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Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 34, Issue 6, pp 625–635 | Cite as

Emotional Understanding, Cooperation, and Social Behavior in High-Functioning Children with Autism

  • Andrew Downs
  • Tristram SmithEmail author
Article

Abstract

In contrast to typically developing children, children with autism rarely exhibit cooperative social behavior. To examine whether this problem reflects global developmental delays or autism-specific deficits, the present study compared cooperation, emotional understanding, personality characteristics, and social behavior of 10 children with autism who had average IQ to those of 16 children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and 10 typically developing children. In cooperative behavior, level of emotional understanding, and aloof behavior, the autism group outperformed the ADHD/ODD group and did not differ significantly from typically developing children. However, the autism group showed worse emotion recognition and more active-but-odd behavior than the other groups. The results indicate that high-functioning children with autism can develop cooperative social behavior and advanced theory of mind abilities, but continue to show deficits in identifying emotions and displaying socially appropriate behavior.

Keywords

Autism ADHD social skills cooperation emotion 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWashington State UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Strong Center for Developmental DisabilitiesUniversity of Rochester Medical CenterRochesterUSA

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