Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 10, pp 2376–2392

Thinking About a Reader’s Mind: Fostering Communicative Clarity in the Compositions of Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-013-1786-y

Cite this article as:
Grossman, M., Peskin, J. & San Juan, V. J Autism Dev Disord (2013) 43: 2376. doi:10.1007/s10803-013-1786-y


A critical component of effective communication is the ability to consider the knowledge state of one’s audience, yet individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have difficulty representing the mental states of others. In the present study, youth with high-functioning ASD were trained to consider their reader’s knowledge states in their compositions using a novel computer-based task. After two training trials, participants who received visual feedback from a confederate demonstrated significantly greater communicative clarity on the training measure compared to a control group. The improvements from training transferred to similar and very different tasks, and were maintained approximately 6 weeks post-intervention. These results provide support for the sustained efficacy of a rapid and motivating communication intervention for youth with high-functioning ASD.


AutismAsperger syndromeReferential communicationWritingTheory of mindIntervention

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Grossman
    • 1
  • Joan Peskin
    • 2
  • Valerie San Juan
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Human Development and Applied PsychologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada