Dynamic versus static thinking

We're doing some more RDI learning from the website. The latest topic is the difference between static intelligence and dynamic intelligence.

Static intelligence is what you know, and how you are able to apply that in a static situation.

Dynamic intelligence is what you know, and how you are able to apply that in an ever-changing, messy world where real-life problems are never as simple as IQ test questions.

For example: static intelligence is when you know a whole lot of big words and what they mean. Dynamic intelligence is knowing the words, but also knowing how to use them. It's also being able to guage whether an audience will understand them if you're standing up to give a presentation, or whether they will think you are pretentious and snobby for using them.

Dynamic intelligence is juggling context, meaning, emotions, culture, expectations and desires, needs and wants when answering a question. Does 2 + 2 always equal 4? In a static system, of course it does. In a dynamic system, it might not, if we're pretending in a fabulous game that 2s are really 3s in magic maths land. Or if we're speaking in metaphors and discussing the fact that life has a lot of grey areas for which there are no definitive answers.

Many people are impressed by Bright Eyes' static skills - the fact that he can spell and read, and count in 1s, 10s and 100s, and can name all the colours and shapes, and (of course) knows the numbers and colours and names of all the Thomas the Tank Engine characters.

Unfortunately, these things do not help him to solve messy, real world problems. They do not help him to decide how to find his way through problems and dilemmas. They do not help him negotiate personal relationships.

RDI aims to treat the dynamic intelligence deficits that all autistic people face. Because those skills are what you need to live a meaningful life.