June 2nd, 2012

Google Search "Mensa" and "Autism"

I have a post of links from this search. I was specifically looking for people who were both members of Mensa and autistic -- I found several, along with a wide variety of other things. Then I found this:

jmg.highwire.org/content/18/6/410.full.pdf

Journal of Medical Genetics, 1981, 18, 410-413

Genes for super-intelligence?

JEFFREY A SOFAER* AND ALAN E H EMERY**

From *the Department of Oral Medicine and Oral Pathology, University of Edinburgh,
Old Surgeons Hall, High School Yards, Edinburgh EHJ INR; and
**the University Department of Human Genetics, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh EH4 2XU

SUMMARY The results of a postal questionnaire distributed to British members of Mensa failed to confirm an association of superior intelligence with torsion dystonia, retinoblastoma, or phenylketonuria, but were consistent with real associations between high IQ and infantile autism, gout, and myopia. Further confirmation of these findings in other populations might well indicate that genes producing these disorders have more or less direct effects on cerebral development and function.

The whole article is seems to be there (5 pages). I felt like at that point I'd found _precisely_ what I went in search of, only _way_ older than I expected it to be. The question screened and then they did a round of letters to confirm the diagnoses.

"For infantile autism there were ten positive
responses, three for Mensa members themselves and
seven for their relatives. In only four of these cases,
all either sibs or children of respondents, was the
diagnosis confirmed by a consultant psychiatrist.
Assuming that it is unlikely for a case of infantile
autism to become either a parent16 or a member of
Mensa, the incidence of the disorder should be
calculated only with respect to sibs and children of
respondents. Table I shows that this was 3.2 to
6.3 times greater than reported for the general
population."

There are all kinds of limitations on this study (and the authors are aware of some of them, altho I would argue that the paragraph above indicates they are not aware of all of them), but it is nevertheless a really interesting artifact.

Looking for a Book

Any ideas on where I could acquire (borrow or buy, price not much of an object) a copy of
Leta Hollingworth's _Children Above 180_? My usual tricks have failed me, altho I have not yet resorted to interlibrary loan.