IQ scores not a good measure of function in autism

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EstherJ
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16 Jun 2012, 9:48 pm

Rascal77s wrote:
The problem with IQ tests is that they are usually administered by one person in a room that is purposely devoid of distractions and and unwanted sensory stimuli. What good is a 130 IQ when you're sitting in a class or work and the person next to you is tapping on their desk with a metal bracelet for an hour and your 130 IQ effectively becomes 70.


What good is a high IQ when a room supposedly devoid of sensory stimuli for neurotypicals is full of stimuli for an Aspie?



Verdandi
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16 Jun 2012, 10:13 pm

btbnnyr wrote:
I don't think that IQ is a good measure of anything in people with autism.


I agree. One reason this topic is interesting to me is that I keep running into assumptions about IQ and neurological deficits (mostly that "if you have a high IQ, it will mitigate your deficits and make life easier for you"). Because I have a high measured IQ and find that it actually doesn't help me much at all in a practical sense, I look for evidence that this is actually fairly typical.

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Beyond IQ, I am very interested in different cognitive phenotypes in autistic people, and how they affect childhood development and adulthood functioning.


I think there are actual cognitive phenotypes in autistic people, but I do not think they're related to IQ or how others might describe one person's functioning level. I know two autistic women who have very similar experiences of being autistic. One would be described as low functioning (and is diagnosed with autism) and the other would be described as high functioning (and is diagnosed with AS). There are others who have similar expressions to their autism all over the "functioning levels" map. And there are apparently other expressions as well, although I can't really identify most of them.

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I also don't think that high-functioning necessarily means mild autism, or that severe autism necessarily means low-functioning, or that low-functioning necessarily means severe autism, or that mild autism necessarily means high-functioning.


Yes, and someone who appears to be low functioning as a child may appear to be high functioning as an adult or vice versa. And some people may appear to be high or low functioning at different times, based on fluctuating access to skills and levels of shutdown.

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We don't know anything about autistic development, and these IQ, functioning, and severity categories overgeneralize and confuse eberrything. What about the five-year-old child who is too uncommunicative and non-verbal to answer the questions on an IQ test, and has very little spontaneous activity and low self-help skills for her age, but can draw accurate pictures in perspective, remember most of what she sees and hears, and read words at a high level with no reading comprehension whatsoever? Is she low-functioning or high-functioning? Is she severely autistic or not? How intelligent is she? How will she develop in the future? When will she learn to speak? What will she be like as an adult? Will she evar have any social skills?


Yes, this so much. There's too much we don't know, and too much that is simply assumed. And I think some differences that are overemphasized as distinctive while others are neglected or ignored. Plus the overall tendency to emphasize social deficits as central to autism while not acknowledging other difficulties (such as sensory issues and processing difficulties) quite as clearly.



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16 Jun 2012, 10:16 pm

Dillogic wrote:
IQ isn't even a good measure for how well someone does as school if they have an ASD, unlike most normal people.


Yes, and the article even says so. I was supposed to be a genius based on my IQ score. An IQ score that was tested because my mother did not want me to be labeled with a learning disability. Yet, despite that IQ and the absence of learning disabilities, my grades tended to be Cs, Ds, and Fs with a few Bs in topics I loved. Instead of finding out why I couldn't function academically, I was just punished all the time for being "lazy."



Rascal77s
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16 Jun 2012, 10:19 pm

EstherJ wrote:
Rascal77s wrote:
The problem with IQ tests is that they are usually administered by one person in a room that is purposely devoid of distractions and and unwanted sensory stimuli. What good is a 130 IQ when you're sitting in a class or work and the person next to you is tapping on their desk with a metal bracelet for an hour and your 130 IQ effectively becomes 70.


What good is a high IQ when a room supposedly devoid of sensory stimuli for neurotypicals is full of stimuli for an Aspie?


Exactly. It's probably the reason my first IQ test (about 20 years ago, while I was drunk) said 138 and my IQ test 3 months ago said 107. The 1st was a quiet room in a quiet building. The second was in a small office with a desk lamp that was shining in my eyes, a kid was yelling outside, there was music quietly playing over the office speaker system, a small clock was ticking on the desk in front of me, the test givers stomach was rumbling, there was an interesting painting of grapes on the wall in front of me painted in a early 1900's European style, etc,. you get the point.

I don't place any value on IQ tests other than to quantify how much distractions screw me up and to help me identify specific areas of significant weakness that need to be improved. Other than those 2 things I think IQ tests are worthless.



Verdandi
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16 Jun 2012, 10:34 pm

I remember once my drama teacher in 10th grade administered an IQ test. In the time allotted (in a full, noisy classroom) I managed to finish half of the test and get many of the answers wrong.

It wasn't supposed to be anything but a way to "waste time and have a little fun." But it was really stressful for me.



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17 Jun 2012, 7:41 am

Verdandi wrote:

Yes, and the article even says so. I was supposed to be a genius based on my IQ score. An IQ score that was tested because my mother did not want me to be labeled with a learning disability. Yet, despite that IQ and the absence of learning disabilities, my grades tended to be Cs, Ds, and Fs with a few Bs in topics I loved. Instead of finding out why I couldn't function academically, I was just punished all the time for being "lazy."


I remember once in reform school when they gave me an iq test and then told me something along the lines of how I had so much potential and was better off than a lot of kids they tested that had low iqs.

My "high" iq never really helped me any.



ogional
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17 Jun 2012, 9:39 am

My reading IQ is 32 but my reading is on a 12th grade level and math IQ is 28 but my math is on a 10th grade level if i remember it correctly both very low though. I'm not very good at taking tests I can pass them but I'm not that good. I even suck at the kias employment test machine for job employement. I found out about that when I went in to apply for publix my job assessment sucked so I told the manager I had aspergers and I wasn't good at taking tests so he accepted that if i wanted a job interview i could have one but i'd have to quit working for walmart so i turned him down. But my employment yearly evaluation exceeded in everything for work ethics so I say that kias isn't necessary for every job and is way off..



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17 Jun 2012, 10:07 am

EstherJ wrote:
Rascal77s wrote:
The problem with IQ tests is that they are usually administered by one person in a room that is purposely devoid of distractions and and unwanted sensory stimuli. What good is a 130 IQ when you're sitting in a class or work and the person next to you is tapping on their desk with a metal bracelet for an hour and your 130 IQ effectively becomes 70.


What good is a high IQ when a room supposedly devoid of sensory stimuli for neurotypicals is full of stimuli for an Aspie?


Precisely.

My testing room was full of "visual noise," which I can't abide.


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17 Jun 2012, 7:03 pm

Thank you for this information, Verdandi.
My IQ is above average, but my executive functioning is very bad.
I am just reading Temple Grandins "Thinking in Pictures" and she is describing traits from non-verbal, low-functioning autistic people, which I display, though I know that I am not non-verbal and low-functioning, and it is very confusing, as I always think I "should be better in keeping up with societies measures", but there is this kind of impossibility, inspite of my IQ.
I wish that I have had more guidance in my life, sometimes it feels like it "came too late", because the distance between societies measures and me are too big to overcome and even for my psychologist it is difficult to find a way to get me integrated, though she has a lot of experience with autism, but diagnosis came quite late (I was not throwing tantrums, but very silent and shy and locked in my own world as a child, so not "disturbing", and I am still that way,more prone to shutdown than to tantrum).


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17 Jun 2012, 9:06 pm

I think the test is reliable when administered under proper circumstances. I was given an individual IQ test and scored a 160, which was the highest the test went up to. I would like to take one that goes higher. It seems that most people here have very high IQ's.



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17 Jun 2012, 10:26 pm

hanyo wrote:
I remember once in reform school when they gave me an iq test and then told me something along the lines of how I had so much potential and was better off than a lot of kids they tested that had low iqs.

My "high" iq never really helped me any.


I find it interesting how "gifted" children are given these high IQs and thus "so much potential" and then left to develop that potential on their own, with little effort to help focus that so-called potential. For those of us who are "twice exceptional" (gifted and having developmental disabilities) this can make life extremely difficult because the way we function does not mesh well with traditional schooling, and simply telling us we're smart so we can do better doesn't mean we will do better or even be able to do better. How does saying "You have so much potential" address communication impairments, distractibility, focus on personal interests, possible auditory processing disorder, sensory sensitivities in general? Without taking these things into account (some of which occur in gifted children who do not have anything diagnosable along with being gifted), how can we expect to realize any of that potential?

Eloa wrote:
I wish that I have had more guidance in my life, sometimes it feels like it "came too late", because the distance between societies measures and me are too big to overcome and even for my psychologist it is difficult to find a way to get me integrated, though she has a lot of experience with autism, but diagnosis came quite late (I was not throwing tantrums, but very silent and shy and locked in my own world as a child, so not "disturbing", and I am still that way,more prone to shutdown than to tantrum).


Yes to more guidance. My mother actually believed I had a complete set of life skills when I left home. Keeping in mind that I hadn't fully figured out hygiene when I left home, I am not sure how she came to this conclusion.

What you said about Thinking in Pictures is interesting. I'll have to check that out. I've found in other lists some traits that are common in nonverbal, so-called "low functioning" autistic people that I also have as well.

AlexLloyd wrote:
I think the test is reliable when administered under proper circumstances. I was given an individual IQ test and scored a 160, which was the highest the test went up to. I would like to take one that goes higher. It seems that most people here have very high IQ's.


I am not sure that accurately measuring one's intelligence (if such a thing is truly possible) means that it's an accurate measure of what one can do in the real world. I haven't really questioned whether my IQ score (in the genius range is all I know) is accurate or not, but rather that it suggests I should be able to do a lot of things I actually find fairly difficult.



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18 Jun 2012, 6:00 am

Verdandi wrote:
Eloa wrote:
I wish that I have had more guidance in my life, sometimes it feels like it "came too late", because the distance between societies measures and me are too big to overcome and even for my psychologist it is difficult to find a way to get me integrated, though she has a lot of experience with autism, but diagnosis came quite late (I was not throwing tantrums, but very silent and shy and locked in my own world as a child, so not "disturbing", and I am still that way,more prone to shutdown than to tantrum).


Yes to more guidance. My mother actually believed I had a complete set of life skills when I left home. Keeping in mind that I hadn't fully figured out hygiene when I left home, I am not sure how she came to this conclusion.

What you said about Thinking in Pictures is interesting. I'll have to check that out. I've found in other lists some traits that are common in nonverbal, so-called "low functioning" autistic people that I also have as well.


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Uta Frith, a researcher at the MRC Cognitive Development Unit in London, has found that some perople with Kanner's syndrome are unable to imagine what another person is thinking. She developed a "theory of mind" test to determine the extent of this problem. [-description test-]. People with Asperger's syndrome, who tend to be far less handicapped than people with Kanner-type autism, can usually pass this test and generally perform better on tests of flexible problem-solving than Kanner's syndrome autistics.

-from Temple Grandin's "Thinking in Pictures", p.36/37-

I did not pass the "theory of mind" test.

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According to Frith, many people with autism are not able to figure put what another person may be thinking. It is true that autistics with severe cognitive deficits are unable to look at situations from the vantage point of another person

-from Temple Grandin's "Thinking in Pictures", p.156/157

I found out with my psychologist, that I think that people perceive and think the way I do, and that I "blank" in my mind "putting myself into the shoes of another person", if I cannot "put" my perception onto them. That does not mean, that I cannot be empathic in certain situations, sometimes I can be overly empathic to a point of so-called "innappropriate behaviour". I also cannot picture, how people might perceive myself, that they can form thoughts and judgements about me, unless someone is clearly telling me what he is thinking about me or which impression I give to a person.
People and situations are always unpredictable for me.
Though I always had some "association-items" in my inner library I would attach to people, like one person I know he liked a special autobrand, and I would always ask him about this autobrand to the point he was asking someone "why I could only talk about the same subject". But this "association-items" help me make the world and people less unpredictable and give me orientation, as I can ask about this things amd have a predictable conversation.


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18 Jun 2012, 7:11 am

Thanks much.

I can pass theory of mind tests, but in real time with people I have issues. Not particularly in that category as far as I know, though.

I've started reading the book, though. Some interesting stuff in it, although I feel like I want to argue with some of the things Dr. Grandin says about the spectrum as a spectrum.



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18 Jun 2012, 7:46 am

I guess I have trouble passing the "theory of mind" tests as I am picture-thinking as well and I get too focused onto the picture of the box and its changing content, so my directly given answer is describing the picture of the box and its new content.

Grandin cannot give a 100% correct evaluation of the spectrum as it is too versatile and she is also relying on results from reaserch which has been done and her own observation, but I appreciate her book as it gives a bigger insight for me, as in my "normal" life I do not meet people who think in pictures and I also do not meet autistic people, so it helps me to get to know myself better like reading on this forum does.


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18 Jun 2012, 7:49 am

The best autistic is the one having the most fun.