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Strategies of readers with autism when responding to inferential questions: an eye movement study

Micai, M., Joseph, H., Vulchanova, M. and Saldaña, D. (2017) Strategies of readers with autism when responding to inferential questions: an eye movement study. Autism Research, 10 (5). pp. 888-900. ISSN 1939-3806

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/aur.1731


Previous research suggests that individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have difficulties with inference generation in reading tasks. However, most previous studies have examined how well children understand a text after reading or have measured on-line reading behavior without response to questions. The aim of this study was to investigate the online strategies of children and adolescents with autism during reading and at the same time responding to a question by monitoring their eye movements. The reading behavior of participants with ASD was compared with that of age-, language-, nonverbal intelligence-, reading- and receptive language skills-matched participants without ASD (control group). The results showed that the ASD group were as accurate as the control group in generating inferences when answering questions about the short texts, and no differences were found between the two groups in the global paragraph reading and responding times. However, the ASD group displayed longer gaze latencies on a target word necessary to produce an inference. They also showed more regressions into the word that supported the inference compared to the control group after reading the question, irrespective of whether an inference was required or not. In conclusion, the ASD group achieved an equivalent level of inferential comprehension, but showed subtle differences in reading comprehension strategies compared to the control group.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM)
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders) Research Network
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education > Language and Literacy in Education
ID Code:68108
Publisher:John Wiley

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