Autistic ability ‘underestimated’

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The intelligence of people diagnosed with autism is being underestimated, a science conference in St Louis, US, has been told.

Research by scientists in Montreal suggests current ways of measuring their intelligence are inaccurate.
This might help them play a greater part in the job market and in wider society, the researchers argued.

Dr Laurent Mottron draws a distinction between people with “autistic spectrum” disorders – those with normal or above average intelligence – and those with “real autism”, which he says is characterised by mental impairment.

The Wechsler scale is one of the most widely used ways of measuring autistic intelligence. People diagnosed with the disorder typically score very low on the verbal comprehension part of the test.

But research by Dr Mottron, from the University of Montreal, and colleagues found overall that autistic subjects performed much better on a different test called Raven’s Progressive Matrices, with some mute autistics performing exceptionally well.

He said this test might provide “a window for the accurate assessment of autistic intelligence”.

Read the full article at the BBC.

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