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Homogeneous or Heterogeneous I.Q Profile: Some Clinical Characteristics to Differentiate High Intellectual Potential and Asperger's Syndrome in Children

Author(s): Laurence Vaivre-Douret, Pascale Planche

Background: Some recent studies suggested that the homogeneous versus heterogeneous psycho-cognitive profiles established by the Wechsler scales are relatively good predictors of the behavioral characteristics and general adaptive abilities of children with high intellectual potential (HIP). First, the present study aimed to test the hypothesis that the heterogeneous IQ profile can be linked to social, behavioral and emotional difficulties in children with HIP. Secondly, by comparing HIP children and children with Asperger’s syndrome combined with HIP, our purpose was to identify possible clinical characteristics to differentiate these profiles.

Materials and Methods: We carried out a comparative study between HIP children with a homogeneous IQ profile, HIP children with a heterogeneous IQ profile, children with an Asperger’s syndrome combined with HIP and children with typical development. A total of 62 children, aged between 7 years and 7 months and 15 years and 11 months, were recruited for this research. The WISC-IV was used to identify children with HIP. Appropriated tests were used to assess respectively, social cognition and emotional adaptation, the visuoperceptual and visuomotor functions and the prevalence of anxiety and depressive disorders.

Results: The existence of links were confirmed between profile configuration and the interactional abilities of HIP children. Certain registers of social cognition and affectivity could represent possible indicators for distinguishing very high-functioning Asperger’s syndrome and HIP without Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Conclusion: HIP children with a very heterogeneous IQ profile and considerable social and emotional difficulties are at high risk of being children with Asperger's syndrome.

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    Michael Maes

  • Molecular Biology and Neuroscience
    Deakin University
    Victoria, Australia

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