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We investigate the function bias—generalising words to objects with the same function—in typically developing (TD) children, children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and children with other developmental disorders. Across four trials, a novel object was named and its function was described and demonstrated. Children then selected the other referent from a shape match (same shape, different function) and function match (same function, different shape) object. TD children and children with ASD were ‘function biased’, although further investigation established that having a higher VMA facilitated function bias understanding in TD children, but having a lower VMA facilitated function bias understanding in children with ASD. This suggests that children with ASD are initially attuned to object function, not shape.
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- Are Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Initially Attuned to Object Function Rather Than Shape for Word Learning?
Melissa L. Allen
- Springer US