Differences In Social Interaction
People with Asperger syndrome often have difficulty reading other people recognising or understanding others feelings and intentions and expressing their own emotions. This can make it very hard for them to navigate the social world. They may:
- appear to be insensitive, even if they dont intend to be
- seek out time alone when overloaded by other people
- not seek comfort from other people
- appear to behave strangely or in a way thought to be socially inappropriate.
This does not mean that autistic people lack empathy or the ability to feel emotions. In many cases, they can be more empathetic or emotionally aware than non-autistic people. They may have trouble expressing their feelings in a conventional or socially appropriate way.For these reasons, some autistic people may find it hard to form friendships. Some may want to interact with other people and make friends, but may be unsure how to go about it. Some people with Asperger syndrome may appear to be much more socially confident or adept than they really are. Many autistic adults develop more traditional skills by mimicking others around them, or by preparing what they are going to say before an event, as though learning a script. This can be effective, yet exhausting.
How Differences In Brain Structure Could Result In Autism Intelligence
In one sense, it should be no great surprise that a disability arising from fundamental differences in brain structure, such as ASD, could correlate to another quality based on brain structure. Yet it continues to be mysterious that one syndrome could result in such radically different outcomes in different patients.
MRI investigations comparing the brains of ASD patients to neurotypical control groups unearth a number of differences in activity within the areas of the brain commonly used for social communication and repetitive behaviors. In the case of autistic savants, those areas are apparently repurposed to perform other feats of intelligence.
Understanding why this happens in some cases but not others is simply another line of inquiry in attempts to understand the mechanisms of autism. It is not, however, something that therapists or families working with autistic patients should become obsessed with.
More and more research is showing that ASD patients are closer to a normal range in both respects than was previously thought. Dealing with each patient as an individual, with their own capabilities and deficiencies, is the core of the functional behavior assessments that applied behavior analysts use to assess behavior deficits and develop treatment plans. In time, the appropriate therapies may prove to both expose and help develop the underlying intelligence of ASD patients.
Autism Only Affects Boys
Male and female brains are wired differently, and the areas affected by autism are those most closely associated with typically male behaviour traits.Without stereotyping anyone, girls brains are generally better at communication, learning social skills, anger management, flexibility and multi-tasking than boys, simply because theyre designed that way. Boys tend to have a harder time learning these skills even without autism thrown into the mix, so when it is, its effects are far more obvious, hence boys are much more commonly diagnosed than girls because the autism is holding their development back to the point where intervention is needed.
Recommended Reading: What Gender Is Autism More Common In
What About Savants And Autism
This again comes mostly from TV, movies and the media.
Did you know that you dont have to have autism to have Savant syndrome?
Its true that people diagnosed with this condition typically have some sort of neurodevelopmental disorder, which includes autism. It is also true that it can be caused from brain injuries and other disorders as well.
Heck, it isnt even recognized in the DSM-V as a mental disorder!
Unlike TV and the movies, most people who have autism are not savants. Oh sure, most of those shows have one line mentioning that Savant syndrome is rare.
They say it once, and thats the last you hear about it. You are left witnessing a person whose autism gives them incredible talents and abilities that amaze everyone.
Heres the lowdown on Savant syndrome. Only about half of the people diagnosed with this condition are autistic.
On the flip side, very few people who have autism are also savants. Some estimates put the percentage of autistic people who are also savants as high as 10%.
Most reports dispute this though, and put the number much lower, as low as half a percent.
The range in reports is wide because to be considered a savant, one must demonstrate a talent or ability that far exceeds what is considered average.
What is average? What is considered far exceeding average? These can be gray areas.
Why is this?
The main thing to recognize is that having Savant syndrome does not make someone autistic, and being autistic does not cause Savant syndrome.
Ever Hear Of The Game Called Mao It’s Very Similar To Uno But It Has Rules You Can’t Know About The Only Rule That You Can Explain To Others Is This One: Every Time You Break A Rule You Get Another Card It’s Up To You To Figure Out The Rules By Trial And Error Again And Again Plus Each Person Introducing Their Group To Mao May Have Their Own Version Of The Rules As Everything Is Made Up By The One Who Knows How To Play The Game That Was The Entirety Of My Childhood
“Everyone had advanced knowledge of a strict set of rules that they were able to follow at all times. They had different sets of rules that they could follow, tailor-made to the relationships between their teachers, parents, friends, strangers, and so on. No one told me any rules.
Through trial and error, I had to learn them as if they should have been on flashcards. I have to be aware of them at all times because if I screw up, someone gets angry. By now, I’ve been able to keep a good grasp of the rules to appear normal, but sometimes, I still feel inhuman. I allow some of my weird immaturity out to a select few who understand.” u/commiecomrade
You May Like: Where To Get Tested For Autism
Brain Organization Sheds Light On Math Skills And The Roots Of Autism
Recognition of this altered brain organization pattern may not only shed light on improved math performance and the relationship between autism and savantism, but potentially also on autistic brain organization generally. Previously, autistic brain organization was known for being unique. While non-autistic individuals tend to conform to established patterns of brain activity, those with autism have been found to each have different patterns, making analysis of the disorder difficult from the perspective of brain function.
But in identifying this common repurposing of a particular region of the brain, scientists may have found a point at which to begin categorizing and researching autistic brain function in a useful way.
For applied behavior analysts, this finding may simply confirm their previous observations, but also indicates one strong potential avenue for therapy with ASD patients. Many ABAs find themselves working primarily with children, attempting to use behavioral methods to teach common academic skills.
Since math may already be a strength for many of these children, it provides an avenue for teaching ABA techniques like differential reinforcement and self-monitoring. A 2016 meta-study of 13 related studies indicated promising outcomes from the combination of behavioral and mathematical interventions with ASD students.
Hans Asperger: The Power Of Case Description
Asperger wrote his case histories at a time when Gestalt psychology had become a formidable force of influence in the German-speaking world . It certainly shaped his somewhat holistic view on the proper way of classifying and diagnosing psychiatric disorders. Each human being, Asperger argued, must be understood as an alloy of traits, as a unique blend of capacities and inclinations. To be a good diagnostician, one will have to develop a sensitivity for what he called the Zusammenklang or Gestalt of the childhis voice, face, body language, intonation, gestures, gaze, expression and diction. The true art of clinical observation was being open towards just anything the other person brings into the diagnostic situation. This Gestalt-like orientation precluded the description of syndromes, in terms of lists or assemblies of atomistic traits. Asperger, consequently, did not scale the boys in his case histories along a single polarity, nor did he articulate a single essence, supposedly shared by all the boys.
This was different in the case of Leo Kanner, who did distil an essence of autism with his evocative descriptions of autistic aloneness, insistence on sameness and islets of ability. But in Kanners landmark article too, it was the case descriptions themselves that shaped clinical insight.
Dont Miss: Will My Son Ever Talk
Recommended Reading: What Age Can You Diagnose Autism
Because Adults Many Autistic People Work In Complex Fields
If we mentioned a little above, the fact that many autistic people are qualified to work in environments which require great visual aptitudes, the IT sector is the first to be coveted. As you will have understood, deciphering and reading the codes is already part of the notions, know-how, even passion of a certain number of autistic people.
In addition to computers, people with autism also have a penchant for music. It is true that you don’t have to be autistic to love music and work in this world. However, the difference is more glaring than you might think: autistic people learn to compose and write on their own. No need for a voice teacher or piano lessons to read the notes. It is from an early age that they learn and they have all the time they need for this, as they will focus on this one and only thing, without having time to open up to society. This is often why the vast majority of autistic people have chosen to to live in the countryside, sheltered from daily hassles and fully focused on their business.
We Laugh At Inappropriate Moments
When I was at school, we use to have an annual sponsored silence in which students would raise funds on the anniversary of WWII. For the event, a guest speaker would be invited to discuss their experiences of living through one of the worlds bleakest times and, every year, I would start laughing uncontrollably. Inevitably I would be punished by teachers, but the look of disapproval from fellow students was far worse.
Since then, laughter in autistic people has come to be understood a bit better with the prevailing theory suggesting that, as laughter is one of our most innate methods of communication , it could be that when autistic people are experiencing high emotions, our body immediately falls back on to this inherent response and gets the giggles.
Subsequently, to interfere with an autistic person during this time is to tell them to not feel at all and so, while its okay to move us to a more secluded environment, its not okay to scold us for reacting in a way which has been incorrectly perceived as rude. .
You May Like: Does Greta Thunberg Have Autism
How Aba Therapy Can Help Autistic Geniuses
Autistic geniuses can feel like they are trapped in their own worlds. While this can help some achieve greatness, the characteristics of autism can hold others back. In other words, for every Mozart, theres a musical genius who cannot move beyond the rigidity of routines to compose something great.
Many autistic geniuses find that applied behavior analysis can help. Autistic geniuses can use this therapy to improve their communication and language skills. The therapy also boosts focus and memory while decreasing problematic behaviors. It can even help autistic geniuses become more social.
The therapist begins by determining the cause of behaviors. This includes the circumstances under which a patient engages in a behavior. Then, the therapist helps the patient replace problem behaviors with new, healthier options.
After successful treatment, people with autism will have new skills to use in various situations. They will also have finetuned existing skills and should notice a decrease in problem behaviors.
As an autistic genius, this can be quite valuable. It helps people maximize their potential by reducing roadblocks that get in the way of achievements.
Having Autism Means Youre Retarded
Believe me, I loathe the word retarded as much as most decent people do nowadays, but theres no guarantee that someone wont say it to you, so its best to be prepared for this kind of comment.The truth is that people on the autism spectrum tend to have either average or above average intelligence levels, and any diagnosis of an autism spectrum condition will have nothing whatsoever to do with how intelligent they are. Autism is simply a difference in the way the neurons in the brain communicate with each other, which leads to complications with social interaction, communication and a need for rigidity in behaviours.
Read Also: Average Lifespan Of An Autistic Person
You May Like: How Can You Tell If Your Child Is Autistic
Children Of Smart Fathers Have Higher Risk Of Autism
Kids of men with IQs of 111 or higher were one third more likely to develop the disorder, but the increased risk was very slight
Children whose fathers are highly intelligent are at a 31 percent higher risk of autism than those whose fathers are of average intelligence, according to unpublished results presented today at the 2017 International Meeting for Autism Research in San Francisco, California.
The work supports observations that date back to the 1940s, when Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger noted in separate reports that the fathers of children with autism tended to be highly intelligent and in several cases worked in technical fields. A 2012 study also showed that children from regions in the Netherlands where high-tech jobs are prevalent are more likely to have autism than those who live in other regions.
In the new study, lead investigator Renee Gardner, assistant professor at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, set out to investigate whether the historical lore has validity. She and her colleagues matched medical records for 309,803 children whose fathers were conscripted into the Swedish military with their fathers scores on the technical portion of the Swedish intelligence quotient test.
Reasons To Think Autistic People Are Smarter
We often hear that autism contains another form of intelligence Here’s why!
Behavioral specialists, professors seeking answers, psychiatrists and psychologists all agree on the same opinion: autism and quite simply another form of intelligence. Although still considered abnormal people, individuals diagnosed with autism develop immeasurable intellectual skills. This is particularly the case with autism categorized as Asperger’s syndrome. To shed more light on the subject, we have raised in this article 10 good reasons to think that autistic people are smarter.
Recommended Reading: Can Temper Tantrums Be A Sign Of Autism
Difficulties In Terms Of Validity: Iq Measurement Autism Spectrum Disorder Measurement And Their Interplay
If these mentioned aspects were not already difficult enough, problems in terms of the validity of IQ measurement and/or ASD diagnostics as well as the interplay between both further complicates interpretation and summary of data.
Thus, one may even wonder whether the IQ is a meaningful construct to measure in ASD at all. Possibly, other abilities like the quality of social communication might be an approach to stratify ASD or to differentiate between ASD and non-ASD.
Quoting ‘rain Man’ Or Asking If They’re Good At Math
In the 1988 film “Rain Man,” Dustin Hoffman plays a man with autism and savant syndrome, a rare condition in someone with mental disabilities who demonstrates incredible abilities. The man the movie was based on, Kim Peek, had savant syndrome but not autism, so Ward-Sinclair said that when people say “Rain Man” quotes to him, it’s exhausting and unrelated to his experience.
While many autistic people have a splinter skill an ability to do one task exceptionally well not all do. And while math is a common one because of its patterns and repetition, it’s not the only one. Autistic people excel in other areas too, including art, makeup, film, reading, psychology, and building things with their hands.
You May Like: Examples Of Autistic Stimming
‘how On Earth Are You Doing This You’re Autistic’
Jones said people don’t realize there are workarounds and tools for achieving different tasks and successes. He cited an analogy he likes to use.
“Imagine you’re a wheelchair user and you’re from Ohio and you meet somebody in a Florida resort and they look at you and say, ‘How did you get here? Your legs don’t work!'” Jones said.
For Moss, there’s a litmus test for asking questions: “If I would not ask this of a non-disabled person, I probably shouldn’t be asking this.”
How Intelligence For Autistic People Is Seen
I think we hear this question so often due to recent television shows, movies and media stories.
In TV and the movies, autistic people are portrayed as being super intelligent. They see things that other people miss, and are able to pull obscure answers out of thin air to complex questions that baffle everyone else.
On the flip side are people who have autism in real life.
Not only are real autistic people not thought of as smarter, they are frequently looked at as less intelligent due to their social awkwardness.
They may be quiet or shy, and common social circumstances that most people take as everyday knowledge may escape them.
Something like not interrupting someone when theyre talking doesnt always register with a person on the spectrum.
Then there is the media.
The media does not depict autistic people as being smarter. They paint a picture of someone with autism to fit whatever story they are writing.
If a crime is committed then its an autistic person who has a lower IQ, and may not have the ability to feel empathy.
When theres a scientific breakthrough discovered by a person with autism, its the genius autistic who made the discovery.
For a feel good piece, its the person who everyone thought was socially awkward and dumb who was actually autistic and had some amazing ability that no one thought they had.
The reality is that people with autism are just as likely to be smart, or less than smart, as everyone else.
Don’t Miss: How Do You Know When A Child Is Autistic