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Where's the data?

There's been talk recently that autism spectrum disorders, namely Asperger's Syndrome, are over diagnosed. I'd really love to see some data backing up that claim.

An Over Abundance of Autism, Or So They Say


  1. A friend's son was "diagnosed" as having "personality autism."

    His "IQ" was tested at 130. He's in a class of kids who are developmentally disabled because he doesn't speak well. He only associates with one kid in the class and doesn't want anything to do with the others. Because of this, the school labeled him as I stated.

    His father to the principal: "Given what you state, Albert Einstein meets that definition."

    I admit, I'm confused and getting more skeptical.

  2. Keeping in mind that anecdotes are not equivalent to actually data, you're right to be confused and skeptical. "Personality autism" isn't in either the DSM IV or DSM V. Dad needs to get a second opinion from a professional qualified to actually give a diagnosis. School staff generally are not qualified to diagnose anyone with any thing. They are qualified to recommend parents seek the input of a qualified diagnostician.

    As to IQ, autistics have average to above average over all IQ scores. Each individual will always have splintered abilities with a scatter of higher than average scores in some areas and lower than average scores in other areas. Among those persons who fall into the low IQ score end of the autistic population their low scores often represent the short comings of the tests they take rather than a true measure of their intellectual abilities. Test them in an appropriate manner and many low IQ autistics will earn scores in the average to above average range.


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