Brief report: The level and nature of autistic intelligence revisited

J Autism Dev Disord. 2009 Apr;39(4):678-82. doi: 10.1007/s10803-008-0667-2. Epub 2008 Dec 4.


Owing to higher performance on the Raven's Progressive Matrices (RPM) than on the Wechsler Intelligence Scales (WIS), it has recently been argued that intelligence is underestimated in autism. This study examined RPM and WIS IQs in 48 individuals with autism, a mixed clinical (n = 28) and a neurotypical (n = 25) control group. Average RPM IQ was higher than WIS IQ only in the autism group, albeit to a much lesser degree than previously reported and only for individuals with WIS IQs <85. Consequently, and given the importance of reliable multidimensional IQ estimates in autism, the WIS are recommended as first choice IQ measure in high functioning individuals. Additional testing with the RPM might be required in the lower end of the spectrum.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Autistic Disorder / diagnosis
  • Autistic Disorder / psychology*
  • Child
  • Cognition*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intelligence Tests* / statistics & numerical data
  • Intelligence*
  • Male
  • Young Adult