A small-scale study published in the Journal of Biological Psychiatry suggests that children with High Functioning ASDs, are more proficient than their peers at Mathematics.
Research conducted by Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, looked at the brain scans of 36 children between the ages of 7 and 12 whilst they were sitting a series of educational tests.Half had been diagnosed with Autism. Each group had 14 boys and four girls, as autism disproportionately affects boys, the researchers noted. All children had verbal and reading skills, and similar IQ scores.
The children with an Autism diagnosis proved to be far superior at problem solving and using a technique called decomposition, which means breaking down complex problems into smaller, more manageable tasks. Interestingly the enhanced activation was found to occur in the part of the brain which is usually responsible for facial recognition and object visualisation.
Professor of psychiatry Vinod Menon said:
“There appears to be a unique pattern of brain organization that underlies superior problem-solving abilities in children with autism, [previous research]has focused almost exclusively on weaknesses in children with autism. Our study supports the idea that the atypical brain development in autism can lead, not just to deficits, but also to some remarkable cognitive strengths. We think this can be reassuring to parents “
Most children with an Autism diagnosis have problems with facial expressions and social interactions, the study suggests that physical activity in the brains of these children could suggest that their brains are reorganised in such a way that they have developed superior logic.
Lead author of the study,Teresa Iuculano, PhD said :
“Our findings suggest that altered patterns of brain organization in areas typically devoted to face processing may underlie the ability of children with autism to develop specialized skills in numerical problem solving.”
Autism Daily Newscast reported on August 2 that larger employers are seeking out Autistic employees because of their superiority in specified pockets of employment.