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Theory of Mind and Maternal Mental Discorse in High Fuctional Autism Children
High functional autism
Theory of mind
Joint book reading
Preschool age is the critical time for children to improve the quality of social interaction. Even though children with high functioning autism, in general, have higher intelligence, they still have difficulties in social interaction. Many previous researches have indicated that the reason why high-functioning autism children are facing this obstacle primarily lies in lack of competence of theory-of-mind. How to build up the children’s theory of mind would be a challenge of their mothers. The purpose of this research is to find out whether there is a correlation between the children’s performance in theory-of-mind test and mothers’ talk on mental states or not. Forty kindergarteners have participated in this research which includes twenty autism children and twenty normal children. The groups of children were requested to take the test on theory of mind, and then to read a storybook with their mothers. The results as follows: 1. The children with high-functional scored significantly lower than normal groups on the theory of mind test. 2. With the same amount of utterances, the counting numbers and frequencies of high-functional group’s mental states are both lower than normal group. 3. The correlations between children’s theory-of-mind test scores and mothers’ talk on mental states are high in both groups. Based on the results, the researcher discussed how to promote mental states in joint book reading to help children with high-functioning autism to develop the ability of theory-of-mind.
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