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Splinter Skills and Cognitive Strengths in Autism

The term splinter skills has been defined in multiple ways. In the field of education, children who master specific skills in a rigidly isolated manner, with no transfer to related abilities, are said to have acquired splinter skills. In the field of autism, splinter skills are invoked in descriptions of the uneven cognitive profiles characteristic of autistic individuals. Here the term is used to express the presumed incongruity and nonfunctionality of cognitive strengths found in individuals considered to be pervasively disabled. This entry discusses how splinter skills have been seen in education and in autism research, and how independent or specialized cognitive strengths and abilities are viewed more generally in discussions of intelligence.

Splinter Skills in Education

The notion of splinter skills first explicitly appeared in 1960, ...

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