aren't retarded people the opposite of autistic people?

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Verdandi
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17 Feb 2012, 10:45 pm

Dillogic wrote:
Too bad a good portion of those with autism are mentally retarded (used to be most, now it's probably half).


Not empirically confirmed. At best you can say that a good portion of autistic people do badly on IQ tests. If you provide IQ tests that don't require verbal comprehension (such as Raven's Progressive Matrices) the scores fit a more typical curve.



Dillogic
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17 Feb 2012, 11:56 pm

Verdandi wrote:
Not empirically confirmed. At best you can say that a good portion of autistic people do badly on IQ tests. If you provide IQ tests that don't require verbal comprehension (such as Raven's Progressive Matrices) the scores fit a more typical curve.


Doing badly at IQ tests is actually the definition of mental retardation (verbal + performance + math). Raven's just measures the performance part. If they do well on performance IQ, they'll still be mentally retarded and require help with verbal stuff (which most of schooling is). Whilst it sounds all nice and fuzzy, a specific test for a specific type of intelligence is only that.

So, we're back to about half or so with mental retardation.



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18 Feb 2012, 12:30 am

Doing bad at IQ tests, plus difficulties in everyday life--adaptive skills delays, like you learned to dress yourself late, or had to be prompted through a shower until you were twelve, or couldn't clean your room 'til you were sixteen. You can have adaptive skills delays without having problems with IQ tests, of course.

The assumption that comes with an IQ test, though, is that the test is valid for the group of people you are using it to test. In this case, with autistic people, I don't think the test is valid because it is based on the idea that everyone follows a more-or-less NT developmental pattern, either more slowly or more quickly. Autistic people don't do that, though. We jump around, lag behind on some things, skip ahead in others. Using an IQ test to measure the cognitive ability of an autistic person is like using a tape measure to weigh a baby. It just isn't the right measuring instrument for the task. In fact, for autistic people, I don't think there is such a thing as a measure of intelligence. IQ tests are doubtful measures even for NTs, whose skills cluster roughly in the same patterns from person to person, but with significant variations. When you try to use those tests to measure autistic intelligence, those clusters vanish and you get points scattered all over the place--with enough scatter that I think it should really invalidate the tests completely.

I am not saying that autistic people don't have the same pattern of problems in school/problems with adaptive skills that people with mental retardation do. Of course, we do. I have the adaptive skills problems, and lagged behind in math until the fifth grade; and that means I have lots in common with people who have MR even without a low IQ score. That might seem odd, but it has a very practical consequence: Some of the same things that help people with MR, will help me, and will help other autistics who are not considered "mentally retarded". For example, I benefited from someone helping me learn how to use a bus. I've used assisted transport. I've taken advantage of job placement services. I use some of the same simplifying strategies used by independent adults with MR, like using lists, posting schedules, and having reminders. And I've encountered some of the same problems.

Autism and MR are very different, of course. We have different challenges even when they do overlap--autism/MR combination is different from either one alone (it's difficult to determine when this combination is present, like I said, but there are some cases where things like Down syndrome co-exist with autism, which you know causes MR by itself). But the similarities are there and they are worth taking note of, because it means we can join together and ask for the same things, because those same things will allow us all to join our society more fully, to find our places in it rather than orbiting around it like wobbly satellites.


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18 Feb 2012, 1:36 am

Dillogic wrote:
Verdandi wrote:
Not empirically confirmed. At best you can say that a good portion of autistic people do badly on IQ tests. If you provide IQ tests that don't require verbal comprehension (such as Raven's Progressive Matrices) the scores fit a more typical curve.


Doing badly at IQ tests is actually the definition of mental retardation (verbal + performance + math). Raven's just measures the performance part. If they do well on performance IQ, they'll still be mentally retarded and require help with verbal stuff (which most of schooling is). Whilst it sounds all nice and fuzzy, a specific test for a specific type of intelligence is only that.

So, we're back to about half or so with mental retardation.


Latest available Government figures reported below, using traditional IQ testing methods.

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html

Quote:
•A report published by CDC in 2009, shows that 30-51% (41% on average) of the children who had an ASD also had an Intellectual Disability (intelligence quotient <=70). [Read article]


Image

Borderline, considered at IQ levels 70 to 85, looks to be at about 60 to 65%.

Average and above IQ, considered at above 85, looks to be about 35 to 40%, per data from the graph.

This data, is from the same government study that the statistics reported for the 1 in 110 figure for ASD's, is derived from.



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18 Feb 2012, 2:37 am

Dillogic wrote:
Verdandi wrote:
Not empirically confirmed. At best you can say that a good portion of autistic people do badly on IQ tests. If you provide IQ tests that don't require verbal comprehension (such as Raven's Progressive Matrices) the scores fit a more typical curve.


Doing badly at IQ tests is actually the definition of mental retardation (verbal + performance + math). Raven's just measures the performance part. If they do well on performance IQ, they'll still be mentally retarded and require help with verbal stuff (which most of schooling is). Whilst it sounds all nice and fuzzy*, a specific test for a specific type of intelligence is only that.

So, we're back to about half or so with mental retardation.


I think you misunderstood what I was saying. One of the core features of autism is difficulty with language and communication, which means that the answers to questions that rely upon language and communications are likely to be wrong, even if the autistic person would be able to correctly answer if they understood the question. This isn't about being nice and fuzzy, this is about understanding the science, or rather lack of science behind the claim that half of autistic people have mental retardation. That is to say that autism itself can interfere with the ability to take an IQ test.

http://foa.sagepub.com/content/21/2/66.abstract

Quote:
There are frequent claims in the literature that a majority of children With autism are mentally retarded (MR). The present study examined the evidence used as the basis for these claims, revieWing 215 articles published betWeen 1937 and 2003. Results indicated 74% of the claims came from nonempirical sources, 53% of Which never traced back to empirical data. Most empirical evidence for the claims Was published 25 to 45 years ago and Was often obtained utilizing developmental or adaptive scales rather than measures of intelligence. Furthermore, significantly higher prevalence rates of MR Were reported When these measures Were used. Overall, the findings indicate that more empirical evidence is needed before conclusions can be made about the percentages of children With autism Who are mentally retarded.


The full text is free:

http://foa.sagepub.com/content/21/2/66.full.pdf+html

While epidemiological studies found approximately 40-55% of autistic children had intellectual disabilities, empirical studies in which appropriate measures were taken to account for the difficulties autism causes, an even lower percentage of autistic children scored as intellectually disabled. In other words, just giving an autistic child an IQ test is unlikely to produce an accurate result because autism interferes with input and output, without also interfering with intelligence.

In other words, the science doesn't really agree with your position that scoring low on an IQ test means that an autistic child is necessarily intellectually disabled. There is very little current empirical validated data as to what percentage of autistic children actually have intellectual disabilities.

This is one of the problems with research into autism, when so many things are taken at face value and misunderstood, even when the researchers know - in theory - that autistic impairments can easily skew the results and even cause the apparent meaning to differ from actual meaning by a significant margin.

Regarding aghogday's cited numbers, if they were tested conventionally, the results are rather dubious.

Also, I believe that Hans Asperger found that his patients scored a relatively normal IQ curve when he accounted for their communication and linguistic impairments. They tended to score lower when he did not.

* I am not, as a typical rule, "nice and fuzzy." Not without effort, at any rate. I am concerned with factual accuracy, which is why I responded in the first place.



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18 Feb 2012, 3:27 am

I know exactly what you mean.

However, no one can say that the verbal difficulties are any different than the verbal difficulties in people without an ASD who score in the mentally retarded range. People with just intellectual difficulties may not understand the question either (the reason doesn't matter much when the end is the same).

Callista,

Apart from severity, people who have an ASD with intellectual impairment tend to behave like anyone else with an ASD. Meaning, totally different than people who just have an intellectual impairment.



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18 Feb 2012, 4:55 am

Verdandi wrote:
Dillogic wrote:
Verdandi wrote:
Not empirically confirmed. At best you can say that a good portion of autistic people do badly on IQ tests. If you provide IQ tests that don't require verbal comprehension (such as Raven's Progressive Matrices) the scores fit a more typical curve.


Doing badly at IQ tests is actually the definition of mental retardation (verbal + performance + math). Raven's just measures the performance part. If they do well on performance IQ, they'll still be mentally retarded and require help with verbal stuff (which most of schooling is). Whilst it sounds all nice and fuzzy*, a specific test for a specific type of intelligence is only that.

So, we're back to about half or so with mental retardation.


I think you misunderstood what I was saying. One of the core features of autism is difficulty with language and communication, which means that the answers to questions that rely upon language and communications are likely to be wrong, even if the autistic person would be able to correctly answer if they understood the question. This isn't about being nice and fuzzy, this is about understanding the science, or rather lack of science behind the claim that half of autistic people have mental retardation. That is to say that autism itself can interfere with the ability to take an IQ test.

http://foa.sagepub.com/content/21/2/66.abstract

Quote:
There are frequent claims in the literature that a majority of children With autism are mentally retarded (MR). The present study examined the evidence used as the basis for these claims, revieWing 215 articles published betWeen 1937 and 2003. Results indicated 74% of the claims came from nonempirical sources, 53% of Which never traced back to empirical data. Most empirical evidence for the claims Was published 25 to 45 years ago and Was often obtained utilizing developmental or adaptive scales rather than measures of intelligence. Furthermore, significantly higher prevalence rates of MR Were reported When these measures Were used. Overall, the findings indicate that more empirical evidence is needed before conclusions can be made about the percentages of children With autism Who are mentally retarded.


The full text is free:

http://foa.sagepub.com/content/21/2/66.full.pdf+html

While epidemiological studies found approximately 40-55% of autistic children had intellectual disabilities, empirical studies in which appropriate measures were taken to account for the difficulties autism causes, an even lower percentage of autistic children scored as intellectually disabled. In other words, just giving an autistic child an IQ test is unlikely to produce an accurate result because autism interferes with input and output, without also interfering with intelligence.

In other words, the science doesn't really agree with your position that scoring low on an IQ test means that an autistic child is necessarily intellectually disabled. There is very little current empirical validated data as to what percentage of autistic children actually have intellectual disabilities.

This is one of the problems with research into autism, when so many things are taken at face value and misunderstood, even when the researchers know - in theory - that autistic impairments can easily skew the results and even cause the apparent meaning to differ from actual meaning by a significant margin.

Regarding aghogday's cited numbers, if they were tested conventionally, the results are rather dubious.

Also, I believe that Hans Asperger found that his patients scored a relatively normal IQ curve when he accounted for their communication and linguistic impairments. They tended to score lower when he did not.

* I am not, as a typical rule, "nice and fuzzy." Not without effort, at any rate. I am concerned with factual accuracy, which is why I responded in the first place.


The article you cited, was from 2006. The data I provided was from the same huge peer reviewed study that the government gets it's 1 in 110, statistics from for Autism, in 2009.

It is definitely from an empirically validated source. There is a link to the full study, from the CDC link I provided, where it notes "related article."

The testing of individuals with Aspergers has been challenged by traditional IQ testing methods, but in the most recent study done by Michelle Dawson and her associates, it is reported there is not a significant difference between testing individuals other than those with Aspergers, with traditional IQ testing methods. The study calls for Raven Matrices methods only for individuals diagnosed with Aspergers.

By default, all the individuals studied, in the government statistics diagnosed with Aspergers were among those measured with average or above IQ's, so the addition of Raven matrices testing for individuals with Aspergers, would have made no difference in the Government figures, for the percentage of individuals with lower than average IQ's.

They aren't going to go to the trouble to change the IQ testing methods, if the IQ testing methods, don't provide a significantly different result for individuals who aren't diagnosed with Aspergers. Per the most recent study, there is no basis for it.


http://psychcentral.com/news/2011/10/03/iq-testing-underestimates-asperger-autism-intelligence/29999.html

Quote:
A new study finds that traditional intelligence testing may be underestimating the capabilities of individuals displaying an autism spectrum disorder.

Traditionally, autism spectrum disorders, including Asperger’s syndrome, have generally been associated with uneven intellectual profiles and impairment.

However, a new study of Asperger individuals published in the online journal PLoS ONE, suggests specialized testing are needed for this special population.

Researchers discovered Asperger’s individuals’ scores are much higher when they are evaluated by a test called Raven’s Progressive Matrices, which encompasses reasoning, novel problem-solving abilities, and high-level abstraction.

By comparison, scores for non-Asperger’s individuals are much more consistent across different tests. Interestingly, Asperger participants’ performance on Raven’s Matrices was associated with their strongest peaks of performance on the traditional Wechsler.

A previous study by the same group found very similar results for autistic individuals as well, whose peaks of ability are perceptual, rather than verbal as in Asperger individuals.



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18 Feb 2012, 9:47 am

aghogday,

The study you cited from the CDC continues to propagate the same errors that the 2006 paper called out in pointing out that such high intellectual disability rates in the autistic population have not been empirically validated. When the method used to get the scores is the problem that is criticized, using that method to test autistic children doesn't mean you're getting empirical data that demonstrates anything more than the fact that IQ tests are (unintentionally) written in such a manner as to emphasize autistic weaknesses.

Also, Michele Dawson participated in two studies involving IQ testing of autistic children - the first one was for those diagnosed with autism. The second one, the one you refer to, determined that people diagnosed with AS show a pattern similar to that demonstrated by those diagnosed with autism. From the article you linked:

Quote:
Researchers discovered Asperger’s individuals’ scores are much higher when they are evaluated by a test called Raven’s Progressive Matrices, which encompasses reasoning, novel problem-solving abilities, and high-level abstraction.

By comparison, scores for non-Asperger’s individuals are much more consistent across different tests. Interestingly, Asperger participants’ performance on Raven’s Matrices was associated with their strongest peaks of performance on the traditional Wechsler.

A previous study by the same group found very similar results for autistic individuals as well, whose peaks of ability are perceptual, rather than verbal as in Asperger individuals.

This observation suggests that individuals with autism spectrum disorders have a common information processing mechanism for different aspects of information (verbal vs. perceptual).

According to co-author Michelle Dawson, “while we know autistics process information atypically, very little thought has gone into how to fairly assess their abilities. In fact, there is so little understanding of what autistics do well that their strong abilities are often regarded as dysfunctional.


When the article says "non-Asperger's individuals" they don't mean autistic. They mean neurotypical controls.



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18 Feb 2012, 9:49 am

Also, this article goes into more detail:

http://www.autismtoday.com/articles/Hid ... .asp?cat=1

Quote:
Volunteers completed an age-appropriate IQ test and a Raven's Progressive Matrices test. The latter test includes 60 items, each consisting of a series of related geometric designs and a choice of six or eight alternative designs, one of which completes the series.

The nonautistic children and adults scored slightly above the population average on both tests.

In contrast, autistic kids and adults scored far higher on the Raven's test than they did on the IQ tests. These youngsters' average IQ was substantially below the population average, but their average score on the Raven's test was in the normal range.

One-third of autistic children qualified as "low functioning" by IQ, but only 5 percent did so by Raven's scores. Moreover, another third of the autistic children achieved "high intelligence" on the Raven's test.



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18 Feb 2012, 10:46 am

felinesaresuperior wrote:
we have a higher intelligence level and they have a lower one.


That's not always true- my son is autistic and has an iQ of 80 (tested at age 7 and verified again at 19). He is brilliant in his special interests but has a hard time understanding written language.


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18 Feb 2012, 1:27 pm

MrXxx wrote:
Ganondox wrote:
The opposite of retarded is genius. The opposite of autistic is... probably nothing.


Wilson's syndrome is the closest to opposite you'll ever see. It isn't really opposite though. So, yeah, nothing really is.

It's like trying to come up with the answer to "What is the opposite of the sky?"
The ground.



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18 Feb 2012, 4:02 pm

Again, Raven’s Matrices is only testing one type of intelligence. It has been known for a long time that those with autism tend to have a higher performance IQ than a verbal one.

If your overall IQ is below the threshold for mental retardation, you're still mentally retarded. You'll need help with the things that push you down below that level in schooling. That's the purpose of it all, which is telling others the help one needs.



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18 Feb 2012, 4:50 pm

SyphonFilter wrote:
MrXxx wrote:
Ganondox wrote:
The opposite of retarded is genius. The opposite of autistic is... probably nothing.


Wilson's syndrome is the closest to opposite you'll ever see. It isn't really opposite though. So, yeah, nothing really is.

It's like trying to come up with the answer to "What is the opposite of the sky?"
The ground.


How is that the opposite? One is "up" and the other is "down?" That doesn't make them opposites. It makes their relative positions opposite. :P

If "the sky" doesn't do it for you, how about, "What is the opposite of "sand?" Sure, you could come up with a creative answer, but the truth is for most things there is no true opposite.


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18 Feb 2012, 5:42 pm

There are a number of reasons for scoring below average or scoring below the percentile associated with mental retardation that - oddly - don't lead to an individual being recognised as having a low IQ. That's the one thing that irks me... well, not really, I'm used to it by working with special ed kids but most people don't seem to consider this when it comes to them.

For some reason, the failure to meet standard requirements for IQ testing due to other impairments such as temporary illness or injury, physical disability or whatever physiological impairments such as blindness are not generally interpreted to mean the individual is meeting the IQ requirement for mental retardation.

Odd, because I can't see why me missing out 30 points on one IQ test due to autism and bad management on the professionals' part to meet my special needs is totally different than another person messing up on one IQ test due to their hearing impairment and bad management to meet special needs on the professionals' part.

Now, if my IQ tests had been used as a tool to raise the question whether I needed adjustments unrelated to the actual process of testing, that would have made sense. Alas, the psychologist conducting the test for his colleague just insisted that was my "real IQ" because an IQ test tests for IQ and that's that, no? It's not so bad because the results of that test have no use for me but if this had been my only test and if it had been used for elaborate diagnostic processes or to determine anything important the whole issue might have presented as quite problematic.

Basically, testing autistic people can turn out like testing normal children for giftedness in the late afternoon after school and after almost two hours of sports club. Most kids get significantly "dumber" with growing exhaustion but it's still an accurate score for some. Not so much for other professionals who insist their patients are relatively healthy and as fit as they usually are for the test.

Spraining your wrist or forgetting our glasses at home right before you are to take an annoying pen-and-paper IQ test or just a test for perception speed or even one to measure your attention and discrimination ability is a sure way to get a low but legit score. In the case of autism and overall special needs children and adults, we're talking about silly details such as these affecting most standardised diagnostic IQ tests (in Germany... in case the US is totally different in terms of conducting IQ tests for people not just with ASDs but with all kinds of disabilities and disorders).


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18 Feb 2012, 5:51 pm

Callista wrote:
.

I am not saying that autistic people don't have the same pattern of problems in school/problems with adaptive skills that people with mental retardation do. Of course, we do.


Excuse me, but I do not have these problems. There is no "of course we do". We have our own problems, they have their own problems, we are not just retards who tend to score higher on certain IQ tests.


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18 Feb 2012, 11:04 pm

Ganondox wrote:
Callista wrote:
.

I am not saying that autistic people don't have the same pattern of problems in school/problems with adaptive skills that people with mental retardation do. Of course, we do.


Excuse me, but I do not have these problems. There is no "of course we do". We have our own problems, they have their own problems, we are not just retards who tend to score higher on certain IQ tests.


A lot of us do have many similar or overlapping problems. There's a functioning scale (not GAF) that actually identifies that a lot of autistic people tend to have self-care scores that are well below their tested IQ, and have challenges that are often quite comparable to people who are intellectually disabled.