Academic Distinctions Between Gifted Students With Autism And Asperger Syndrome

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Cognitive and Academic Distinctions between Gifted Students with Autism and Asperger Syndrome
Yasmin Battle
Mississippi Valley State University

February 27, 2013
"Cognitive and Academic Distinctions Between Gifted Students With Autism and Asperger Syndrome ." Gifted Child Quarterly . N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2013. <>.
This study was done to examine the cognitive and academic profiles of students with autism spectrum disorder. Students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are individuals that have a wide range of cognitive abilities, and include individuals who are identified as academically gifted. Researchers wanted to determine these students’ strengths and areas for growth so that they were able to provide them with a foundation for developing educationally. “There are three pervasive developmental disorders that fall within the autism spectrum: autistic disorder (autism), Asperger disorder (Asperger syndrome [AS]), and pervasive developmental disorder (PDDNOS) (77).” In this study researchers examined the cognitive profiles of students with any or all of the three ASDs and identified the similarities, differences, and patterns between them. This was done to address the problems associated with making general conclusions about students with these disorders and to identify how these profiles are unique among gifted students with the same ASD.
To start this study, psychologist recruited fifty-two academically and cognitively gifted students with ASD. They had a screening for all participants and each had to meet the following criteria: “proof of residence in our state, evidence of a suspected or documented social or learning disability, and evidence of academic or cognitive talent in at least one domain (80).” 47 students were evaluated for the presence of ASD, of that 47, 41 students were identified as being both cognitively gifted and having high functioning autism or AS. In order to conduct this study psychologist used an Autism Diagnostic Interview–Revised (ADI-R). This “is a comprehensive developmental interview completed with parents/caregivers that assesses for symptoms related to ASD in four main areas: Qualitative Abnormalities in Communication; Qualitative Abnormalities in Reciprocal Social Interaction; Restricted,