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Callista
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:46 pm    Post subject: Aspie IQ Reply with quote

What's with this thinking that Aspies are smarter?

Re-write of a ridiculously long rambling post I wrote:

Because Asperger's eliminates anyone with cognitive delay, the proportion of the population with the lowest 10% of IQ scores is ineligible. This results in a 2-point increase to the average IQ of the AS population even if IQ and autism are unrelated.

However, I see a lot of talking about Asperger's being associated with high intelligence, and a 2-point increase isn't enough to account for that reputation--whether or not it is actually deserved.

It could be that people on the lower end of the normal range of IQ are more likely to have speech delays. (The IQ test does measure verbal ability.)

Or it could just be that the stereotype of "intelligent Aspie" is causing doctors to diagnose Asperger's in people who seem intelligent, and autism in people who don't seem intelligent. IQ test results can really bias somebody--especially if the result is in the 70-90 range.

And on top of all of that is the difficulty of measuring IQ at all in people with communication difficulty, concentration/memory problems, perseveration, and a lot of other things associated with autism and unrelated or weakly related to intelligence.

Conclusion:
1. Aspies may have higher IQ scores because people with higher IQ scores are diagnosed as Aspies.
2. Someone's performance on an IQ test unduly prejudices the psychology profession--especially since in many cases the test is invalid or misleading.
3. Judging an autistic person by IQ is looking sillier and sillier...

I think this is what happens when you try to apply standardized tests to a diverse group of people.


Here's what I originally wrote, which is too confusing to remain unedited, but which was answered before I edited so will remain for honesty's sake. Copy into text editor to read, if you want to be confused.
I should mention now that "Aspies are smarter" is technically correct even if there's no correlation between autism and intelligence, but the effect is tiny, along the lines of an average increase of 2 points from making the lowest 10% of the population ineligible for an AS diagnosis.

The reason for that particular small effect is that they don't diagnose people with Asperger's unless they score above the 10th-ish percentile or so on an IQ test. That's an IQ score of 80 or so, depending on the test. Generally you would get PDD-NOS, or be slow to speak and end up with autistic disorder on your record. Technically it's quite possible to get an Asperger's diagnosis with a lower score; only you can't have any developmental delay, and that gets more and more unlikely the lower your score, either because your intelligence in the areas the test measures actually is low, or because whatever causes you to have trouble with the test also causes you to have trouble with other stuff.

That cuts out the bottom 10% of the population, some of whom are autistic; so the middle of the Asperger's IQ range should be the same as the 55th percentile for the general population. That raises our average IQ by about one or two points above the neurotypical average. It's not a lot because the middle of the normal distribution is so big compared to the edges. The lowest 10% of the IQs range across 80 points, while the middle 10% have a range of only four points.

Technically, Aspies are smarter than NTs, but the average Aspie isn't going to be much smarter than the average NT.

This might have to be adjusted for the idea that there could be an association between IQ and learning to speak, even among people with scores of 80+, eliminating more of the lower scores by pushing them into an "autistic disorder" or "PDD-NOS" diagnosis.

It could just be that people are diagnosed as Aspies because they appear intelligent to the people who diagnose them. I think that maybe Aspies may have a higher average IQ than 102, simply because of the stereotype, which then becomes self-fulfilling.

That could be hurting people who can't get diagnoses because they don't seem smart enough. And it really divides the spectrum, because in many cases communication and sensory and memory issues can affect IQ scores to the point that they don't even reflect how good you are at the specific activities on the IQ test, much less measure general intelligence. Huge gaps between subtests are really common, for one thing, even among Aspies.

So the lower the IQ score, the more likely it is to be completely bogus thanks to communication and weird-brain issues. And a high one doesn't say a thing about how well you get along in the world.

And yet it's considered to be so important that it's some kind of defining feature for Aspies, right there in the diagnostic criteria. You could have the exact same traits as somebody else, and the only difference between how you get diagnosed is your score on a test that's unreliable for autistics in the first place.

Really confusing. I think this is what happens when you try to apply standardized tests to a diverse group of people.

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Last edited by Callista on Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:01 am; edited 3 times in total
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BelindatheNobody
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never had my IQ tested.

And I've actually have always thought I was stupid, compared to most people...
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Danielismyname
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check out your local "American Textbook of Psychiatry" (or whatever it is called), and it'll tell you the average IQ for children with Asperger's is 80 or so. That's nothing special, and it's below-average.

I think it arises from countries like the UK which diagnose people based on IQ in many cases, i.e., over 100 equates to AS, 75 to 100 equates to HFA, and so on.

AS just means "normal" intelligence in most cases, and people add "above-average" for it's technically possible. It's also technically possible for "normal" people to have an above-average IQ.
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brankmonkey1
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My IQ was 64 very first one then it increased to 84 then to 99 or so? does that quailify as aspie? or kanners or what? language delays and speech.. delays/omissions
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Callista
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be honest, the entire spectrum seems more blobby and indeterminate every day. I mean, sure, "significant speech delay" means Autistic Disorder instead of Asperger's, but what's "significant"? BTW, assuming you tried your best, an increase in 30 points probably means the original results weren't valid measures of what you were actually capable of... or else you had a really weird developmental schedule, in which case IQ tests in general aren't really valid for you, because they're standardized and you're not! 99 is right in the middle, in case you're wondering.

Danielismyname wrote:
Check out your local "American Textbook of Psychiatry" (or whatever it is called), and it'll tell you the average IQ for children with Asperger's is 80 or so. That's nothing special, and it's below-average.

I think it arises from countries like the UK which diagnose people based on IQ in many cases, i.e., over 100 equates to AS, 75 to 100 equates to HFA, and so on.

AS just means "normal" intelligence in most cases, and people add "above-average" for it's technically possible. It's also technically possible for "normal" people to have an above-average IQ.
I have not found a single source that says this. There is no "American Textbook of Psychiatry", nor do I have any idea what you are referring to, unless you are talking about the DSM-IV, which stipulates no delay in cognitive development and thus an IQ of at least 71. Generally it is also difficult to avoid a speech delay with autism and an IQ of 70-80, so that most of the people in this "borderline" group fall into the Autism diagnostic category.

I have no idea why you think the average is 80... that is a very odd notion, even if you were to consider the entire spectrum. Asperger's is something like three or four times as common as classic autism, so even if you assumed that classic autism has an average IQ of only 50, that would still put the total average above 80. And then you have to assume that testing the IQ of someone with iffy communication ability will actually net you a valid score...
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Danielismyname
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry. It's there, under Asperger's Disorder. 80 is what most with Asperger's Disorder score as children according to such.

I had the speech delay, and also the social aloofness (see: Autistic Disorder), but my IQ tested "high" when I couldn't read/write due to cognitive problems--funny no?
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Callista
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's not a free resource, so I can't access it... not on my income, anyway.

Here's the only link I was able to find that discussed average IQ of Asperger's. The study it mentions has a sample size of only 40, unfortunately. It showed an average IQ of 102, as I'd expect. However, the study was apparently published in 1997, which is too long ago for my taste.

Link here.

Somebody else apparently published a book with a half dozen studies in it, where AS/HFA people had their IQs measured. All but one of the studies said "normal" for full-scale and a couple said low-normal performance subscores, the exception being a study with only 14 participants that came up with bright-normal or gifted. All of those studies were old, too, though.

Link here.

This one's from 2000. It had 20 Aspie children with an average IQ of 99.something. I found it interesting because it explicitly describes the selection procedure--including the exclusion of anyone who scored below a 70 on an IQ test.

Link here.

Ick. Not good enough data; it's all so old. Can somebody else do better?
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BelindatheNobody wrote:
I've never had my IQ tested.

And I've actually have always thought I was stupid, compared to most people...


Aww, before my IQ test I thought I'd score a 12. I don't feel as smart as some people too.
I scored over 90. The psychologist didn't give me an exact score, so I don't know if it was a 95, 102, or 130.
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Barce
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At 10 i got 93. Apparently i got something like 130+ for something related to spelling. I wish my mum didn't have to hide the documents from me. Mad
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did an online test and got 117. Rather surprising because a lot of the questions had to do with math and I've always been hopeless at math. I know online tests aren't reliable.
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peterd
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not just online tests that are unreliable. Any test measures specific skills. IQ tests commonly test a range of skills and provide an averaged score.

Aspergers can affect development in a great variety of ways - some of them encourage mental skill development, some get in the way. The two concepts just aren't related.

Some aspergers sufferers get savant abilities as a sweetener on the deal. Whether that helps or not - well, the juries out and likely to remain so.
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2ukenkerl
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Danielismyname wrote:
Check out your local "American Textbook of Psychiatry" (or whatever it is called), and it'll tell you the average IQ for children with Asperger's is 80 or so. That's nothing special, and it's below-average.

I think it arises from countries like the UK which diagnose people based on IQ in many cases, i.e., over 100 equates to AS, 75 to 100 equates to HFA, and so on.

AS just means "normal" intelligence in most cases, and people add "above-average" for it's technically possible. It's also technically possible for "normal" people to have an above-average IQ.


So you are saying that almost every person with AS has an IQ of 70 to perhaps 75? INCREDIBLE! I mean it couldn't be to much higher than 75, or you couldn't account for the ones that score HIGH. If less than 10% had an IQ of 100 or over, and ALL the rest had an IQ of 70, the average would be 80 or HIGHER. Of course, the worse the person is, and the earlier they have problems, the more likely it is that they will be diagnosed. That skews things towards the worst.
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Sora
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:26 am    Post subject: Re: Aspie IQ Reply with quote

Callista wrote:

3. Judging an autistic person by IQ is looking sillier and sillier...


You know, I think it could be added that judging anything based solely on a high IQ score is silly.

I think that is something that people beyond ASDs always seem to forget. Even in my school they thought that gifted equals high achievement. Most people don't consider that those with the same IQ score (on the same test) can have totally difefrent levels of achievement - one a high-achiever and one an underachiever.


Callista wrote:
I mean, sure, "significant speech delay" means Autistic Disorder instead of Asperger's, but what's "significant"?


Actually, that is something both ICD-10 and DSM-IV-TR explain. Single words by age 2, use of communicative phrases by age 3. Beyond this delay, seeing how most children speak single words at age 1 and use phrases at age 2, it's a significant delay that means AS is out of question.

But there are loopholes all the same.

I at least remember thinking about how there are loopholes, but now I forgot. I'll post later if I can remember...
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what I recall reading about people with high IQs, they tend to have some of the same traits as those with Asperger's. If that's so, then it wouldn't surprise me if there's an association between intelligence and autistic (including aspie) traits.

My thinking is that low IQ scores for those with autism or Asperger's come from communication issues or from a narrow range of interest, rather than a general lack of mental abilities.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

in australia, no child is allowed to be told their IQ score. i had rather a lot of tests where i was interrupted and taken out of class and they took me to rooms where people would give me IQ tests.
i was never told the scores.
online iq tests are stupid as they always tantalize you with exaggerated scores i believe.
the questions are interesting enough, but the scoring is very generous.
i think it is because they also sell $20 detailed reports on your "high" score.
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