Answering contextually demanding questions: pragmatic errors produced by children with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism
This study examined irrelevant/incorrect answers produced by children with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism (7-9-year-olds and 10-12-year-olds) and normally developing children (7-9-year-olds). The errors produced were divided into three types: in Type 1, the child answered the original question incorrectly, in Type 2, the child gave a correct answer, but when asked a follow-up question, he/she explained the answer incorrectly, and in Type 3, the child first gave a correct answer or explanation, but continued answering, which ultimately led to an irrelevant answer. Analyses of Type 1 and 2 errors indicated that all the children tried to utilize contextual information, albeit incorrectly. Analyses of Type 3 errors showed that topic drifts were almost non-existent in the control group, but common in the clinical group, suggesting that these children had difficulties in stopping processing after deriving a relevant answer. Learning outcomes: The reader becomes aware of the different instances which may lead to the irrelevance of answers and get knowledge about features of answers of children with AS/HFA.
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