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This study investigated whether the novel Comic Strip Task (CST) could be used to detect Theory-of-Mind impairments (ToM) in 4- to 8-year-old children with high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Twelve children with either high-functioning autism or Asperger’s Disorder and 12 typically-developing children completed the 21-item measure. The overall CST demonstrated moderate internal consistency but the Belief-understanding subscale was excluded from the test due to poor reliability. As predicted, the ASD group performed significantly more poorly than controls on the overall 2-subscale CST and on the intention-understanding subscale. No group differences were found in emotion-understanding subscale performance. Controlling for age, verbal ability was positively correlated with overall CST performance across groups. CST performance in the ASD group positively correlated with parent-reports of communication difficulties. Despite some limitations with the belief-understanding subscale, the CST has promising psychometric features warranting further development of this measure.
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- Brief Report: Assessment of the Social-Emotional Profile in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders using a Novel Comic Strip Task
Carmel S. Sivaratnam
Kylie M. Gray
Nicole J. Rinehart
- Springer US