Creativity in Autism: An Examination of General and Mathematical Creative Thinking Among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Children with Typical Development

  • Orit HetzroniEmail author
  • Hila Agada
  • Mark Leikin
Original Paper


This study investigated creative thinking abilities among two groups of 20 children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) compared to 20 children with typical development ages 9–11. The study compared performance on two different creativity tests: general creativity (Pictorial Multiple Solutions-PMS) test versus mathematical creativity (Creating Equal Number-CEN) test, and investigated relationships between general and mathematical creative thinking across various cognitive measures including non-verbal IQ, verbal and non-verbal working memory and Attention. Results of the study demonstrate significant correlations among the measures of creativity indicating that the PMS and the CEN tasks represent different skills, or perhaps, different domains of creativity. Findings suggest that creativity can be found among individuals with ASD.


ASD General creativity Mathematical creativity 



A partial version of this study was presented at the 2018 INSAR conference in Rotterdam. The preparation of this paper is partially based on a master’s thesis.

Author Contributions

OH participated in the conceptual framing of the study, the design, data analysis, and in writing the manuscript; HA participated in the design, data collection, data analysis, and the initial writing of the study; ML participated in the conceptual framing of the study, the design, data analysis, and in writing the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants and parents included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Special Education, Faculty of EducationUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.RANGE Center, Neuro-Cognitive Laboratory for the Investigation of Creativity, Ability and GiftednessUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael
  3. 3.The Edmond J. Safra Brain Research Center for the Study of Learning DisabilitiesUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael

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