The atypical pattern of irony comprehension in autistic childrenFrancesca Panzeri
, Greta Mazzaggio
, Beatrice Giustolisi
, Silvia Silleresi
, Luca Surian
, 2022, original scientific article
Abstract: Nonliteral language understanding has always been recognized as problematic in autistic individuals. We ran a study on 26 autistic children (mean age = 7.3 years) and 2 comparison groups of typically developing children, 1 matched for chronological age, and 1 of younger peers (mean age = 6.11 years) matched for linguistic abilities, aiming at assessing their understanding of ironic criticisms and compliments, and identifying the cognitive and linguistic factors that may underpin this ability. Autistic participants lagged behind the comparison groups in the comprehension of both types of irony, and their performance was related to mindreading and linguistic abilities. Significant correlations were found between first-order Theory of Mind (ToM) and both types of irony, between second-order ToM and ironic compliments, and between linguistic abilities and ironic criticisms. The autistic group displayed an interesting, and previously unattested in the literature, bimodal distribution: the great majority of them (n = 18) displayed a very poor performance in irony understanding, whereas some (n = 6) were at ceiling. We discuss these results in terms of two different profiles of autistic children.
Keywords: irony, autism spectrum disorder, experimental pragmatics, theory of mind, irony comprehension
Published in RUNG: 05.05.2022; Views: 924; Downloads: 0
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