The purpose of the study seemed to be to show that "autistic spectrum intelligence is atypical, but also genuine, general, and underestimated" and that having Asperger's might give you some sort of intellectual advantage.
Or in other words, yet another mostly worthless study from a group of people who have a long and distinguished track record of denying the realty of autism.
Yes, it is nice that these four have stumbled onto an intelligence test that might show that some people with autism aren't as intellectually challenged as other intelligence tests suggest. And, having been through a formal IQ test with my youngest daughter, I can completely understand that people with autism can score lower than they might otherwise because of how most IQ tests are structured.
But that is really the point - autism is a disability that impairs your ability to function. It doesn't matter if you are the smartest person in the world if you are unable to apply it in your daily life.
Regardless, that isn't the strange thing here - I would actually be surprised if this group of researchers put out a paper that didn't say something like this. No, the strange thing is that the study seems to have disappeared from the journal's site.
Here is the link to where the study is supposed to be. If you go there all you see is a page that says "Article not found".
The press releases for the study are still on EurekAlert and ScienceDaily but if you follow the link the journal's site they study isn't there. I tried several different ways of finding the study but it does not seem to be on the journal's site anywhere. But, if you look at Google's cached version of the page you can see that the study was on the journal's site on Sept 29 as of about 3 AM EST.
So the study was published at one point but then it was removed. I wonder what happened to it.
UPDATE : As pointed out by Jonathan in the comments, the paper was temporarily pulled at the request of Michelle Dawson. The reason? Well, it sounds the best in Ms. Dawson's own words -
I've now made a series of tweets about how PLoS-ONE changed the text of our just-out paper, in harmful and unethical ways (calling autistics "patients" is the worst; also imposed person first language), without in any way checking with the authors.
Links, more info, etc, in my recent tweets http://twitter.com/#!/autismcrisis
Am just stunned. Never could have anticipated this. That's a lot of work effectively wrecked. A lot of the paper is unreadable. Am guessing the abstract with harmful text imposed by PLoS will go up on PubMed too. Unreal. Some person somewhere decides autistics are sick and, what, aren't persons (or whatever the problem is) and wrecks a paper, unilaterally.I can see that calling someone a "patient" is a horrific crime against nature and completely unethical. Yeah, uhm, I wonder if anyone has ever taken the time to explain to Ms. Dawson exactly what the word "unethical" means.