Diagnosing Autism-IQ Scores are Not a Perfect Teller
Children who suffer from autism spectrum disorders are not usually known for their academic performances. This criterion is also used as a parameter for diagnosing autism.
But, a research conducted by the University of Washington says otherwise. The results that this research has produced have revealed that there is a mismatch between IQ scores and performances, especially in spelling, reading and math.
Diagnosing Autism Based on IQ: Achieving high academic scores was expected to never be possible among children who suffer from autism, says Annette Estes, an assistant professor at the University of Washington.
- New and improved techniques for diagnosing autism have now classified that almost 70 percent of the children who suffer from this disorder usually fall in the high functioning range.
- These 70 percent are known to possess an IQ level ranging between average to above average. Although these kids are considered to be highly functioning, they do lack sufficient social communication skills.
The Research: As a part of the research, 30 nine-year olds (who were suffering from high-functioning autism) were tested of whom 22 were found to be studying at normal schools. The reason for this is the use of an early intervention program in these kids which created a scope for improvement in behaviour and social communication.
- In normal children, an assessment of the IQ generally gives an idea about their academic performances. But, the research has produced some astounding result according to Dr.Estes. Ninety percent of the children, which is 27 of them were contradicting their IQ scores and academic performances.
- In spelling and reading tests, 18 children excelled far better than what their IQ actually suggested, while 18 children performed below par in all the three tests when compared to their IQ scores. This actually hints at a learning disability.
Reason for Contradiction: As a matter of fact, there exists a relation between social skills and academic performance.
- Out of the 30 nine year olds who were chosen for the research, a few were found to possess better social skills at the age of six. This has led them to excel in word reading abilities.
Although this research did not assess the academic performances of these children, the researchers aim to do so for diagnosing autism in a better way. This way children with special needs and attention can be handled better in classrooms.