Hoffmann Foundation for Autism
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IQ Test

Hi everybody,

My son was diagnosed with HFA about 4 years ago. Am I right in thinking that he would have had an IQ test at the time of diagnosis? As far as I know the IQ score goes towards deciding what the diagnosis is....or it used to before the new DSM criteria came in.

The reason I'm asking is because we can't find any record of the test being carried out.

12 Replies

My two boys never had one. They were assessed within the last two years. If the child or adult has an IQ below 70 it's classed as Autism. There are stages in the learning disability part where it drops, eg, 70, 50, 30 depending on the severity of the learning disability.

Once the IQ is over 70 it's classed as Asbergers . In my opinion it should all be classed the same. It's exactly the same issues for both.

They do look at school reports so I presume that would have given them a guide as to the ability of a child. 

One was assessed within the school system, the other Adult Services.


Thanks for the reply Yiman.

I think he might have been diagnosed using different criteria to your two boys as we were told he had received an HFA diagnosis due to the late development of his speech. If his speech had developed earlier he would have been diagnosed with AS.

We were also told that the marker between the LFA and HFA diagnosis was the IQ score of 70.

The whole thing is really confusing!!

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To my knowledge an IQ test isn't used in diagnostic testing for autism. High functioning means although autistic traits are found, they are not classic to the three areas of testing. Some children/adults can do their work and be sociable but  don't cope well with noise or literal things or what we might class as 'commen sense'

The school would be asked to send in a report as to how your son copes within the classroom and that would show if they're any concerns regarding his work. It might say he's working as his peers or higher or delayed or within year group, which won't necessarily be an actual IQ test.

Hope this makes sense?!

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Thanks Chris, yes it makes sense. I've looked into it a bit further and it doesn't look as though any IQ test was carried out.

I might see if I can sort one out for him. He's a really bright lad but academically poor because he can't cope with a classroom environment very well. I think he's being labeled as "thick" so I would like to have the test carried out, taking into account his verbal and visual skills,

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Sometimes children find the classroom very noisy and distracting that they can't concentrate. Has anyone suggested or tried ear defenders? It's surprising how just a small thing can help big time. I am right In thinking you are speaking to the senco of the school And that they have things in place to help him? I hope so.

An IQ test is ok if you think it will help, but do think about whether it will cause any stress for your son as this too may affect his ability to do well. X

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Yeah, the ear defenders have been suggested Chris but he doesn't want to wear them as he says he will feel embarrassed.

There's an SEN in place and we have quarterly meetings with the SENCO and his teacher. We have recently had the statement revised and he should now receive more 1:1 help, which is what he needs. The trouble is, as I'm sure you know, everything seems to take forever! Also the school isn't adhering to the recommendations of the statement. We found out recently (almost by accident) that he had been moved from a desk on his own to a table with five other kids on it! And his teacher couldn't understand why his work and attention span had gone downhill!!

He started off well in year 3, with an excellent teacher, but since then he seems to have deteriorated and they say he's two years behind the rest of the class (although the specifics of this are still yet to be defined). Relationships between us and the school are getting a bit...chilly.

Maybe you're right, an IQ test may cause him further stress as he already gets really uptight about tests and freezes when it comes to doing them.

We will just keep battering on and get the best for him that we can. Thanks for listening and taking the time to reply, I appreciate it.

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That's what the forums all about, supporting each other. I know its frustrating when you have a teacher that understands and another doesn't. ill give them the benefit of the doubt and hope that they thought it wasn't nice him being on his own and that they were being 'helpful' in including him. Hopefully now they will do what is best for him and he will get back on track with 1:1 help.

sometimes it is a bit of a battle to get what is needed, your concern is for your son but the school have 30 children in a class to consider and it can be frustrating for all concerned.

Targets have changed this year and it has been very confusing for everyone, before it was levels but now there is a system of something like mastered, successful,working on target, working towards, working below. Suddenly children that were working at a good level have gone to working towards which makes you panic thinking what's gone wrong but its just the system and they're actually ok. I know with my grand daughter this happened until we deciphered it and it turned out she was where we would expect her to be.

I hope he gets on well. x


Another suggestion would be to ask your GP to refer you for a second opinion, just in case there is something else like ADD as well as  Asbergers. Don't be fobbed off, I had to fight to get second opinion and I was right.

My youngest was told he was lazy and winging it. Eventually found out after years of failures he has Asbergers and ADD. 

Has he ever been tested for Dyslexia? That would create issues as well. As a parent you can request an assesment. Up in Scotland we have Enquire who are brilliant telling you what you are entitled to.There is also a named person at the Council who you can ring. This information is not always readily available, hidden on websites.

Good Luck, 

You will get your answers, I know how infuriating it is.


Hi Yiman,

ADD/ADHD has been suggested but we haven't had him tested for it. The thing that put us off was the school suggested trying for this diagnosis so that he could receive medication to deal with it. I don't want to go down the route of using drugs. What's your experience? Was there a definite advantage to having the ADD diagnosis?

He isn't dyslexic (had the test) but he has also been diagnosed with dyspraxia. Poor thing, he's sick of being evaluated.

Regarding the person at the council - we have just found a huge ally there! She visited the school, put the willies up them, and got a lot of things sorted out for us. Massive relief to have her on our side now.

Thanks a lot for your help.

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Delighted you have found someone on your side.

I had two young men to compare and I knew there was something else with second one. Adult services diagnosed the additional ADHD when young and ADD now. It makes a huge difference getting the additional diagnosis.

The medication was suggested, tried for a wee while but it made no difference whatsoever. Personally once I looked at the side effects, Ritilin, I was horrified but it was agreed to try and see.


Some people it does have a massive effect. They are more careful these days to prescribe drugs. The side affects  are anxiety, a major problem for folks on the AS. Others are eating and sleeping. I have a friend whose child is on same drug , she has ADHD but it severely decreases her appetite. She can't exist without the drug but hates the side effects. 

if you have no problems on the eating and sleeping at present I would certainly keep going without the drugs. Sleep depravation is extremely difficult for both the child and family. One of mine eating is a massive daily challenge.

It's a case of trying things and seeing what works. What makes a huge difference is a sympathetic understanding teacher. Sadly they are very few and far between. Make sure you check out the High School before the transition. Ask this ally which school is the best for AS and fight for a place. Ask other parents , do your research.

I know it's a lot for a child to go through but theoretically should get you extra support.

Just a little suggestion, is it possible for someone to go into the class , may be your ally, and talk to the children about Autism, that's if your child and you  agree, may be that way he would consider wearing the ear defenders. Explain its just like some children have medicine to help them feel better, these ear defenders stops the room being too noisy and he will feel better. Also will show how brave he is overcoming all these issues. Have you tried to see if they work at home, if they do may be he would consider wearing them at school.

Hope this helps.

Have you tried magnesium and vitamin B6? It may be worth trying this, it's to help anxiety. Some parents have seen an improvement. No real research as yet but it may be worth discussing . Check labelling for age suitability.


It made a difference in children with PDA.

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Sorry for late reply Yiman, had a Mental day and just sat down!

My wife has looked into Ritalin and she knows some people at work who have horror stories, so she's dead set against it. Fortunately, although it's difficult to get him to go to bed, once he gets there he sleeps like a log. He also eats plenty but has a very limited diet. 

The high school he will be going to looks promising. Our daughter is already there (year 9) and everything is fine with her. Our friend at the council reckons the school has a fantastic set up for autistic pupils so we're we have high hopes. I just hope it works out well, it's been a constant struggle, as you know!

I've been thinking about the ear defenders. We have small discreet sponge ones at work which he may try. I think I might slip some into my pocket tomorrow 😀 

Thanks for the link to the Mg and B6 paper. I've read the abstract, which looks really interesting, and I'm going to look into it further.

Thanks again for taking the time to do this Yiman, it's much appreciated.

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There is a Charity in Scotland called Sleep Scotland. , they have links on their site for other parts of UK.


It's a case of bath, stories, nothing too exciting, removing toys, TV etc, anything to keep them calm. It might help. That he sleeps through the night is a WOW. That's brilliant, well done you.

Delighted to hear High School has a great set up, that's the most important part.

It's a steep learning curve that's for sure!!

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