Social Perspective-Taking Abilities in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Approximately 80% of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) fail to perform perspective taking as measured by false belief (FB) tests that require speech. Since children with ASDs exhibit a range of verbal abilities, it is possible that children with limited speech may be successful on false belief tests that do not require vocal responses. The present study examined the performance of children on three false belief tests that require different verbal skills. Eighteen children with ASDs (ages 5 years to 11 years 11 months) and eighteen typically developing children (ages 3-5 years 11 months)were tested on: (a) two standard FB tests that require children to answer questions vocally and a nonvocal Guesser-Knower (GK) test designed to evaluate whether children are able to discriminate the relationship between seeing and knowing. Results indicate that: (a) performance did not differ significantly among the three different tests; (b) in the ASD population, children with higher expressive language scores outperformed those with lower expressive language scores on all tests.