Autism IQ Test


True or False?

This month, we start our series with an "Autism IQ Test." Answer each question True or False, and find the answers, below:

1. If a child is not functionally fluent by their 5th birthday, they will remain mute, so it is critical that developing speech be the first goal for a non-verbal child.

2. If you teach a child enough words, he or she will be able to have reciprocal conversations.

3. It is important to teach eye contact to children with autism so they can be successful in social relationships.

4. ABA (Lovaas, Discrete Trials) and other interventions have been proven effective for treating autism, and children who have undergone these treatments have been followed to see how they do as teens & adults.

5. If a child can be taught to “fit in” and superficially appear normal, he or she will be able to make friends.

6. Social skills groups are effective in teaching people on the spectrum to have relationships.

7. Individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome have a better prognosis for quality of life than people with Autism.

8. Mainstreaming & academic progress are signs of a good prognosis and if a child can get into college, he or she can go on to have a pretty normal life.

9. If a child spends most of his time focused on developing his computer skills, someone will want to hire him someday, regardless of his ability to collaborate & work as part of a team.

10. People with autism may not have the same emotional or social needs as everyone else. They might be happy living a life without friendships and intimate emotional relationships.


Here you go

The answers:

1. False. Without an interest in coordinating actions and perceptions with a partner, or learning about others’ internal experiences, speech alone without a solid foundation in non-verbal communication becomes a vehicle for chaos, or a means to control others.

2. False. Language without communicative intent can actually be a major obstacle in developing reciprocal conversations, so it is critical to work on speech and language development only within the context of genuine emotion-sharing and social referencing.

3. False. While eye contact can be taught as a rote skill, this would be like teaching a severely dyslexic child to pretend to read. If we just work on eye contact, the child doesn't learn to reference. Instead the child just learns to look, without intent to use the facial information that’s being presented. However, children on the autism spectrum can learn to reference quite naturally, if we start by providing them the motivations for doing so.

4. False. Studies on ABA or other early interventions have not used core deficits of autism as outcome measures and there have been no teenage or adult outcome studies of children treated with those methods.

5. False. Friendship skills are actually a highly advanced form of social communication, requiring a solid foundation of emotion-sharing, referencing, and co-regulation, all of which are core deficits of those with autism. However, individuals on the autism spectrum can actually learn all these skills and can go far beyond “fitting in,” if given the opportunity to do so with a competent guide.

6. False. A number of studies have shown social skills groups are ineffective in teaching people on the spectrum to have relationships or to generalize Theory of Mind skills outside the treatment setting.

7. False. While it is a common belief that individuals who have Asperger’s Syndrome, (those with no language delays and an average to high IQ) enjoy a better prognosis for quality of life, all three major outcome studies to date have shown this to be false.

8. False. The outcome studies showed that academic ability to participate in post-secondary education did not result in higher levels of independent living. In fact, one of Howlin’s studies showed that adults on the spectrum with IQs over 100 were actually less successful in quality of life than people with IQs between 70 and 100.

9. False. Computer skills alone have little value in the marketplace. Robert Bailey, President and CEO of PMC-Sierra, says hi-tech employers look for employees with teamwork and communication skills, plus the ability to solve problems quickly and creatively in extremely fast-paced environments where change is constant.

10. False. Adults on the autism spectrum are not “aliens” with different needs. Many have said they desire the same things we all do: Joy. Friendships. True allies. Marriage. Comfortable work environments. Confidence in managing their worlds. By stopping, slowing down and becoming competent guides, we can help individuals on the spectrum make the amazing discoveries which will allow these needs to be met.

Download the Autism IQ Test
If you're familiar with the RDI® Program, this True or False Quiz was probably very easy for you. Download the"Autism IQ Test" now to share with others and to help them understand some of the newest information about the Autism Spectrum Disorders. Invite them to sign up for our newsletters themselves to receive the rest of our series for Autism Awareness Month.


Well-Known Member
Thank you SO MUCH, Alisha. This is precious information, at least to me. I wonder why autistic kid with lower IQ's do better, but I guess it didn't explain. Thanks again!


Former desparate mom
Thanks Alisha, the prognosis isn't ever very rosy for our kids.
We keep trying though.
Are these facts really true? I'm especially stumped about the prognosis of our Aspie difficult child's as opposed to those lower on the spectrum. There werea few of those questions I thought would be true...

sameold sameold

New Member
I am not at all surprised by these answers. Unfortunately we have not made alot of progress over the years, but we also have some mental health issues involved here also. It can all be so discouraging some days.


Well-Known Member
I have a friend who actually works for disability and she told me that she has many Aspies on her caseload. Apparently many just don't "get" how to deal with people, can be easily swindled, and often can't handle the workforce, although they are often very intelligent. There was some really mean lady (when I heard the story, it galled me) who was telling Aspie adults she'd give them a place to live if they handed over their social security checks. She had six Aspie adults living with her under wretched conditions, was caught, and prosecuted. Some Aspies, however, do live independently, depending on the degree of impairment. Kids like my son with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified, rarely can live independently because they are more impaired, and I don't expect it of my son and have accepted it. We have some great group homes for adults like he will be one day, where his freedom is considerable, but he still gets the care he needs. Nothing here surprised me except that Autistic kids with lower IQs are happier than those with higher ones. However, so far my son (IQ 107) does seem to be a pretty happy kid. I think they are all different and there is no point in worrying. This survey will spur me on to keep trying to teach my child how to interact. He actually can do it (Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified kids tend to be more social than other forms of autism and my son knows how to act). He just doesn't seem to want to interact that often. He truly is a loner, turning kids away at the door by saying, "My mom says I can't play" when I never said that. These are complicated kids to say the least.


stressed yet blessed... there are studies behind all of these questions... I believe there's an article in general archives about long term prognosis for aspies.

A... thanks so much for this... will be sending it to my SD for my mtg next week...they sure wouldn't get the right answers! They think that if they throw him on the playground at recess that counts as social skills work!!! :Hot Head:


I think the social skill delays are one of the greatest barriers for our difficult children. difficult child has had social skills training. It helped a bit, but I think what helped him most was watching movies and asking questions when he didn't understand what was going on -- most particularly the inferencing stuff.

difficult child doesn't develop as most children do. He seems to platu, stay at one level for a while and then his development "jumps" in one area. It's unequal development however. His abilities range from 3 yrs old level to mid-20's. Quite the tough guy to figure out most of the time.


Active Member
Thanks, Alisha. I also wasn't surprised by the answers. With one of each (Aspie plus full autistic) I believe my autistic child has a better prognosis, although this could be at least partly due to earlier intervention. They were both diagnosed at the same time, although the Aspiei is ten years older.

I do feel, however, that parents following their instincts with their kids can be at least as effective as most therapists in improving their child's prognosis.

About Aspie's being manipulated - my kids are learning to be streetwise, to a certain extent. And a middle-aged Aspie friend was canny enough to 'blow the whistle' on a 'carer' who tried to swindle him out of his home. The Aspie friend has been left his family home, a valuable property (land value worth more than the building) when his parents died. All the neighbours 'look out' for him, he is a lovely man.

But his live-in carer tried to bully him into signing over his house to the carer. My friend knew this was wrong and called in friends from the church to help him throw this man out and lay charges. He couldn't do it on his own but he knew to ask for help.

Our kids can learn.

Someone on this site pointed me towards information on/by James Williams - I recommend all of you with autistic/Asperger's children to check out this young man's writing. It has helped us make some life-changing decisions for difficult child 3. We've got to give our kids more credit for knowing their own needs.



New Member
Darn doctor told me that difficult child COULD go on to college and maybe be able to hold job, but some needed assisted living when they are older. So there's no HOPE?


Absoluely there's hope! More and more is being learned about spectrum disorders. More and more studies are being conducted. The more info we have, the more we can help our kids. Also, there's a wide range of impact -- very mild all the way to very severe.

I think one thing that will prove beneficial is for health care providers acknowledge that kids do not necessarily grow out of peculiar behaviors. The earlier the intervention, the better the chances of a good outcome.

Also, there's often an erroneous assumption that a disorder rated, say as "moderate," looks the same in one individual compared to another, therefore the intervention one child requires is not the way to go for the other.

Studies are ongoing. Brain scans are evolving and being refined. There will be a day when an "x-ray" will be helpful in many cases.... etc.
You bet there's hope.


New Member
Do you have the title's of these books?? I am currently getting as many books as I can about Aspergers, reading as quickly as I can and informing husband on what they say (he's dyslexic, easier for me to tell him).

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
My husband was diagnosed an aspie the same time T was diagnosed Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). (although I'd already figured it out)

From info I've gathered from my mother in law over the years.....husband was a typical aspie kid.

husband went to college. But the environment was too unstructured, he fell into the partying crowd, and basically flunked out after his second year.

(Bare in mind this is BEFORE they even knew there was high functioning autism)

husband joined the Army and flourished under the structure and dicipline. During his 14 yrs in the Army he even went back to school.
husband is trained as a chemical Lab tech. He has worked in a petrolium lab, for Kodak, a pharmecutical company, and now in research and development for a plastics company.
husband works with explosive chemicals. (no I don't like that)

That said, husband is still very much an aspie. If you want him to do something, you have to tell him. Socially, he is at least as bad as T. And he has problems with things like paying bills and such.

Since I learned for certain his behaviors were due to the asperger's, and not necessarily him being a jerk, I take over the things he can't handle, and let him bring home the bacon. /importthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif It has helped our relationship immencely.

husband is now 57 yrs old, and we've been married just about 22 yrs.

husband also has a cousin who is an aspie. He did graduate from college, with several PHDs and a couple of Master's. But his wife even says, they don't have kids because He is enough for anyone to handle. lol (he is obsessed with the Civil War)

T has been trained in repairing computer hardware. He flourished in a tech school. He still wants to go to college.....we are waiting to see on that for the moment.

I don't see any reason for any of the autistic spectrum kids not to succeed as adults. Granted, I think it is more difficult for them, so finding the right niche is a big plus. And I do have to keep pushing T toward his goal.

Success to me is what you expect. husband and his cousin's parents had high expectations for them. I have high expectations for T regardless of his disabilities. And yes, I've been accused of being unsympathetic of T's disorders. (dropped a therepist for that reason)

But I don't think I'm unsympathetic. My expectations for him are the same as they are for his siblings. I am realistic enough to know it may take him longer to reach his goals, and there are some things he will never be able to do. But I work hard to find ways around his obsticles instead of letting him just give up.

And yes, T has wanted to give up many times. And we've head butted along the way too.

Like right now, I'm fighting everyone for T to become independant and live on his own. Everyone is saying he can't. But I keep saying he can. We just have to find the way.

For parents of younger kids with autistic spectrum.....Don't give up! They are learning more about autism everyday. Special schools are being set up, even for very young kids. There is no telling how far your little ones can go!


New Member
Daisy lover,

Thank you for your response, personally it helps me, as I am sure it will help others. I am a bit teary eyed. I am on that roller coaster of emotions from the diagnosis. It really helps, thanks.


Active Member
Tina, your son is still very young, which means there's a lot of time in which you can do a great deal for him. And the others are right, the prognosis can be -anything! There is always hope, society tends to make niches available for kids like ours, simply because they have talents which are always useful to somebody, somewhere. They just sometimes need someone else's help (say, a parent) to find what and where they can be used.
From your signature, I believe your Aspie child is - your four year old son?
When difficult child 1 was four years old (and totally undiagnosed) he was talking alright but incredibly shy and clingy. He was afraid of ALL animals in all forms, including cute fluffy baby animals. It was beyond fear, it was terror. I remember him at three, hysterical because a kitten was on the other side of the road, looking at him and about to cross the road to play with him.
The breakthrough for him was birds. At age six he learned to handle birds with his father and we acquired "chooks" (Australian for hens) which he helped me care for. Now he loves animals too and is studying to become a zookeeper. Academically he's years behind his peers but he IS making slow and steady progress. He's already acquired enough qualifications to get a job with a vet or pet store. However, he's still not life-skilled enough to work with the public. We're giving him more time and teaching him more life skills.
difficult child 3, at age 4, was barely talking. He couldn't talk in sentences except very short ones dealing with concrete information only. He could not answer questions about whether he had a good day. However, he was doing basic maths addition and subtratcion and had memorised some of his times tables. He had also been using a computer since infancy.
I also suspect husband is at least partly Aspie. Socially he suffers from 'foot in mouth' disease. I love him dearly but recognise that he can sometimes be a bit blunt. However, the Aspie side of him has its valuable points:

* He is scrupulously honest. I can trust husband completely.

* His high moral code is valued by other people too, who know they can trust him with their life, literally.

* He sees himself as a jack of all trades, master of none. In reality, he is master of many trades because his perfectionism means that each skill he acquires is taken on board as completely as possible.

* He is unswervingly loyal. He will give his friends the shirt off his back if they need it.

There are many good qualities that go hand in hand with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). Loyalty, honesty and ethics are huge. Value this. They CAN lie, just they're not very good at it. If your son tries to lie to you, this is actually a good sign! It means he understands that other people aren't always honest with him.

Another good point, part of the spectrum - the ability to concentrate intensely on their area of special interest. This is where their career potential exists. Try and use their interests to expand their horizons and find a practical application for their abilities. Here is the way for their life skills to help them have a purposeful and enjoyable independence later in life.

Tina, you asked about books - I actually haven't bought a great deal, although I read a lot.
I can recommend:
"Thinking in Pictures" by Temple Grandin. She also wrote "An Anthropologist on Mars." She is a great success story for autism - she's an Associate Professor (or full Prof, I'm not sure which) in Animal Behaviour at Colorado U. I've heard her speak (on one of her visits to Australia) and it was inspirational.
There's also "Life Behind Glass" by Wendy Lawson, but I'm not sure if it's available outside Australia.

You don't have to buy all these, although owning at least one would be useful. (Libraries are good). These books give you a wonderful insight into what it's like to be autistic.
A warning - I've found with ANY writings by an autistic person that they assume ALL autistic people are exactly like them. (I suspect this is another facet of autism's extreme egocentricity). So if there is something described that your child doesn't have, or vice versa, don't be too concerned.

A book which is a must-have, although a bit old for your son just yet, is "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time". I'm not sure of the author's name because for some reason all my books seem to be out on loan (I'm trying to educate family and friends). This book is technically a work of fiction, but it's an absolutely brilliant first-person account of life as an autistic fifteen-year-old (Aspie). The language is simple enough for any person from age 8 to adult. The story line is multi-layered so there is enjoyment in the book for all ages. It's sad at times, funny at times and sympathetic at all times. A definite reading must. When your son is old enough you could read it to him, he could well enjoy hearing about another boy like him.

And now to James Williams. I've only read his website. However, I consider everything on his website to be invaluable. His insight into living as an autistic child helped me get a better idea of my son's needs both socially and educationally. To find his articles, put "James Williams" (in quote marks) and the separate word "autism" into the search engine. His site should be very high on the hit list. I would recommend downloading his articles for later reading at your leisure.

My only other reading is various articles I've been sent, including scientific articles sent to me by health professionals (friends, family, therapists). The gist of these articles deals with topics such as holding therapy; weighted vests (we've bought one); integration vs home schooling discussions; various therapies and treatments. Nothing much conclusive except the value of pressure therapy.

You sound like it's early days for you all. If so, you'll be searching almost frantically for any information you can find.
Have you told your son about his diagnosis? Although we were advised to tell our son (difficult child 3) as soon as possible, we found we had to wait a few years until he could understand it. Then, when we told him, it was along with a Sixth Sense presentation at his school in his class. We explained that kids with autism are just as clever as other kids but their brains work a different way, just like some computers are PCs and others are Macs. His brain can produce the same output as anybody else's, but with a different operating system it needs to get there a different way sometimes. It's just the way he's made. He was about 8 years old at the time.

There is also a lot of emphasis on trying to get our autistic kids to reduce their 'oddness' by cutting back on stims, on obsessions and so forth. difficult child 3 called it "pretending to be normal." And he's right - sometimes we're doing the wrong thing by trying to insist our kids behave normally all the time, because often in doing so we're removing their coping strategies. Our kids will do better when they're less stressed. Whatever method they find for reducing their stress - it often seems socially unacceptable. Sometimes if a habit really IS a bad social one (say, masturbating in public) then we need to intervent to find something a bit more acceptable. But don't ever count on removing the stims, they need them. Remove one stimulant and another will replace it.

Does this help?

If you need anything more, PM me. I'm sometimes a bit slow getting my messages (depends how things are at home) but I'm happy to help. If our experience can make it easier for someone else then I feel better about what we've been through.



New Member
yes it helps. I am going to see if library has the books. They are very helpful, if they don't have the books I want, they will actually buy them for me if other libraries don't have them. Our library is so used to me, if they see a book about difficult child's they will call me and let me know. Thanks for your help!!!

Hunter was ther when doctor gave diagnosis, however he wasn't paying attention. His teenage sister is starting to understand the diagnosis. But as far as Hunter, no I don't think he knows and at this point is too young. I try to help him as much I can. When he is headed for a meltdown(or rage) I pick him up and start rocking him and tell him I know how he feels and that whatever he is upset about will be ok try to distract him about what is coming up next, that he is looking forward to. Such as church (he loves, water flowers, pet time etc.).

Big sister gets upset about it, however she is starting to care about little brother, she petted his hair and let him sleep with her, a true kodack moment.


Well-Known Member
Lucas isn't interested in his diagnosis, nor does he seem to mind being different. I'm not even sure he realizes he's that different. Of course, Asperger kids are higher functioning than Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified---I think. Either that or Aspergers kids are different from Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified kids because they didn't have speech delays. I'm confused by all this. I am not conflicted about Lucas and his future. It is pretty clear he won't live alone. He'll always need minimal help, and it won't bother him (at least unless he changes a lot). He lives very much in the here and now. Of course, I have four other kids who don't need assisted living, and I think that helps with acceptance. If my first child had been Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified I think it would have been very hard. But each kid carves his own way. I do think the social deficiets and life skills deficits are what "gets" Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids. If Lucas had normal life skills, he could easily live by himself. He is bright enough and can do things for himself (cook, dress, bathe, etc). His problem is, he doesn't caer about social skills so I doubt he'd ever bathe and he has poor life skills so I doubt he'd pay the rent on time. He certainly will not have reached his full maturity level by 18 or even 21. He is more like a happy seven year old, emotionally, than going on 12. He has come far, however. Don't despair. There is hope!