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J Autism Dev Disord. 2007 Jul;37(6):1049-59.

Use of context in pragmatic language comprehension by children with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism.

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  • 1Department of Finnish, Information Studies and Logopedics, University of Oulu, PO Box 1000, FIN-90014, Oulu, Finland.


Utilizing relevance theory, this study investigated the ability of children with Asperger syndrome (AS) and high-functioning autism (HFA) to use context when answering questions and when giving explanations for their correct answers. Three groups participated in this study: younger AS/HFA group (age 7-9, n=16), older AS/HFA group (age 10-12, n=23) and a normally functioning control group (age 7-9, n=23). The results indicated that the younger AS/HFA group did less well when answering contextually demanding questions compared to the control group, and the performance of the older AS/HFA group fell in between the younger AS/HFA group and the control group. Both AS/HFA groups had difficulties explaining their correct answers, suggesting that they are not always aware of how they have derived answers from the context.

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