at Vincent Farm Elementary. The curriculum helps kids identify with characters to understand their disruptive behaviors.
- Shafer Center for Early Intervention: This center has family classes, resources and clinics dedicated to the early detection and treatment of autism.
- Learning & Therapy Corner: This is an excellent resource for speech therapy.
- Baltimore-Chesapeake Chapter of the Autism Society of America: The local chapter which has workshops, movies, outings and more.
The mom shared with us “Don’t give up—you have to continue to advocate and push for answers and results.” It may be very simple but it also can help others who might be parents of a recently diagnosed child.
She added that “funding is available for many services, don’t think you have to jump through all kinds of hoops just fill out the forms … you’ll be surprised what is covered.”
Considering all this family has discovered and confronted in recent years, their positivity and practical approach to life is an inspiration on how to handle difficult situations.