The already existing literature and research comparing the mathematical abilities of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and typically developing children are hitherto scarce, inconclusive, and mainly focusing on elementary school children or adolescents. The researchers conducted this study with the main focus to gain insight into the foundation of mathematics by looking at preschool performances.

The researchers examined the five early numerical competencies that are considered to be essential for mathematical development. The competencies that were evaluated are verbal subitizing, counting, magnitude comparison, estimation, and arithmetic operations. These competencies were analyzed and identified in 20 high-functioning children who participated in the study presenting with ASD and 20 age-matched control children aged 4 and 5.

The study concluded through its findings that the similar first number processing in children with and without ASD at preschool age, meaning that both groups did not differ on the foundation of mathematics development. The pervasiveness and the family impact of the condition of ASD is a nearly positive message for parents and preschool teachers. Implications and several directions for future research are proposed.