A study of intellectual abilities in high-functioning people with autism

J Autism Dev Disord. 1988 Dec;18(4):505-24. doi: 10.1007/BF02211870.


This research extends previous research regarding the intellectual functioning of autistic individuals on standardized measures of intelligence (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised). In Study I 33 individuals with autism who closely fit the DSM-III criteria were studied. Clear evidence was found that differentiates these individuals' verbal intellectual processes from their visual-motor intellectual abilities. Principal components analysis was used to examine the interrelationship among the various intellectual abilities which such tests of intelligence measure. In Study II the intellectual abilities of a group of autistic 8- to 12-year-olds were compared to age-matched groups of children with receptive developmental language disorder, dysthymic disorder, or oppositional disorder. The intellectual abilities of autistic children were significantly different from the other groups of children.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Autistic Disorder / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Humans
  • Intelligence*
  • Language Development Disorders / psychology
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Verbal Behavior
  • Wechsler Scales