The Raven’s Progressive Matrices intelligence test (RPM) is a pure space and time test. Notice how the two-dimensional patterns are not random, but are designed to highlight various forms of geometrical, symmetrical and conceptual structure—the fundamental basis of our notion of space. And notice how the image-to-image changes also are not random, but are designed to capture a regular pattern of events—the fundamental basis of our notion of time.
Because RPM measures an ability to apprehend spatial and temporal pattern, it should not surprise us that autistic individuals perform well on this test. The results have less to do with the fact the test is non-verbal than with the fact the test captures the essence of the autistic’s natural cognitive domain.