IQ tests, or "intelligence quotients", are standardized measures of general cognitive ability. IQ tests measure how well children do on tests of problem solving, compared to other children their age in the same situation. IQ tests were developed to find children who would benefit from what was then the new field of special education.
There is some distrust in the autism community about the use of IQ tests in children with autism, because they do not always show their best abilities in these test situations. The scores do give some information about how a child will do in comparison to other children, a situation they will face in regular education settings.
Taken in the context of other information, IQ scores and other standardized measures can be very helpful in finding a child's learning strengths and weaknesses.
Autism & IQ tests
- Many people hold the view that IQ tests are designed to test "the intellectual abilities in neurotypicals", and they opine that normal IQ tests are, therefore, not suitable to persons with autism and other related disorders. Accordingly, suggestions have been made to construct a separate set of tests for persons affected with autism and related disorders. This is especially required for persons with non-verbal or communication problems as they may not fully comprehend the questions and may not correctly respond to the same.
- Further, a number of autism rights activists oppose the use of IQ tests in view of the too much stress placed on such tests within autism. A recent report the validity of IQ tests in the context of persons with autism.