The Role of Speech Comprehension in the Early Stages of Theory of Mind Development in Children with ASD

Karolina Krzysztofik,

Katarzyna Mariańczyk


In order to determine whether the reported association between the development of theory of mind (ToM) and speech comprehension in ASD children also exists at the early stages of ToM development, a group of 33 children with ASD and reduced ToM development were tested using the Belief understanding subscale of the SToMM and the Speech comprehension subscale of the IDS-P. The statistical analyses demonstrated that children with ASD presenting different levels of early ToM skills also have different levels of speech comprehension. Accordingly, supporting the development of speech comprehension can facilitate the acquisition of early ToM skills. At the same time, the results of a qualitative analysis also suggested that manipulating objects in space, moving them as well as moving themselves may help children with ASD to complete ToM tasks.

Słowa kluczowe: zaburzenia ze spektrum autyzmu (ASD), teoria umysłu, rozumienie mowy, autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), theory of mind, speech comprehension

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