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Brain Dev. 2004 Aug;26(5):301-6.

The metaphor and sarcasm scenario test: a new instrument to help differentiate high functioning pervasive developmental disorder from attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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Division of Neurobiology, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Tottori University Graduate School of Medicine, Tottori, Japan.


It is sometimes difficult to discriminate high functioning pervasive developmental disorders (HFPDD) from attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders (AD/HD) in young children because of the behavioral similarities between the two. For adequate diagnosis, understanding fundamental differences in their social cognitive abilities might become significant. In order to detect the differences in social cognitive abilities between AD/HD and HFPDD, a new test, the Metaphor and Sarcasm Scenario Test (MSST) was developed. One hundred and ninety-nine normal school children (the control group), 29 AD/HD children and 54 HFPDD children were involved. The results showed that the inability to understand a sarcastic situation was specific to children with HFPDD, both children with AD/HD and HFPDD could not equally understand metaphor. The correlation between the comprehension of sarcasm and success in the theory of mind task was remarkably high but not for comprehension of metaphor. In conclusion, the MSST has the potential to discriminate HFPDD from AD/HD in young children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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