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Findings from research investigating goal-directed intention understanding in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have been equivocal, in part because of the varying methodologies used across studies. This study compares both object-oriented and social-communicatively cued goal-directed intention understanding in children with ASD and typically-developing children. Relative to matched controls, children with ASD did not exhibit deficits in object-oriented intention understanding. While children with ASD also demonstrated the ability to understand intention when cued by social-communication indicators, typically-developing children differentiated between intentional and unintentional acts at a significantly greater level. Group differences in performance were eliminated if only trials in which children attended to the experimenter’s face were considered. Results suggest that children with ASD have intact object-oriented intention understanding abilities, and are able to use social-communicative cues to understand intention. However, their ability to demonstrate social-communicatively cued intention understanding is limited by a lack of attention to relevant social-communicative information.
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- A Further Investigation of Goal-Directed Intention Understanding in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Natalie I. Berger
- Springer US