Are IQ Tests useful for Autism Children? NO. I don’t think it makes sense to give children with autism intelligence tests. It’s more accurate to say that we should not administrate the same IQ tests for children with autism that are given to typically developing children.
Many things make me angry when I work with people with autism, and one of them is when people treat people with autism as if they are stupid, which is the same as intellectual disability and mental retardation. Using the Wechsler, the most common assessment tool for intelligence tests, most children with autism are classified as intellectually disabled or mentally retarded.
From the test result, between 50 and 70 is classified as mental retardation, and around 80 is often classified as borderline mental retardation. Parents who receive these results feel ‘the end of the world’ as “My child is stupid. Parents scream in despair.
Parents of children diagnosed with an intellectual disability such as autism should listen to me to the heart: don’t believe a single intelligence test result given to your child. You might as well throw the test results in the trash. You can say any doctor who orders an intelligence test for a child with autism doesn’t know what autism is. A clinical psychologist who administrates IQ tests for a child with autism is also likely not to understand the fundamentals of autism.
Autism is a social interaction disorder; It is a social disorder. Intelligence testing is predicated on communication, how well and at what level of situational awareness and information recognition, and how well they can translate that information into behavior. Unfortunately, autistic children have challenges interacting with administrators as required. Their communication is incomplete. They can’t answer questions quickly enough. They process information slower, so their response and expression are slower. They often get lost in their thoughts and can’t respond to questions. Even children with extremely high intelligence often cannot react during the test time. The outcome becomes bad despair. Autism children are treated like idiots despite their high intelligence.
I’ve seen children with nonverbal autism read as soon as they started talking in therapy. I’ve seen a child assessed as intellectually retarded who didn’t know 3+3 understand functions as soon as he could interact. Parents of children with autism who make progress in therapy consistently say. “I had no idea my child knew that much.”
Autism children are never stupid. Intelligence tests are crazy when autistic tendencies remain. If an IQ test says your child is below, don’t believe it. It’s okay to laugh at the results. With the right treatment and intervention, when your child starts interacting and communicating with people, they will show you their intelligence. You’ll find that most children are above average and highly intelligent.