Did you know that there is a relationship between autism and giftedness?
Yes, as you read it!
The IQ level that is considered gifted or with greater intellectual abilities is 130 or higher and a higher prevalence of people with an IQ higher than 140 (gifted/genius level) among autistic people has been found, compared to the general population.
Let’s talk about this a bit!
When speaking of Giftedness we refer to an extraordinary ability, high IQ, or both. This neurological sensitivity changes the way they see the world.
- Learn faster
- Get bored easily
- Are more intense in their emotions and physical sensations
- Their reasoning is more complex
- They isolate themselves socially
- Some have an exceptional memory
Gifted children aren’t always motivated by grades in school because they have selective interests, therefore not all subjects motivate them. So, having high grades in school isn’t considered a synonym of giftedness.
The correlatoin between Giftedness and Autism
Estimated rates of intellectual giftedness in autistic children are 0.7% to 2%, compared with up to 1% in the general public.
We know that many autistic children avoid eye contact and excessive physical contact, but there are many others who are autistic and are also very talkative. On the other hand, it is not valid to generalize regarding the exceptional memory of gifted children, since there are exceptions too. So, these characteristics aren’t taken as absolute references to say that a child is autistic, gifted, or both.
Instead, a common characteristic among gifted children is their detailed knowledge about a specific interest, in addition to showing episodes of emotional intensity or sensory problems.
Have you ever heard of it?
Intellectually gifted people who have some other diagnosable condition (such as autism) are called twicely exceptional.
Gifted autistic children may not be identified as autistic because their traits may be incorrectly assigned to giftedness or a learning disability.
Giftedness and autism are types of exceptionalities. When children are intellectually gifted and have a neurobiological difference, motor skills problem, or learning disability, they are twice-exceptional children.
Some examples include:
- Autism and gifted
- Dyslexic and Gifted
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Gifted
- Gifted with Dyspraxia
Below, we share with you a list of famous – gifted people who are also presumed to be autistic (they weren’t diagnosed):
Thomas Jefferson, Orson Welles, Wolfgang Mozart, Paul Dirac, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Carl Sagan, Glenn Gould, Henry Cavendish, and Ludwig Wittgenstein.
Did you know this interesting fact?
Based on what we explained above, a child can be absolutely gifted and be on the autism spectrum.
This is where a dual diagnosis becomes so important because then we can find strategies that support their emotional and social development, and therapies that also incorporate their giftedness.
We want to encourage you to seek professional help if you suspect a dual diagnosis in your Superkiddo.
The diagnosis is usually a joint effort of several professionals: psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists, and also pediatricians and neuro pediatricians.
If you need guidance, we are here to help! CONTACT US!
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