Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

IQ scores fail to predict academic performance in children with autism

18.11.2010
New data show that many children with autism spectrum disorders have greater academic abilities than previously thought. In a study by researchers at the University of Washington, 90 percent of high-functioning children with autism spectrum disorders showed a discrepancy between their IQ score and their performance on reading, spelling and math tests.

"Academic achievement is a potential source of self-worth and source of feeling of mastery that people may not have realized is available to children with autism," said Annette Estes, research assistant professor at the UW's Autism Center.

Improved autism diagnosis and early behavioral interventions have led to more and more children being ranked in the high-functioning range, with average to above average IQs. Up to 70 percent of autistic children are considered high-functioning, though they have significant social communication challenges.

With early interventions that improve social skills and curb problem behaviors, more high-functioning children with autism are able to learn in regular education classrooms. In Estes' study, most of the participants – 22 of 30 – were in regular education classrooms. The study was published online Nov. 2 in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Little is known about how these children actually perform in regular classrooms, which has implications for how to assign support services. Since IQ scores in the general population reliably predict academic performance – as measured by standardized tests for word reading, spelling and basic number skills – Estes and her colleagues thought the same would be true in their sample of 30 high-functioning 9 year olds with autism spectrum disorders.

"What we found was astounding: 27 out of the 30 children – that's 90 percent – had discrepancies between their IQ score and scores on at least one of the academic achievement tests," Estes said. "Some scored higher and some scored lower than what their IQ score would predict."

To the researchers' surprise, 18 of the 30 children tested higher than predicted on at least one of the academic tests. This was especially true for spelling and word reading. Across the three academic tests, 18 of the 30 children scored lower than what their IQs would predict, suggesting a learning disability.

Estes and her co-authors also found a link between social skills and academic ability in school. Specifically, children who had higher social skills at age 6, including introducing themselves to others and a willingness to compromise and cooperate, had better word reading skills at age 9. The children have participated in this study since they were 3 or 4 years old, when they were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders by the staff at the UW's Autism Center.

The study did not look at the students' performance in school, a next step for the researchers. "We need to know if children with autism spectrum disorders who have these higher-than-expected scores are able to demonstrate their abilities in the classroom in terms of grades and other measures of success," Estes said. "This could influence placement in classes that adequately challenge them."

The children who scored below their predicted level may be struggling in certain subjects. "We want to get them the assistance they need to reach their potentials," Estes said.

Co-authors on the study are Geraldine Dawson, former director of the Autism Center and now the chief science officer at Autism Speaks; Vanessa Rivera, former research staff coordinator at the Autism Center and current graduate student at Central Washington University; Matthew Bryan, a UW biostatistics graduate student; and Philip Cali, a graduate research assistant at the Autism Center. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Institute of Mental Health funded the study.

For more information, contact Estes at estesa@uw.edu or 206-543-7326.

Molly McElroy | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uw.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland

19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Not of Divided Mind

19.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Molecule flash mob

19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>