Few works have addressed the processing of indirect requests in High-Functioning Autism (HFA), and results are conficting. Some studies report HFA individuals’ difculties in indirect requests comprehension; others suggest that it might be preserved in HFA. Furthermore, the role of Theory of Mind in understanding indirect requests is an open issue. The goal of this work is twofold: frst, assessing whether comprehension of indirect requests for information is preserved in HFA; second, exploring whether mind-reading skills predict this ability. We tested a group of (n=14; 9–12 years) HFA children and two groups of younger (n=19; 5–6 years) and older (n=28; 9–12 years) typically developing (TD) children in a semi-structured task involving direct, indirect and highly indirect requests for information. Results suggested that HFA can understand indirect and highly indirect requests, as well as TD children. Yet, while Theory of Mind skills seem to enhance older TD children understanding, this is not the case for HFA children. Therefore, interestingly, they could rely on diferent interpretative strategies.

Understanding indirect requests for information in high-functioning autism

Marocchini, Eleonora;Di Paola, Simona;Domaneschi, Filippo
2021-01-01

Abstract

Few works have addressed the processing of indirect requests in High-Functioning Autism (HFA), and results are conficting. Some studies report HFA individuals’ difculties in indirect requests comprehension; others suggest that it might be preserved in HFA. Furthermore, the role of Theory of Mind in understanding indirect requests is an open issue. The goal of this work is twofold: frst, assessing whether comprehension of indirect requests for information is preserved in HFA; second, exploring whether mind-reading skills predict this ability. We tested a group of (n=14; 9–12 years) HFA children and two groups of younger (n=19; 5–6 years) and older (n=28; 9–12 years) typically developing (TD) children in a semi-structured task involving direct, indirect and highly indirect requests for information. Results suggested that HFA can understand indirect and highly indirect requests, as well as TD children. Yet, while Theory of Mind skills seem to enhance older TD children understanding, this is not the case for HFA children. Therefore, interestingly, they could rely on diferent interpretative strategies.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1055049
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