Article

Writing, Asperger Syndrome and Theory of Mind

Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Western Ontario, 1201 Western Rd, London, ON N6G 1H1, Canada.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (Impact Factor: 3.06). 11/2011; 41(11):1464-74. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-010-1168-7
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

This research compared the written compositions of 16 adults with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders and 16 neurotypical control participants, and examined the influence of theory of mind on their writing. Participants ranging in age from 17 years to 42 years, matched on Vocabulary subtest scores from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (1997), completed the Social Attribution Task and wrote an expository and a narrative text. Texts were assessed on 18 variables representing quality, mechanics, and length. It was found that adults with HFASD wrote lower quality narrative and expository texts, and narratives of shorter length. Theory of mind was positively associated with writing quality and text length across both genres.

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Available from: Heather M Brown, Jan 04, 2014
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    • "Additionally, there was a tendency for the expository texts of the adults with HFASD to have lower clausal density (d = À0.5 SD), contain shorter words (d = À0.6 SD) and have more frequent spelling errors (d = À0.7 SD), but these modest differences were not significant. Equally important, Brown and Klein (2011) found modest correlations (r = .38–.45, p < .05) between ToM (as assessed by the social attribution task) and each of expository text quality, coherence, and cohesion. However, this study and, in fact, almost all previous studies on the writing skills of individuals with HFASD, have collapsed participants with HF-ALI and HF-ALN into a single group (cf., Brown & Klein, 2011; Mayes & Calhoun, 2003; Mayes & Calhoun, 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies of students with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (HFASD) have shown great variability in their writing abilities. Most previous studies of students with HFASD have combined individuals with linguistic impairments (HF-ALI) and individuals without linguistic impairments (HF-ALN) into a single group. The current study was the first to compare the persuasive writing of students with HF-ALN with controls, without confounding the effects of language ability and autism on writing achievement, and while considering possible cognitive underpinnings of their writing skills. Twenty-five students with HF-ALN and 22 typically developing controls completed measures of oral language, nonverbal IQ, social responsiveness, theory of mind, integrative processing and persuasive writing. The persuasive texts were coded on 19 variables across six categories: productivity, grammatical complexity, lexical diversity, cohesiveness, writing conventions, and overall quality. The texts were reliably different between groups across measures of productivity, syntactic complexity, lexical complexity and persuasive quality. Specifically, the texts of students with HF-ALN scored lower on overall quality (d = −0.6 SD), contained shorter and simpler sentences (d = −1.0), and had less repetition of content words (d = −0.8 SD). For the HF-ALN group, integrative processing, language ability and age predicted 77% of the variance in persuasive quality.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
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    • "Additionally, there was a tendency for the expository texts of the adults with HFASD to have lower clausal density (d = À0.5 SD), contain shorter words (d = À0.6 SD) and have more frequent spelling errors (d = À0.7 SD), but these modest differences were not significant. Equally important, Brown and Klein (2011) found modest correlations (r = .38–.45, p < .05) between ToM (as assessed by the social attribution task) and each of expository text quality, coherence, and cohesion. However, this study and, in fact, almost all previous studies on the writing skills of individuals with HFASD, have collapsed participants with HF-ALI and HF-ALN into a single group (cf., Brown & Klein, 2011; Mayes & Calhoun, 2003; Mayes & Calhoun, 2008). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Previous studies of students with high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder (HFASD) have shown great variability in their writing abilities. Most previous studies of students with HFASD have combined individuals with linguistic impairments (HF-ALI) and individuals without linguistic impairments (HF-ALN) into a single group. The current study was the first to compare the persuasive writing of students with HF-ALN with controls, without confounding the effects of language ability and autism on writing achievement, and while considering possible cognitive underpinnings of their writing skills. Twenty-five students with HF-ALN and 22 typically developing controls completed measures of oral language, nonverbal IQ, social responsiveness, theory of mind, integrative processing and persuasive writing. The persuasive texts were coded on 19 variables across six categories: productivity, grammatical complexity, lexical diversity, cohesiveness, writing conventions, and overall quality. The texts were reliably different between groups across measures of productivity, syntactic complexity, lexical complexity and persuasive quality. Specifically, the texts of students with HF-ALN scored lower on overall quality (d = -0.6 SD), contained shorter and simpler sentences (d = -1.0), and had less repetition of content words (d = -0.8 SD). For the HF-ALN group, integrative processing, language ability and age predicted 77% of the variance in persuasive quality.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
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    ABSTRACT: This article reports the findings of a qualitative inquiry involving two focus groups made up of experienced faculty who met to discuss academic concerns faced by college students with autism spectrum disorders, including Asperger's disorder. Analysis of group meeting transcripts indicated that student concerns fell into categories related to difficulties with theory of mind and understanding audience, weak central coherence in cognitive processing, and struggles with executive function. Classroom teaching implications are summarized and related strategies are presented.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2013 · Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities
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