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ERIC Number: EJ1036259
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1368-2822
Theory of Mind and Emotion Recognition Skills in Children with Specific Language Impairment, Autism Spectrum Disorder and Typical Development: Group Differences and Connection to Knowledge of Grammatical Morphology, Word-Finding Abilities and Verbal Working Memory
Loukusa, Soile; Mäkinen, Leena; Kuusikko-Gauffin, Sanna; Ebeling, Hanna; Moilanen, Irma
International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, v49 n4 p498-507 Jul-Aug 2014
Background: Social perception skills, such as understanding the mind and emotions of others, affect children's communication abilities in real-life situations. In addition to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), there is increasing knowledge that children with specific language impairment (SLI) also demonstrate difficulties in their social perception abilities. Aims: To compare the performance of children with SLI, ASD and typical development (TD) in social perception tasks measuring Theory of Mind (ToM) and emotion recognition. In addition, to evaluate the association between social perception tasks and language tests measuring word-finding abilities, knowledge of grammatical morphology and verbal working memory. Method & Procedures: Children with SLI (n = 18), ASD (n = 14) and TD (n = 25) completed two NEPSY-II subtests measuring social perception abilities: (1) Affect Recognition and (2) ToM (includes Verbal and non-verbal Contextual tasks). In addition, children's word-finding abilities were measured with the TWF-2, grammatical morphology by using the Grammatical Closure subtest of ITPA, and verbal working memory by using subtests of Sentence Repetition or Word List Interference (chosen according the child's age) of the NEPSY-II. Outcomes & Results: Children with ASD scored significantly lower than children with SLI or TD on the NEPSY-II Affect Recognition subtest. Both SLI and ASD groups scored significantly lower than TD children on Verbal tasks of the ToM subtest of NEPSY-II. However, there were no significant group differences on non-verbal Contextual tasks of the ToM subtest of the NEPSY-II. Verbal tasks of the ToM subtest were correlated with the Grammatical Closure subtest and TWF-2 in children with SLI. In children with ASD correlation between TWF-2 and ToM: Verbal tasks was moderate, almost achieving statistical significance, but no other correlations were found. Conclusions & Implications: Both SLI and ASD groups showed difficulties in tasks measuring verbal ToM but differences were not found in tasks measuring non-verbal Contextual ToM. The association between Verbal ToM tasks and language tests was stronger in children with SLI than in children with ASD. There is a need for further studies in order to understand interaction between different areas of language and cognitive development.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A