Episodic Future Thinking in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
- 1.2k Downloads
The capacity to imagine oneself experiencing future events has important implications for effective daily living but investigation of this ability in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is limited. This study investigated future thinking in 30 children with high functioning ASD (IQ > 85) and 30 typically developing children. They completed the Adapted Autobiographical Interview, a measure which required participants to describe personal past events (indexing episodic memory) and plausible future events (indexing episodic future thinking). The results showed that there are ASD-related deficits in future thinking, and also provided preliminary evidence regarding cognitive mechanisms that may (and may not) contribute to these difficulties. The theoretical and practical implications of these results are discussed.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorder Episodic future thinking Imagining the future Episodic memory Executive functioning Children
We would like express our appreciation to Autism Victoria, the Asperger’s Association Network and Voice and Movement for assisting with the recruitment of children with ASD. We also thank Jade Russo for assisting with data collection, Fiona Sparrow for transcribing the interviews and Ashleigh Dever for scoring the AIs. We would also like to thanks Donna Addis for generously sharing the materials, and her advice on conducting and scoring of the adapted Autobiographical Interview AI.
- American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.Google Scholar
- American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.Google Scholar
- Baio, J. (2012). Prevalence of autism spectrum disorders—Autism and developmental disabilities monitoring network, 14 sites, United States, 2008. Surveillance summaries, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 30(2012/61), 1–19 (SS03).Google Scholar
- Baron-Cohen, S. (2008). Facts: Autism and Asperger syndrome (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Currie, G. (1995). Imagination and simulation: Aesthetics meets cognitive science. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Harris, P. L., & Leevers, H. J. (2000). Pretending, imagery, and self-awareness in autism. In S. Baron-Cohen, H. Tager-Flusberg, & D. Cohen (Eds.), Understanding other minds: Perspectives from developmental cognitive neuroscience (2nd ed., pp. 182–202). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Humphrey, A., Golan, O., Wilson, B. A., & Sopena, S. (2011). Measuring executive function in children with high functioning autism spectrum disorders: What is ecological invalid? In I. Roth & P. Rezaie (Eds.), Researching the autism spectrum (pp. 347–363). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Jackson, L. K., & Atance, C. M. (2008). Future thinking in children with autism spectrum disorder: A pilot study. Journal on Developmental Disablities, 14, 40–45.Google Scholar
- Korkman, M., Kirk, U., & Kemp, S. (2007). NEPSY II clinical and interpretative manual. San Antonio, TX: The Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
- Lord, C., Risi, S., Lambrecht, L., Cook, E. H. J., Leventhal, B. L., DiLavore, P., et al. (2000). The autism diagnostic observation schedule-generic: A standard measure of social and communication deficits associated with the spectrum of autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 30, 205–223. doi: 10.1023/A:1005592401947.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Miyake, A., Friedman, N. P., Emerson, M. J., Witzki, A., Howerter, A., & Wager, T. D. (2000). The unity and diversity of executive functions and their contributions to complex “frontal lobe” tasks: A latent variable analysis. Cognitive Psychology, 41, 49–100. doi: 10.1006/cogp.1999.0734.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Rutter, M., Bailey, A., & Lord, C. (2003a). Social Communication Questionnaire-WPS (SCQ-WPS). Los Angeles, CA: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar
- Rutter, M., LeCouteur, A., & Lord, C. (2003b). Autism diagnostic interview-revised (AD I-R-WPS). Los Angeles, CA: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar
- Shaked, M., & Yirmiya, N. (2003). Understanding social difficulties. In M. Prior (Ed.), Learning and behaviour problems in Asperger syndrome (pp. 104–125). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Sinzig, J., Morsch, D., Bruning, N., Schmidt, M. H., & Lehmkuhl, G. (2008). Inhibition, flexibility, working memory and planning in autism spectrum disorders with and without comorbid ADHD-symptoms. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 2. doi: 10.1186/1753-2000-2-4.
- Verte, S., Geurts, H. M., Roeyers, H., Oosterlaan, J., & Sergeant, J. A. (2006). Executive functioning in children with an autism spectrum disorder: Can we differentiate within the spectrum? Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36, 351–372. doi: 10.1007/s10803-006-0074-5.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Wechsler, D. (1999). Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence. New York, NY: The Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar