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Early Math and ASD

Article: Early Numerical Competencies in 4- and 5-Year-Old Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. By Titeca and others. In Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 2017, 32(4).

This study may be looking at a more obscure issue (preschool math skills), but it was too elegant and wonderfully conceived to pass up. Everyone knows, or should know, that math is a challenging and enigmatic subject for many ASD individuals. Researchers were curious just how early these math struggles can present, and specifically they wanted to compare math skills between ASD preschoolers and typically developing preschoolers. Imagine the implications if math skills between the two groups was equivocal in preschool.

The researchers compared competencies in five early numerical abilities (no school required) between 20 ASD kids and 20 typically developing kids and found no significant differences. This suggests that any differences in math abilities one sees between ASD and non-ASD populations happens after kids start school.

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