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IQ Test for Mildly Autistic Children

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: I have a six year old mildly autistic son. His school is requesting that I get him an IQ test. How would this be done since he is only six? Is it reading questions and writing answers? 

A: Intelligence testing can be done for children as young as four years of age. At six, you son qualifies most of the IQ tests available. However, being mildly autistic, the may need to do specialized tests tailor-made for such children. These tests vary depending on the child. You would need to see an educational or a child psychologist to get a diagnosis of his condition (to determine his level of autism - or could it be Asperger's Syndrome?) and then recommend a special test that would most accurately capture the level of his abilities.

Research studies have indicated that about half of people with autism score below 50 on IQ tests, 20% score between 50 and 70, and 30 percent score higher than 70. Having said that, it is also true that estimating IQ in young children with autism can be quite complex and difficult because problems with language and behavior can interfere with testing. It has also been reported that a small percentage of people with autism are savants. These individuals have limited but extraordinary skills in areas such as music, mathematics, drawing, or visualization.

For further understanding of tests for mildly autistic children, you may want to view the Adult & Child web site for specialized tests for Autism.


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