Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 417–424 | Cite as

Humor in high-functioning autistic adults

  • Mary E. Van Bourgondien
  • Gary B. Mesibov


This study examined the humor used by a group of autistic adults. Subjects were nine autistic adults who were participating in a Social Skills Group. The jokes they told during a designated joke time over 15 consecutive group sessions were analyzed according to their developmental levels. The participants told a total of 87 unique jokes, almost all of which were riddles. The most common types were preriddles and those having lexical and phonological ambiguity. Along with empirically examining the jokes used by this group of high level autistic adults, the study demonstrates that they enjoy a wide range of jokes and that humor seems to enrich their lives.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary E. Van Bourgondien
    • 1
  • Gary B. Mesibov
    • 1
  1. 1.School of MedicineUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillUSA

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