Decoding of Emotion through Facial Expression, Prosody and Verbal Content in Children and Adolescents with Asperger's Syndrome

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Abstract

This study examined differences in the ability to decode emotion through facial expression, prosody, and verbal content between 14 children with Asperger's Syndrome (AS) and 16 typically developing peers. The ability to decode emotion was measured by the Perception of Emotion Test (POET), which portrayed the emotions of happy, angry, sad, and neutral among the modalities of static and dynamic facial expression, prosody, verbal content, and all modalities combined. Results revealed that children with AS had more difficulty identifying emotions through static facial expression, dynamic facial expression, and prosody than typically developing children. Results are discussed in relationship to an over-reliance on verbal content as a compensatory strategy in social interactions. Treatment implications for individuals with AS are also discussed.

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