The study, released Friday by Stanford University School of Medicine, suggests "a unique pattern of brain organization that underlies superior problem-solving abilities in children with autism," said Vinod Menon, psychiatry and behavioral sciences professor and member of the hospital's Child Health Research Institute.
Menon is the lead author of the study, published Aug. 17 in the scholarly journal Biological Psychiatry.
Children with autism often have difficulty in social interaction, a Stanford university statement said. However, Menon said, "Being able to solve numerical problems and developing good mathematical skills could make a big difference in the life of a child with autism."
The statement said the idea that autistic people could employ such skills in jobs, and get satisfaction from doing so, has been gaining ground in the scientific community in recent years.
The study was conducted by researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif.