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tales of a teenage genius
explain to me about genius and aspergers

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#1 mum850

Posted 05 December 2012 - 08:43 PM

Screening on abc 2 now.

What is the relationship between asperger's  and genius?

What is primary? Do you have asperger's cos your brain is so brilliant and you think/communicate  in a different way?
Do you have genius (in this case maths) as a 'splinter skill' to do with having asperger's?

Have I just got it totally wrong?

Help me BMJ!

#2 katrina24

Posted 05 December 2012 - 08:49 PM

Hi, I'm not an expert but I think that they (Aspergers and giftedness) are separate things which sometimes co-occur. I think a splinter skill is different to genius. To me, a splinter skill is something that is out of step with development and general cognition.  If someone has a very superior IQ (whether that is verbal, performance or overall) I wouldn't refer to that as a splinter skill.

#3 mum850

Posted 05 December 2012 - 08:54 PM

I am so not an expert either  biggrin.gif but I personally 'know' (mostly online it has to be said) a lot of highly gifted kids with aspergers. But also in real life, adults and children.
Of course I also know kids with aspergers who are NOT gifted, and kids with intellectual impairment and autistic spectrum disorders.

#4 pundelina

Posted 05 December 2012 - 08:57 PM

They do occur together, just as brown hair co-occurs with blue eyes.

Not always, not often really, so it's unusual enough to be noticed when it does.

#5 EBeditor

Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:06 PM

It's a great show, I'm watching it now. What a lovely kid.

#6 mum850

Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:07 PM

You are saying that the incidence of high or very high IQ is NOT higher in those with Asperger's?

Argh this has been bugging me for years. I would like to understand it better.

I am  saying Aspergers  because I know that autism is not  associated with higher IQ.

Very interesting program. His parents seem lovely.

OK I can verbalise this question better. Does the IQ of people with Aspergers follow a normal distribution.

#7 katrina24

Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:15 PM

Hi again, my understanding is that, in the DSM IV, to qualify for a diagnosis of Aspergers you can't have cognitive impairments. From this I infer that the distribution of IQ would not follow a 'normal' bell curve (because the bottom half of the curve is missing).  I also believe that in the DSM V Aspergers will no longer be a diagnosis.  Happy to have my understanding corrected by someone more knowledgeable though.

#8 mum850

Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:18 PM

QUOTE (katrina24 @ 05/12/2012, 10:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi again, my understanding is that, in the DSM IV, to qualify for a diagnosis of Aspergers you can't have cognitive impairments. From this I infer that the distribution of IQ would not follow a 'normal' bell curve (because the bottom half of the curve is missing).  I also believe that in the DSM V Aspergers will no longer be a diagnosis.  Happy to have my understanding corrected by someone more knowledgeable though.

Ha yes I did know the bit about the bottom of the curve, cos if you have intellectual impairment you are excluded from the diagnosis. But it made my question less neat. Sorry.
I will redo.....

Does the distribution of IQs among people with Asperger's follow a normal distribution apart from at the lower range? I am sure if I actually knew some stats I could say that in a nicer way!

#9 Acidulous Osprey

Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:20 PM

The diagnostic criteria for Aspergers is a normal or higher IQ. Not everyone with an Aspergers diagnosis is gifted or has splinter skills.  Some people with Aspergers have high IQs but the majority do not.  The majority of people with Aspergers also do not have splinter skills (it actually really irks me that this is even a thing for people with Aspergers as I think splinter skills are people like Stephen Wiltshire).

Another very real issue for kids with Aspergers is that often they will be really bright (doesn't mean genius) but will have learning issues which impact on how they can demonstrate their intelligence.  If you have a handwriting disorder or executive functioning disorder, you're going to struggle to take notes and to show what you know in an exam situation.

Oh and as of next year it gets more interesting as Aspergers is disappearing as a stand alone diagnosis under the DSM V

#10 pundelina

Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:20 PM


Right now there are three 'labels' we attach to people diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum.

Autistic Disorder (including High-function Autistic Disorder where IQ >70 ... HFA does not mean above average intelligence, merely not intellectually impaired).
Aspergers - same traits as AD but no significant general language delay or cognitive delay.

This will all change next year with the DSM-5, whereupon there will be no more Aspergers and instead a general Autism Spectrum Disorder to catch all. Which has good and bad sides and is another discussion altogether.

#11 jayskette

Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:21 PM

QUOTE (mum850 @ 05/12/2012, 10:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You are saying that the incidence of high or very high IQ is NOT higher in those with Asperger's?

Shouldn't it be the other way round? aspergers is a more likely subset among the high IQ subset.

omg. Cameron's story really reminds me of DH. sad.gif It would be so hard to parent a kid like that.

#12 mum850

Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:26 PM

Prof Leader, his maths mentor, seems a really lovely guy with a great perspective. He wants Cameron to slow down in his maths progression.

is your DH like that jayskette?

#13 katrina24

Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:31 PM

You might find this interesting


#14 Acidulous Osprey

Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:35 PM

QUOTE (jayskette @ 05/12/2012, 09:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Shouldn't it be the other way round? aspergers is a more likely subset among the high IQ subset.

omg. Cameron's story really reminds me of DH. sad.gif It would be so hard to parent a kid like that.

No it isn't, it really isn't.  Compared to other parenting issues, it's not that hard.  It's way harder if they have a 160 IQ and dyslexia/dyspraxia/handwriting disorder in addition to Aspergers.  People I know with kids with straight forward Aspergers and a profoundly gifted IQ had a walk in the park compared to those of us with more complex stuff.

Pundelina I have one kid with an IQ of under 70 (which nobody believes but that's how he tests) and he has the diagnosis of HFA.

#15 pundelina

Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:36 PM

The reference that fact sheet is using for stating that people with Aspergers "usually have above-average intelligence" actually says

"Children with Asperger syndrome usually have intelligence within the normal range. Some children have particular skills in areas that require logic, memory and creativity, such as maths, computer science and music."  http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/autistic-spec...troduction.aspx

It does not state that they usually have above-average intelligence. I hate it when references are completely misused.

#16 katrina24

Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:41 PM

Hi PP, are you referring to the link I posted? I wasn't suggesting it was saying kids with Aspergers had a higher incidence of being gifted. I just thought the OP might find it interesting.  

The only thing I know/believe about the IQ of people with Aspergers is what I have read in the diagnostic criteria (ie. no deficit in cognitive functioning). I have no idea if the incidence of giftedness is higher in people with Aspergers therefore haven't commented on it.

Sorry if I caused any confusion.

#17 pundelina

Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:41 PM

QUOTE (Balzac @ 05/12/2012, 10:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
...Pundelina I have one kid with an IQ of under 70 (which nobody believes but that's how he tests) and he has the diagnosis of HFA.

That's unusual. Perhaps it because of the disbelief in his testing that he has the HFA label.

It's all by-the-by anyway, labels are just boxes that aid in treatment (hopefully) so as long as he's getting the right interventions/understanding then I don't believe that the label itself really matters.

#18 pundelina

Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:43 PM

katrina24, I was referring to the fact-sheet you posted, but my complaint was about the fact-sheet sloppy-fact-checker-writers, not with you.


#19 katrina24

Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:46 PM

Ah Pundalina, I just re read your post and realised what you were saying about the reference used in the link.  I see what you are saying now. Think I need to get to bed, my reading comprehension is obviously not so hot at this hour!

Edited by katrina24, 05 December 2012 - 09:46 PM.

#20 Acidulous Osprey

Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:47 PM

Yeah it probably is to do with how he actually functions as opposed to the test.  He had the HFA diagnosis (and holy jesus, he was teacher identified as gifted) prior to the IQ test.

#21 ~ky~

Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:26 AM

I'm watching it now ... he reminds me so much of my DS. His mannerisms, way of speaking, sense of humour, disolving into tears when things aren't perfect etc.

Biggest difference is that my DS doesn't test well and will never be pegged as a genius. I know he is brighter than his sister and she has been identified as gifted.

#22 baddmammajamma

Posted 08 December 2012 - 11:02 PM

I have it taped and am so eager to watch it!

As mum850 and Balzac know, an issue that really gets to me is when some parents of gifted kids attribute ALL of their child's quirks and struggles to a high IQ and potentially miss out on an appropriate ASD diagnosis (or other dx). I'm glad that there are shows featuring twice exceptional people, as it's good to remind the viewing public that giftedness and special needs and/or learning disabilities can go hand in hand.

(steps off soapbox)

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