Exploring Why Standard IQ Tests Fail People with Nonspeaking Autism

This article, from The Atlantic and also Spectrum Magazine, attempts to demonstrate that nonspeaking people with autism may have more intellectual capacity than standardized testing reveals. Thanks to researchers like Yoram Bonneh, (mentioned in the article) maybe more scientists will see that intellectual capacity.
My mother and I were interviewed for this story, in addition to a podcast that hasn’t been broadcast yet.
The fundamental concept is that not talking does not mean not understanding, despite a bizarre obsession by experts to conflate the two. The challenge for experts is imagination. But let me help.

I’m administering an IQ test to you, but your hands are in baseball mitts, your mouth is taped shut and the room distracts with a laser light show.

Good luck, and if you don’t do well I’ll assume your IQ is 52.

6 responses to “Exploring Why Standard IQ Tests Fail People with Nonspeaking Autism

  1. Thank you for posting this. I wish more teachers would educate themselves about students with autism. Maybe someday they will catch up.


  2. “I’ll assume your IQ is 52?” Standardized testing for my son Ben gives an IQ of 25. Of course, those of us here in Israel know that my son Ben is smarter and wiser than probably everyone else. I saw this article yesterday and read the section about Yoram Bonneh, now at Bar Ilan University in Israel. I hope to contact him soon.

    • Hi Arthur,
      I don’t know what my IQ is- accurate or not. I picked 52 because the article gave it as an example. I imagine Ben can add 100 to his 25, at least.

  3. A lot of unfair oppression happens in this world. It’s to see articles like this coming out that challenge it. I try to do my part in a newly coming out book called Trauma, Stigma, and Autism: Developing Resilience and Loosening the Grip of Shame (now available on Amazon). Ido, among many others who type to speak, was kind enough to let me use his words as powerful resources.
    Thanks as always for your advocacy, Ido.

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