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