Denise Drum

Theories of intelligence can be used as a guide for many people but for those diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome (AS), we must be more observant when placing them into predetermined groups. Parents and teachers must understand that each child diagnosed with AS has different abilities and will act and react differently. The Theories of Multiple Intelligences and Triarchic Theory of Intelligence are two examples of theories of intelligences and how those with AS fit into the spectrum.

Theories of Multiple Intelligences, created by Howard Gardner, expands on the concept that intelligence is composed of eight relatively independent dimensions (Eggen & Kauchak, 97). This particular theory can be used to help explain the intelligences of people diagnosed with AS. Those with AS can typically be categorized into one of the eight dimensions. These dimensions include linguistic intelligence, logical-mathematical intelligence, musical intelligence, spatial intelligence, bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, intrapersonal intelligence and naturalist intelligence. One of the main characteristics of AS is that they obsess about one topic or item (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2012). They want to know everything about it and will spend most of their time researching their topic or item. For example, a child with AS can become an expert at playing the guitar. They will know how to play it, all of the different types, who invented it and so much more. But they will not understand how to communicate with others. In general, they will master one topic or item and lack knowledge in most other topics.

Robert Sternberg’s Triarchic Theory of Intelligence takes a different approach to types of intelligence and groups them into three dimensions. These dimensions are analytical or componential dimension, creative or experiential dimension and practical or contextual dimensions (Eggen & Kauchak, 99). Children with AS do not fit into either the analytical dimension or the practical dimension. The analytical dimension states that children can problem solve well and the practical dimensions states that people have the ability to deal with and adapt to everyday problems (NINDS, 2012). Both of these dimensions cannot be met by those with AS because of their inability to problem solve and deal with everyday problems. The creative stage can sometimes be met with children with AS because it deals with the ability to deal with familiar situations. Those with AS require repetition and do well in this stage.