Ontario Adult Autism Research and Support Network - OAARSN

Ontario Adult Autism Research and Support Network

OAARSN offers information and communication tools to connect adults with Autism, family members, caregivers, friends, support workers, teachers, administrators and policymakers. We can all benefit from the opportunities for mutual support and encouragement and the sharing of knowledge and experience. Our efforts to promote positive approaches and best practices in supporting adults with Autism can help all who live and work on the front lines.

Are autistic people cognitively disabled? Can they have special skills?

Autistic impairments may be associated with cognitive disabilities. Two-thirds of those with Autistic Disorder (classic Autism or Kanner syndrome) have been assumed to be mildly handicapped in cognition and intellect. Most people with Asperger’s have average to higher IQ. Across the autistic spectrum, perhaps 10 per cent have distinctive abilities—in such fields as art, music, mathematics or memory—and may be called autistic savants. (The proportion of people with such special abilities in the whole population is only one per cent). It was conjectured that several people of remarkable genius may have had Asperger’s–including Albert Einstein, Vladimir Nabokov, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Bela Bartok and Andy Warhol. As well, people with Autism may have a highly developed sense of pattern and spatial order that can be trained into a marketable skill.

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Please note that OAARSN provides resources for information purposes only. We do not endorse any treatment, program, product or service. The contents of this website are not medical, legal, technical or therapeutic advice. Information should be reviewed with qualified professionals. We will not be held responsible for misuse of information or for any adverse effects of recommendations mentioned on this website or on any other websites linked to it. Views, opinions or announcements posted by subscribers to any area of this site do not necessarily reflect those of OAARSN and we do not assume responsibility for any discrepancies or errors.