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THE NATURE OF AUTISTIC INTELLIGENCE
The International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) is the major international gathering of scientists involved in autism research across all scientific disciplines. In 2005, this conference was held in Boston from May 5th to 7th. The IMFAR website is here http://www.cevs.ucdavis.edu/Cofred/Public/Aca/ConfHome.cfm?confid=211
Dawson, M., Mottron, L., Jelenic, P., Soulières, I. (2005, May). Superior performance of autistics on RPM and PPVT relative to Wechsler scales provides evidence for the nature of autistic intelligence. Poster presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research, Boston, MA.
To see this poster, click here (pdf, 68k)
All authors: Pervasive developmental disorders specialized clinic, University of Montréal, Hôpital Rivière-des-Prairies, 7070 Boulevard Perras, Montréal, QC, Canada H1E 1A4
The findings regarding significant differences in percentiles between RPM and Wechsler being in inverse directions in autistics and non-autistics are highly dependent on available norms. It appears two sets of available norms for RPM for adults suffer from contradictory problems. The 1985 norms are too old and too generous, due to the Flynn effect and the population tested. The 1993 norms are too severe, having been done in conditions that cannot preclude external help for the tested population.
In the Dawson (2005) IMFAR poster, a clerical error (M. Dawson could not know it) resulted in entering in the statistics the 1985 rather that the 1993 adult norms. I. Soulières realized this error a few days ago. A new analysis of our previous set of data, using the 1993 norms for adults, has revealed that the difference between RPM and Wechsler percentile values, although in the same direction as in Mottron (2004) and Dawson (2005), is substantially inferior to what we announced (comparison: Wechsler > 21.4 %ile to RPM; autistics: Wechsler < 4.6 %ile to RPM). We currently have a comparison group of 19 non-autistic adults who received both RPM and Wechsler. We compared their performance to that of all available autistic participants in our database. Using the new 1993 norms, the group (autistic, non-autistic) by task (RPM, Wechsler) interaction is still significant and in the same direction as before. In the current state of our research, it is therefore still true that autistic and non-autistic children and adults perform Wechsler and RPM at an inverse level of relative performance. However, the magnitude of this effect in adults has to be re-assessed. Further work will be undertaken to clarify and supplement these results.
L. Mottron & I. Soulières
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