Intellectual Development in Autism Spectrum Disorder

19

Abstract

The article presents an overview of the current understanding of the intellectual development of children and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A review of research indicates a wide heterogeneity in the levels of intellectual development in autism (from severe intellectual disability to giftedness) and demonstrates a lack of specific cognitive and intellectual profiles. The assessment of "strengths" and "weaknesses" of individual cognitive abilities and/or subtests of the measures comes to the fore. At the same time, the incidence of ASD and intellectual disability is higher than in the general population (33% to 70% in the studies reported in this article), indicating that these conditions are comorbid. These rates vary according to the methodological design of the studies, especially the type of data used (administrative, medical, educational, etc.) and the instruments used to assess intellectual ability. For example, Wechsler tests may underestimate scores in children and adults with ASD because of the large number of verbal instructions that are difficult for people with severe communication difficulties. Comprehensive nonverbal intelligence tests (e.g., Leiter-3 or UNIT-2) are the most appropriate methods. Assessing the level of intellectual ability in people with autism spectrum disorders in Russia is complicated by the existing deficit of methods, the elimination of which is an important task that researchers face.

General Information

Keywords: autism, autism spectrum disorder, ASD, intellectual disability, intelligence, IQ

Journal rubric: Psychology of Special and Inclusive Education

Article type: review article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/jmfp.2024130106

Funding. This work is supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation (Agreement 075-10-2021-093, Project COG-RND-2105).

Received: 31.01.2024

Accepted:

For citation: Romanova R.S., Talantseva O.I. Intellectual Development in Autism Spectrum Disorder [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sovremennaia zarubezhnaia psikhologiia = Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology, 2024. Vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 69–77. DOI: 10.17759/jmfp.2024130106. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)

References

  1. Bazyltchik S.V. Prigodnost' rusifitsirovannykh versii detskogo testa Vekslera (WISC) dlya diagnostiki umstvennoi otstalosti [Applicability of russian version of the children's test Wechsler (WISC) for the diagnosis of mental retardation] [Electronic resourse]. Psikhiatriya, psikhoterapiya i klinicheskaya psikhologiya = Psychiatry psychotherapy and clinical psychology, 2016. Vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 156—164. URL: https://www.elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=26140287 (Accessed 19.03.2024). (In Russ.).
  2. Portnovoi A., Ustinovoi N., Kisel'nikovoi L. (eds.), Rebenok s autizmom na psikhologicheskom diagnosticheskom testirovanii [A child with autism on psychological diagnostic testing] [Electronic resourse]. Moscow: Assotsiatsiya psikhiatrov i psikhologov za nauchno obosnovannuyu praktiku, 2020. 26 p. URL: http://docs.autism.help/pdf/doctor05/doctor05.pdf (Accessed 19.03.2024). (In Russ.).
  3. Bodner K.E., Williams D.L., Engelhardt C.R., Minshew N.J. A comparison of measures for assessing the level and nature of intelligence in verbal children and adults with autism spectrum disorder. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 2014. Vol. 8, no. 11, pp. 1434—1442. DOI:10.1016/j.rasd.2014.07.015
  4. Baron-Cohen S. Theory of mind in normal development and autism [Electronic resourse]. Prisme, 2001. Vol. 34, pp. 174—183. URL: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/238603356_Theory_of_Mind_in_normal_development_and_autism (Accessed 19.03.2024).
  5. Orm S., Andersen P.N., Fossum I.N., Øie M.G., Skogli E.W. Brief report: Autism spectrum disorder diagnostic persistence in a 10-year longitudinal study. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 2022. Vol. 97, article ID 102007. 6 p. DOI:10.1016/j.rasd.2022.102007
  6. Black D.O., Wallace G.L., Sokoloff J.L., Kenworthy L. Brief report: IQ split predicts social symptoms and communication abilities in high-functioning children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 2009. Vol. 39, pp. 1613—1619. DOI:10.1007/s10803-009-0795-3
  7. Banach R., Thompson A., Szatmari P., Goldberg J., Tuff L., Zwaigenbaum L., Mahoney W. Brief report: Relationship between non-verbal IQ and gender in autism. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 2009. Vol. 39, pp. 188—193. DOI:10.1007/s10803-008-0612-4
  8. Carlsson H.L., Norrelgen F., Kjellmer L., Westerlund J., Gillberg C., Fernell E. Coexisting disorders and problems in preschool children with autism spectrum disorders. The Scientific World Journal, 2013. Article ID 213979. 7 p. DOI:10.1155/2013/213979
  9. Howlin P., Savage S., Moss P., Tempier A., Rutter M. Cognitive and language skills in adults with autism: a 40‐year follow‐up. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 2014. Vol. 55, no. 1, pp. 49—58. DOI:10.1111/jcpp.12115
  10. Tager-Flusberg H., Skwerer D.P., Joseph R.M., Brukilacchio B., Decker J., Eggleston B., Meyer S., Yoder A. Conducting research with minimally verbal participants with autism spectrum disorder. Autism, 2017. Vol. 21, no. 7, pp. 852—861. DOI:10.1177/1362361316654605
  11. The American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. Washington: The American Psychiatric Association, 2013. 1142 p. DOI:10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596
  12. Grondhuis S.N., Lecavalier L., Arnold L.E., Handend B.L., Scahill L., McDougle C.J., Aman M.G. Differences in verbal and nonverbal IQ test scores in children with autism spectrum disorder. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 2018. Vol. 49, pp. 47—55. DOI:10.1016/j.rasd.2018.02.001
  13. Williams D.L., Goldstein G., Kojkowski N., Minshew N.J. Do individuals with high functioning autism have the IQ profile associated with nonverbal learning disability? Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 2008. Vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 353—361. DOI:10.1016/j.rasd.2007.08.005
  14. Nader A.M., Courchesne V., Dawson M., Soulières I. Does WISC-IV underestimate the intelligence of autistic children? Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 2016. Vol. 46, pp. 1582—1589. DOI:10.1007/s10803-014-2270-z
  15. Munson J., Dawson G., Sterling L. et al. Evidence for latent classes of IQ in young children with autism spectrum disorder. American Journal on Mental Retardation, 2008. Vol. 113, no. 6, pp. 439—452. DOI:10.1352/2008.113:439-452
  16. Brunsdon V.E.A., Colvert E., Ames C. et al. Exploring the cognitive features in children with autism spectrum disorder, their co‐twins, and typically developing children within a population‐based sample. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 2015. Vol. 56, no. 8, pp. 893—902. DOI:10.1111/jcpp.12362
  17. Fombonne E. Epidemiology of autistic disorder and other pervasive developmental disorders [Electronic resourse]. Journal of clinical psychiatry, 2005. Vol. 66, no. 10, pp. 3—8. URL: https://www.psychiatrist.com/jcp/epidemiology-autistic-disorder-pervasive-developmental/ (Accessed 19.03.2024).
  18. Geurts H.M., Corbett B., Solomon M. The paradox of cognitive flexibility in autism. Trends in cognitive sciences, 2009. Vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 74—82. DOI:10.1016/j.tics.2008.11.006
  19. Ghaziuddin M., Mountain-Kimchi K. Defining the intellectual profile of Asperger syndrome: Comparison with high-functioning autism. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 2004. Vol. 34, no. 3, pp. 279—284. DOI:10.1023/b:jadd.0000029550.19098.77
  20. Gignac G.E. Raven's is not a pure measure of general intelligence: Implications for g factor theory and the brief measurement of g. Intelligence, 2015. Vol. 52, pp. 71—79. DOI:10.1016/j.intell.2015.07.006
  21. McCallum R.S. (ed.). Handbook of nonverbal assessment. New York: Springer, 2003. 320 p. DOI:10.1007/978-1-4615-0153-4
  22. World Healts Organization. ICD-11. International Classification of Diseases 11th Revis [Electronic resourse]. URL: https://icd.who.int (Accessed 19.03.2024).
  23. Katusic M.Z., Myers S.M., Weaver A.L., Voigt R.G. IQ in autism spectrum disorder: a population-based birth cohort study. Pediatrics, 2021. Vol. 148, no 6, article ID e2020049899. 9 p. DOI:10.1542/peds.2020-049899
  24. Solomon M., Cho A.C., Iosif A.M., Heath B., Srivastav A., Wu Nordahl C., Ferrer E., Amaral D. IQ trajectories in autistic children through preadolescence. JCPP Advances, 2023. Vol. 3, no. 1, article ID e12127. 10 p. DOI:10.1002/jcv2.12127
  25. Joseph R.M., Tager‐Flusberg H., Lord C. Cognitive profiles and social‐communicative functioning in children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 2002. Vol. 43, no. 6, pp. 807—821. DOI:10.1111/1469-7610.00092
  26. Keehn B., Müller R.A., Townsend J. Atypical attentional networks and the emergence of autism. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 2013. Vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 164—183. DOI:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2012.11.014
  27. Kirkovski M., Enticott P.G., Fitzgerald P.B. A review of the role of female gender in autism spectrum disorders. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 2013. Vol. 43, pp. 2584—2603. DOI:10.1007/s10803-013-1811-1
  28. Klinger L.G., Klinger M.R., Pohlig R.L. Implicit learning impairments in autism spectrum disorders [Electronic resourse]. In Pérez J.M., González P.M., Llorente Comí M., Nieto C. (eds.), New developments in autism: The future is today. London—Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2007, pp. 76—103. URL: https://books.google.co.ug/books?id=yLw6NIBQlCgC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_vpt_read#v=onepage&q&f=false (Accessed 19.03.2024).
  29. Giunti Psychometrics. Leiter-3 — mezhdunarodnye shkaly produktivnosti [Leiter-3 — international productivity cabinets] [Electronic resourse]. Giunti Psychometrics Rus. Moscow, 2022. URL: https://giuntipsy.ru/product/leiter-3-mezhdunarodnye-shkaly-produktivnosti (Accessed 19.03.2024). (In Russ.).
  30. Lincoln A., Hanzel E., Quirmbach L. Assessing intellectual abilities of children and adolescents with autism and related disorders. In Smith S.R., Handler L. (eds.), The Clinical Assessment of Children and Adolescents. New York: Routledge, 2014, pp. 527—544. DOI:10.4324/9781315831473
  31. Prigge M.B.D., Bigler E.D., Lange N. et al. Longitudinal stability of intellectual functioning in autism spectrum disorder: From age 3 through mid-adulthood. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 2021. Vol. 52, pp. 4490—4504. DOI:10.1007/s10803-021-05227-x
  32. Mandy W., Murin M., Skuse D. The cognitive profile in autism spectrum disorders. In Leboyer M., Chaste P. (eds.), Autism spectrum disorders: Phenotypes, Mechanisms and Treatments. Basel: Karger Publishers, 2015. Vol. 180, pp. 34—45. DOI:10.1159/000363565
  33. Matson J.L., Shoemaker M. Intellectual disability and its relationship to autism spectrum disorders. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 2009. Vol. 30, no. 6, pp. 1107—1114. DOI:10.1016/j.ridd.2009.06.003
  34. Mayes S.D., Calhoun S.L. Ability profiles in children with autism: Influence of age and IQ. Autism, 2003. Vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 65—80. DOI:10.1177/1362361303007001006
  35. Meilleur A.A.S., Jelenic P., Mottron L. Prevalence of clinically and empirically defined talents and strengths in autism. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 2015. Vol. 45, pp. 1354—1367. DOI:10.1007/s10803-014-2296-2
  36. Minshew N.J., Turner C.A., Goldstein G. The application of short forms of the Wechsler intelligence scales in adults and children with high functioning autism. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 2005. Vol. 35, pp. 45—52. DOI:10.1007/s10803-004-1030-x
  37. Nader A.M., Jelenic P., Soulières I. Discrepancy between WISC-III and WISC-IV cognitive profile in autism spectrum: what does it reveal about autistic cognition? PloS one, 2015. Vol. 10, no. 12, article ID e0144645. 16 p. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0144645
  38. Ankenman K., Elgin J., Sullivan K., Vincent L., Bernier R. Nonverbal and verbal cognitive discrepancy profiles in autism spectrum disorders: Influence of age and gender. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 2014. Vol. 119, no. 1, pp. 84—99. DOI:10.1352/1944-7558-119.1.84
  39. Maenner M.J., Shaw K.A., Baio J. et al. Prevalence of autism spectrum disorder among children aged 8 years—autism and developmental disabilities monitoring network, 11 sites, United States, 2016. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance summaries, 2020. Vol. 69, no. 4, article ID 503. 12 p. DOI:10.15585/mmwr.ss6904a1
  40. Giofrè D., Provazza S., Angioneb D., Cinic A., Menazzad C., Oppic F., Cornoldib C. The intellectual profile of children with autism spectrum disorders may be underestimated: A comparison between two different batteries in an Italian sample. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 2019. Vol. 90, pp. 72—79. DOI:10.1016/j.ridd.2019.04.009

Information About the Authors

Raisa S. Romanova, Junior Researcher, Scientific Center for Cognitive Research, Sirius University of Science and Technology, Federal territory "Sirius", Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4498-3059, e-mail: romanova.rs@talantiuspeh.ru

Oksana I. Talantseva, Research Associate, Scientific Center for Cognitive Research, Sirius University of Science and Technology, Federal territory "Sirius", Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7555-1216, e-mail: talantseva.oi@talantiuspeh.ru

Metrics

Views

Total: 113
Previous month: 48
Current month: 65

Downloads

Total: 19
Previous month: 7
Current month: 12