Chapter

Learning and Cognition in Autism

Part of the series Current Issues in Autism pp 89-117

The Assessment and Interpretation of Intellectual Abilities in People with Autism

  • Alan J. LincolnAffiliated withNeuropsychology Research Laboratory, Children’s Hospital Research CenterCalifornia School of Professional Psychology
  • , Mark H. AllenAffiliated withNeuropsychology Research Laboratory, Children’s Hospital Research Center
  • , Angela KilmanAffiliated withNeuropsychology Research Laboratory, Children’s Hospital Research CenterCalifornia School of Professional Psychology

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Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the nature and specificity of intellectual and cognitive abilities in people with autism. The developmental ramifications on intellectual and cognitive development of early brain pathology are initially reviewed, followed by a detailed discussion of specific research findings employing the Wechsler intelligence scales. In addition, the use of the Wechsler scales and the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children are reviewed with respect to assessing sequential and simultaneous processing abilities in children with autism. Memory functions in persons with autism are reviewed. Practical and clinical considerations for testing children with autism are then summarized. Finally, the conclusion attempts to theoretically integrate the findings of cognitive and intellectual abilities in persons with autism into a neuropsychological developmental model.