Website Search
ID 1079

Autism and Mental Retardation

Description:
Portia Iversen explains that it is a misconception that the majority of autistic individuals are mentally retarded.
Transcript:
The literature about autism tells us that the majority, usually you see the number of 80%, of people with autism are mentally retarded. I don’t think this true and as a matter of fact, in the last couple of years a paper came out Maclean University that did a survey of every time this figure was recited in the literature and went to look to see if there was any empirical data and in the great majority of cases there wasn’t. It almost became, one paper would quote another that quoted another that quoted another, but there was actually no basis for this. The truth is for at least half, if not more, of people with autism, we don’t even know how to test their intelligence because they have such severe communication problems. So, no, I think that’s wrong, I think the majority of people with autism are probably not retarded. There are going to be a certain subgroup that are mentally retarded and that’s because there is a subgroup of autism, probably made up of many disorders. If you think about it, anything that could disrupt that critical period where you’re going to get in sync with other people, there are a lot of things that can do that, from epilepsy to an inborn error of metabolism to genetic disorders.
Keywords:
autism, autistic, retardation, mental, intelligence, iq, misconception, myth, portia, iversen,
Downloads:
Creative Commons License This work by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Related content:

1074. Autism Misconceptions - Bad Parenting
Portia Iversen discusses previous misconceptions about autism, which attributed the disorder to bad parenting.
1075. Autism Misconceptions - Socializing
Portia Iversen challenges the assumption that autistic individuals are not interested in socializing.
1080. Vaccinations and Autism
Portia Iversen discusses the controversy relating to autism and vaccines and concludes that there is insufficient data to draw a definitive conclusion.
1078. A Communication Treatment for Autism
Portia Iversen tells the incredible story of how her son Dov learned to communicate and how many other children benefited from the same treatment.
1077. Success with Autism
Portia Iversen explains how her autistic son, who was nonverbal, learned to communicate. This method used to communicate has also been used by others.
1076. Autism - Sensory Overload
Portia Iversen explains that autistic individuals may be overwhelmed by sensory stimuli, finding it difficult to attend to sounds and sights at the same time.
876. Autism Boundaries
Professor David Skuse discusses the importance of identifying autism symptoms. Failing to diagnose the disorder can disrupt their social and educational attainments.
2370. Hyper-Plasticity and Savantism
Doctor Gul Dolen postulates on a potential relationship between savantism and hyper-plasticity.
884. Background to Autism
Autism is a disorder in brain development that becomes apparent in earliest childhood. It is defined by problems in socialization, communication, and repetitive behaviors.
919. SHANK3 Gene
The SHANK3 gene is associated with a number of cognitive disorders including autism.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
CSHL HomeAbout CSHLResearchEducationNews & FeaturesCampus & Public EventsCareersGiving