Brief Report: Making Experience Personal: Internal States Language in the Memory Narratives of Children with and Without Asperger's Disorder

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Abstract

The development of the personal past is complex, requiring the operation of multiple components of cognitive and social functioning. Because many of these components are affected by autism spectrum disorders, it is likely that autobiographical memory in children with Asperger's Disorder (AD) will be impaired. We predicted that the memory narratives of children with AD, in comparison to typically-developing peers, would reflect less personal interpretation as evidenced by internal states language. Thirty children with AD and 20 typically-developing children aged 6–14 reported their earliest memories and two emotional experiences (one positive and one negative). Consistent with our predictions, children with AD included fewer emotional, cognitive, and perceptual terms than the comparison sample.

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