Studies investigating inferential reasoning in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have focused on the ability to make socially-related inferences or inferences more generally. Important variables for intervention planning such as whether inferences depend on physical experiences or the nature of social information have received less consideration. A measure of bridging inferences of physical causation, mental states, and emotional states was administered to older children, adolescents, and adults with and without ASD. The ASD group had more difficulty making inferences, particularly related to emotional understanding. Results suggest that individuals with ASD may not have the stored experiential knowledge that specific inferences depend upon or have difficulties accessing relevant experiences due to linguistic limitations. Further research is needed to tease these elements apart.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology