Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Level and Nature of Autistic Intelligence II: Where did the study go?

Now this is just strange.  Earlier this week a new study by Isabelle Soulières, Michelle Dawson, Morton Ann Gernsbacher, and Laurent Mottron was published on the nature of intelligence in Asperger Syndrome.

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!/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.


  1. cHi, MJ: From what little I know about it from reading snippets of Michelle Dawson's TMOB comment board and her twitters, PLOS apparently edited some things in the study that her group did not put in such as referring to autistic persons as "patients" which offended Ms. Dawson because she does not believe autism should be regarded as a pathology. There were apparently some other things that offended her sensibilities also.

    Apparently PLOS agreed and took it off the site while they are in the process of re-editing it.

    the media misrepresented their results claiming that in all subjects there was a huge difference in the RPM's versus Wechsler scores in the Asperger's persons. There was only a small difference in the chldren's group, though it was larger in the adult group.

  2. Thanks Jonathan. I updated the post with the the information that you pointed out.

  3. Your most welcome, though Michelle Dawson's response is wholly predictable and does not surprise me one iota.

  4. All science can do is attempt to describe true stuff. Putting a 'worthless' spin on it because of its irrelevance to your daughter is wholly subjective.

  5. Nerkul,

    You miss the point.

    I didn't say that it was a mostly worthless study because it didn't apply to my daughters. As a matter of fact, I think I did say quite explicitly that I think that a traditional IQ test can't capture the true depth of their intelligence.

    I do think it is mostly worthless because it does not say anything new, different, or particularly relevant about autism.

    The point here is that autism can and often does impose a limit of the ability of a person to apply whatever intelligence that they have. Now you can argue that these people are actually more intelligent than they seem but just have issues with the tests or daily application of intelligence. You can say that if you happen to test them in a different way under the exact right circumstances that you would see that they are actually intelligent. And you might even be correct.

    You could also argue all day and night about whether a tree falling makes a sound when no one is around.

    Even assuming that people with autism are smarter than then can appear doesn't change the fact that autism is imposing a functional limit on what a person can do or making it more difficult to actually function in the world. The fact remains that a substantial subset of the autism population functions at an intellectually disabled level.

    None of this is saying that people with autism can't be intelligent. Based on what I have read, I would guess that intelligence appears in people with autism at about the same rate as it does in the general population. Or least it does once you exclude the people with autism who have co-morbid intellectual disability.

    On a "scientific" level the current study (and the one before it) are rather worthless because they are way too small to be able to draw any meaningful conclusions about autism in general. If you want to demonstrate that, in general, people with autism are more intelligent than they seem and that autism can strengthen certain intellectual activities then you need to test a much larger and more diverse population.

    You need to demonstrate the finding in the entire range of the autism population - not just the extremely high function ones - and you need to show that the traits you identified are more common in autism than they are in the general population.

  6. MJ, I think you miss the point. The majority of the questions of IQ tests have to do with learned education such as maths, literary composition and art design elements.

    Traditionally, those psychiatry deem to have mental disabilities (whether they are or not) such as those with Cerebral Palsy and Downs Syndrome (both physical disabilities, not mental) have been severly restricted from standard education and drugged with anti-psychotics.

    This brain fogging fom drugs and restriction from education artificially causes learning disabilities, where they are severely handicapped in completing any IQ test.

    Being a psychiatry-run publication, of course they are going to edit the study in order to ridicule it.

  7. Hi Michael,

    I'm not sure where you are getting your information, but in today's educational environment the major push is to put every child possible into the traditional educational environment, or at least it is in the US. So the idea that people with autism are severely restricted from education is simply inaccurate.

    Perhaps you meant to say that they can't learn as well in a traditional educational environment?

    And the idea that most people with autism are on anti-psychotics and that dulls their intellectual ability is certainly an interesting one.

    I would point out a recent study on symptoms of ADHD in children with autism and the fact that the the vast majority of children are not on drugs for ADHD - even when they have symptoms that would suggest their use - would contradict that idea. If anything, this study suggest that psyc drugs might be underutilized in this population.

    Although if you had any hard data on anti-psychotic drug usage in adults or children with autism, I would be interested in looking at it.

    But, even if we granted both ideas were true, the fact remains that in the youngest children with autism, children like mine who have had an educational environment tailor made for their specific problems and their specific learning style and who are not on any medications, test very poorly on IQ tests.

    The reason for this isn't a lack of educational opportunities - they have actually had far more education than any typical child their age.

    No, the reason is that they are at a major disadvantage because their autism disrupts their ability to learn.

    If you compare a young child with autism to a "typical" child you would see that a "typical" child would do normally do better on IQ tests. And the reason is that a "typical" child can learn and respond more easily to their environment than a child with autism.

    Just as a rather silly example from our daily lives, try explaining to a person exactly why a running out in front of a car is dangerous without using any verbal or non-verbal way of communicating what "dangerous" or "harmful" is. Or for that matter, any abstract way of communicating what a car is.

    A typical child would understand speech and understand abstract concepts such as danger. My children would be lucky to be able to successfully label what a car is let alone understand the abstract idea of "danger".

    Please note I am not saying that they are unable to understand the idea - they do seem to be very bright little girls. What I am saying is that their autism prevents them from understanding.

    And if autism disrupts the ability to learn even simple things that other children can learn easily, what do you think it does to the more sophisticated concepts?

  8. You assume too much. Psychiatry has made it mandatory that children "diagnosed" with ADHD be drugged. They have even rented the police to force parents to have their children drugged, with the threat of arrest. Many parents have already beed arrested for refusing their child being drugged, and their children have been "confiscated" (the American Association of Psychiatrists words, not mine.

    Maybe you should start reading major newspapers and magazines such as Time, not to mention the medical industry journal The Lancet who contunually write that psychiatry has absolutely no relation to medicine, and that there has been NO scientific research on ANY psychiatric "illness".

    Medicine even did exhaustive research to codify psychiatry's promotion that people suffer from a chemical imbalance in the brain. Medicine DID not find ANY chemical imbalance at all.

    But they did find that "Scizophenics" and "autistic" children did suffer from a major deficiency in vitamin D. They did report, however, that when they bought both vitamin D and Folate levels to normal, they "accidently cured scizophrenia, ADHD and autism".

  9. Michael,

    I think you are going a little bit outside the scope of what this post is about not to mention the fact that your claims are a little outlandish.

    We can argue about the validity of the an autism, adhd, or other pysc diagnosis until the cows come home. You may disagree with the underlying idea but that doesn't change the fact that there is certainly a wide range of scientific research that is based on these ideas.

    As for the vitamin D and folate idea, that is true up to a point. There certainly is reason to think that these pathways can be disrupted in some people with autism (as is the case with my children).

    But, correcting these pathways or supplementing with these vitamins does not reverse the symptoms of autism. Or at least it didn't in my children.

  10. MJ, this paper (or the previous one) is suggesting that your daughter may have higher fluid intelligence than crystalised intelligence. While she mightn't be safe crossing a road, she may understand in a deeper way the world around her. Perhaps you hadn't considered that and now have more insight into your daughter. Is that worthless?

  11. Nerkul,

    I think there are a few different issues that are getting conflated here.

    On the one hand you have the feel-good part about wouldn't it be nice to know that some people with autism aren't as cognitively limited as they appear.

    But anyone who has actually worked with people who have autism would already know that. It isn't any big secret that autism is mostly a social/communication disorder. Then again, anyone who has worked in the field would also know that there are a large number of children who have autism and are cognitively limited.

    On the other hand you have the question of whether the current paper actually supports that idea that people with autism have a different sort of intelligence and are not as limited as they appear. It is my opinion that the data in this study does not support that conclusion. Maybe if I have the time I will write another post as to exactly why I think that is.

    But, for the sake of argument, lets assume that the data actually does support the conclusion.

    Lets assume that some people with autism have a higher functioning level in some intellectual areas than is first apparent. Besides feeding into the idea that people are trapped by their autism, what is the practical benefit of that knowledge? Is there anyway this knowledge can be used to improve the person's life? Can it in any way change the fact that these same people are limited because of their autism?

    Perhaps more importantly, doesn't it further marginalize those people with autism (aka 20-40% of the autism population) who do actually have intellectual challenges? The higher-functioning already like to dismiss the needs of those who aren't so fortunate, do the lower-functioning really need one more thing to stigmatize them?

  12. That's an interesting interpretation. I believe the group's previous paper showed that 'low functioning' autistics also have unusually high fluid intelligence. What good does the knowledge do? It is knowledge - does that not confer enough value? If a large problem facing autistics is that the majority of society looks down on them then recognition of their strengths may ameliorate that. I'm really struggling to appreciate your point of view, to be honest.

    Should all studies of autism highlight only the negatives? That would be politics rather than science. Science can only attempt to report true stuff, whatever that may be.

    Is it your desire that all autistics stay together as a pitiable group so your daughters aren't left behind? You have no hope that society can be persuaded to view all people as equally valid?

  13. Nerkul,

    Where we differ is in the following idea -

    "If a large problem facing autistics is that the majority of society looks down on them then recognition of their strengths may ameliorate that"

    To me, the problem isn't that people with autism are looked down on by society, the problem is autism itself. I view autism as a disorder - not as a different way of being.

    But before you jump to any conclusions, I am not saying a person who has autism is in any way shape or form "broken" or less of a person. Nor am I saying that there aren't social issues that need to be addressed. The public at large definitely needs to be more accepting of the challenges faced by people with autism.

    But by and large, the problem for people who have autism is the fact that they have autism. I don't think that autism conveys any sort of benefits. Nor have I seem any hard data that would convince me otherwise.

    But again, I am not saying that people with autism don't have strengths as well as the weaknesses that come along with autism. A person is a person, a person is not a disorder.

    Or to put it another way, just because a person who has autism has trait X does not mean that they have that trait because of autism. If you want to show an association between a trait and a condition like autism, you have to not only show that people with autism have that trait but also that it is more common in autism than in the general population.

    "Is it your desire that all autistics stay together as a pitiable group so your daughters aren't left behind?"

    No, my desire is that the children like my daughters aren't discriminated against further because they can't live up to unrealistic ideas of what it means to have autism. And my daughters aren't low functioning, they are in about the middle of the spectrum.

    Or, in longer form, this is what I am worried about -

    "I believe the group's previous paper showed that 'low functioning' autistics also have unusually high fluid intelligence."

    This group's work focuses almost exclusively on the higher functioning. In the earlier paper "The Level and Nature of Autistic Intelligence", how many of the autism group were non-verbal? According to reputable sources (CDC), up to 40% of children with autistic disorder are non-verbal yet the paper doesn't seem to mention non-verbals.

    "You have no hope that society can be persuaded to view all people as equally valid? "

    As a general statement, maybe. On a personal level, I do think that all people are equally valid and try to act accordingly. But again, I don't think the autism is a social problem. I think the problem is the autism itself.

  14. But again, that would be politics rather than science. If the science shows that intelligence is not an autistic weakness then that is what it shows, and the political aim of showing autism itself to be a problem becomes harder and also stranger. I'm happy to wait for the results.

  15. I want to just add something to MJ's (very good) reply to nerkul.

    Quote from nerkul: "If a large problem facing autistics is that the majority of society looks down on them then recognition of their strengths may ameliorate that."

    My concern with this statement - and with anyone desperate to prove that autistic people are actually of high / unique intelligence (putting aside for the time being as to whether they are or not) - is that intelligence and hidden strengths shouldn't be the reason we treat people better: You shouldn't have to prove even average intelligence in order to better the treatment and services and supports for autistic people.

    There is nothing wrong per se with the search for hidden talents (in anyone). There is a particular concern though that in the search for hidden intelligences and talents in people who otherwise face very serious and life-long challenges, that the daily problems faced by those people become marginalised or even romanticized. This ideally shouldn't be an issue - we should be able to see those hidden aspects of a person and use them to enhance their lives or enrich our understanding of them - but there is a movement of people who use these aspects to undercut and argue against the provision of much-needed services to the wider autistic population.

    I think MJ is quite right to point out that the daily lives and realities for different people across the spectrum must be recognized up-front, to avoid the issues or abilities for one "end" of the spectrum, impacting on all those at the other. (And I'm hopeful the DSM-5 will help un-muddy those waters.)

  16. autismandoughtisms, Psychiatrists freely admit that the DSM is NOT based on ANY research or study. It is based on a committee voting on what to call a mental "illness".

    Imagine if you had internal injuries and medical doctors in a committee "diagnosed" that you had indigestion without at any time meeting you, much less examining you. Then, after you died, the committee decided that indigestion was a life-threatening illness. You would not be happy about that "diagnosis", and neither would your greiving family.

    That's exactly what you have with the DSM.

    MJ, unless Autism is an infectious disease, the CDC (which handles infectious diseases) is no authority that should even comment on the subject.

    Psychiatrists are NOT medical doctors, and they are not recognised by medical doctors. Their Doctorate is from studying philosophy (their Ph.d) not medicine.

    To regard anyone as a medical doctor just because they have the title "Dr." before their name is as stupid and ignorant as expecting the actor Denis Leary to do heart surgery because he was given a doctorate (honorary) from a Community College.

  17. Michael,

    I am not sure where you are getting your information, but psychiatrists are most definitely medical doctors. I would also point out that the DSM is published by the American Psychiatric Association which is an organization of medical doctors -

    "The American Psychiatric Association is a national medical specialty society whose physician members specialize in diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and research of mental illnesses including substance use disorders. "

    Maybe you are thinking of psychologists?

  18. MJ

    Here's the official word from the AMA: "If the medical fraternity regarded Psychiatrists as medical doctors, they would be members of the American Medical Association. They are not".

  19. And the source of this "official statement" from the AMA that says that psychiatrists do not have a medical degree as well as license to practice medicine would be?

  20. Psychiatrists do not practice medicine. If they did, they would be allowed to operate on you. They are not allowed to provide ANY medical treatment (except for First Aid, if trained) or run a medical practice.

    You seem to have a delusional idea that a psychiatrist can set your bones if you broke your leg, or treat your for the flu or pneumonia or stitch up a wound.

  21. Michael,

    As much fun as it would be to argue with you about this, I have better things to do with my time. Whether you want to accept it or not, in the US psychiatrists are medical doctors. But don't take my word for it, actually take the time to research the question yourself.

  22. Your posts have proven that you have researched nothing.

    Nerkul and I have attempted to inform you of proven facts, but you sit there in apathy and have chosen to agree with the scammers that tell you that her condition is incurable because they have no idea of its cause, tell you there is no treatment (except for dangerous drugs with side effects that could kill her), that there is no cure, and they cannot provide ANY independant research that proves anything they say or any "diagnosis" they make, but they will tell you 10 different psychiatrists will give you 10 different "diagnosis".

    Break your leg and go to a psychiatrist and they will tell you the pain in your leg is in your mind, while you die of gangrene.

    Grow up!

  23. So what "proven" facts do you think I am ignorant of? That a psychiatrist isn't an MD or is there something else that I am woefully ignorant of? Please, enlighten me as to how I think that autism is incurable and sit around in apathy.

    If you had taken the time to explore the rest of the site, I think it is quite obvious that I don't think autim is incurable and I care a great deal about finding answers to the problems that it creates.

    As far as I can see, the only "proven" fact here is that you don't like psychiatrists.

  24. Psychiatrists are medical doctors. It's a speciality, like radiographers or surgeons or general practitioners. They have the same first five(?) years of training.

    autismandoughtisms: I agree it would be lovely if everyone accepted everyone but (a) they don't - they mostly admire strength and spurn weakness, and (b) research that reveals autistic strengths does nothing to diminish the efforts of anyone highlighting areas where autistics need special help, provided those efforts don't rely on dishonest rhetoric.

  25. I give you psychiatry condeming itself out of their own mouths, compaining that the medical profession does not regard them as medical doctors, admitting to human rights abuses, admitting to unethical conduct, and so on. It also lists their plans to infiltrate the medical profession in order to present themselves as "medical doctors" and the push to gain greater PR through deception. The link below is directly from the World Psychiatric Association.

    Later I will provide you with video evidence of interviews with psychiatrists coming out of a congress where psychiatrists reveal and admit to the scam of their "profession's" existance.

  26. You will also find the paragraph that debunks imaginary illnesses with no basis in reality, such as "chemical imbalances in the brain", and their "diagnosis" has never been scientifically validated. For anything to be regarded as a science, its treatments and practices have to be codified as valid and that the results and practices must be able to be duplicated in every case. Not one "illness" or "disorder" has been scientifically proven o even codified.

    "The classification of mental disorders in the DSM and ICD categories has been subject to criticism because the majority of these diagnostic categories are NOT VALIDATED BY BIOLOGICAL CRITERIA (138-141), thus reinforcing the image of psychiatry as not being 'real medicine'. One aspect of this discussion includes
    the question as to whether research using diagnoses that are not validated as inclusion criteria 'is equally invalid' (142).

    The article also admits that psychiatry was not an organized profession until 1950. They also complain that psychotherapy (counselling by psychologists) is preferred over drugging, and they suggest ways to diminish therapy so they can push drugs. Remember, psychiatrist Timothy Leary is still regarded as the first official drug traffiker.

  27. Nerkul,

    "research that reveals autistic strengths does nothing to diminish the efforts of anyone highlighting areas where autistics need special help, provided those efforts don't rely on dishonest rhetoric."

    I am not sure that is the case. Take for example this person who clearly doesn't understand the message -

    Or going back a few years, take the mother talking about her son in this post -

    Ms. Dawson effectively convinced her that seeking treatment for her son's autism was wrong.

    And then there is the problem that it can be hard enough getting needed services for children with autism. As a parent, you sometimes have to fight to get access to these services. Rhetoric like this give ammunition to those who want to deny access.

    Those are just three simple examples but I think it makes the point. Rhetoric that diminishes the the problems that autism causes has a very clear victim - the young children with autism who are unable to talk for themselves.

    And all of that completely ignores the fact that the basic research might simply be wrong. I have spent some time looking at Ms. Dawson's paper in some depth and I believe her results can be explained by two words - splinter skills. But that is a matter for another time.

  28. Ms Dawson's issue with ABA seems to be that it lacks scientific backing, which appears to be true.

    Everyone seems to go on the belief that Raven's Progressive Matrices can test general fluid intelligence, not just a splinter skill. I don't know where this was established. You should post a new article about it.

  29. "Ms Dawson's issue with ABA seems to be that it lacks scientific backing, which appears to be true."

    That is indeed her view but it is badly at odds with reality. ABA has more evidence behind it than any other single autism treatment out there. The evidence isn't perfect but, when it comes to autism, nothing is. Perhaps more importantly, her understanding of what modern ABA actually is and what it looks like is lacking.

    "Everyone seems to go on the belief that Raven's Progressive Matrices can test general fluid intelligence, not just a splinter skill"

    From what I understand, Raven's is built on the idea that intelligence is a single, unified global ability and tests that using what is essentially a series of pattern matching tests. Other IQ tests take the approach that there are many different aspects to intelligence and tries to test the different parts.

    I am going to try to do a full (serious) post about the differences between the two and how it applies to Ms. Dawson's paper in the near future.

  30. Nobody is suggesting that there aren't any problems just that there are talents that tend to go along with them.

    Why are so offended by this? It's a fact that autism can be very hard to live with but it's also a fact that autism is NOT hopeless and there are prominent, successful people who have autism.

    Saying the intelligence doesn't matter if you can't function reveals a very black-and-white view on functioning.

    Just because something causes some difficulties functioning doesn't mean functioning is impossible, and associated talents mean you might even get a huge boon if you pass over the right hurdles.

    One thing's for sure if a child grows up expecting never to amount to anything, expecting to be institutionalized, especially if they are thrown into an existential crisis because of the comments of stupid researchers who call them things like "dead souls in living bodies" then their chances are slimmer.

  31. Anonymous,

    I am not "offended" by Ms. Dawson's views on autism but I do worry that promoting a view that every person with autism has a hidden intelligence or talents is very harmful to people with autism. I think it can be as harmful as other autism myths such as the "trapped" or lacks empathy.

    And Ms. Dawson also does have a habit of ignoring the real problems that are seen in autism and a very bad habit of speaking out against evidence based treatments for autism such as ABA.

    As for the paper itself, it has quite a few problems. I wrote about it here if you are interested.

  32. All I could get from your blog is that you have completely underestimated children with autism. This hits me hard because I was constantly underestimated as a child (it didn't help that I was also a hispanic female but I digress)... however, my autistic traits (ie stubborness/persistence), including my intelligence allowed me to push through it all and pursue my dreams of being a doctor. I am a fully practicing doctor, I chose pathology because I love patterns so much. I had a few people who believed in me which carried me through the challenges. It's people like you who hold us down. Your words hurt. Your underestimation is cruel. As I raise my autistic son who is very intelligent but who doesn't show it off well, my goal for him is to stand up and go after his dreams... and ignore those who say he is not worthy. Shame on you.

  33. Amanda,

    I think you are missing the point of what I am saying. In this post I am talking about a study from a specific group of people who have a long history of minimizing the very real difficulties faced by people with autism. This group also has a long history of advocating against the the most effective, evidence based autism treatments available.

    Regardless, nowhere do I say that children with autism can't be intelligent nor do I "completely underestimate" children with autism. I have three daughters with autism and I am well aware of the fact that they fairly intelligent and capable little girls in spite of their autism.

    But there is a very real danger in what this group is doing. They are spreading ideas about autism that are simply not true and they are doing so in a way that will set up unrealistic expectations of what autism is.

    Not every child with autism is going to have hidden intelligence - as a matter of fact, there are many children with autism, perhaps as many as half, who are intellectually disabled. Most of the remainder are going to have only typical intelligence - just like any other child. There is no evidence to support the idea that higher intelligence is more commmon in autism than in the general population.

    You say that my words "hurt", but what happens when the general public gets a wrong idea about what autism is and what the typical child with autism is going to be capable of? What happens to the overwhelming majority of children with autism who don't have some hidden intellectual ability once the general public expects everybody who has autism to be like Rainman?

    The problem here is ableism. If you are not familiar with the concept then perhaps you might want to look into it.

    Since you might have just landed here, I suggest taking a look around at some of the other things that I have written. You might think that I am being "hurtful" or trying to hold people back but that is really not the case at all. I am trying to present an accurate, balanced, and, most of all, evidence based view of what science tells us about autism.

    I am not trying to make people feel better about autism or help them rationalize why autism isn't so bad. There are plently of other sites that do that.

    On a related note, you might find this other post about the study to be interesting.

    The bottom line is that the evidence in the study does not support the conclusions. It might be nice to think that this bit of research shows that people with autism have hidden intelligence but the data does not support that conclusion.

  34. "There is no evidence to support the idea that higher intelligence is more commmon in autism than in the general population."

    I can't let this go uncorrected. There is evidence that autistics have higher fluid intelligence than nonautistics. This makes sense if you understand autism but doesn't fit your narrative that's transparently a defense mechanism for how you feel about your daughters.

    THIS is a common problem for autistics - having to deal with people who can't see what their subconscious is doing. How do we take you seriously, MJ, when we can see right through you? I can promise you this: while you're seeing your children as harmless idiots they will be desperately wondering why you're scared to deal with your issues and see them as people.

  35. Anonymous,

    First, if you are serious about actually discussing the issues, then please provide your source for this statement -

    "There is evidence that autistics have higher fluid intelligence than nonautistics."

    Second, insulting people is hardly the way to get them to agree with you. You can make up all the absurd scenarios about me, my children, and my motivations that you want but that doesn't make them true.