International Meeting for Autism Research (London, May 15-17, 2008): Source Memory and Social Functioning in Children with High Functioning ASD- A Pilot Study

Source Memory and Social Functioning in Children with High Functioning ASD- A Pilot Study

Thursday, May 15, 2008
Champagne Terrace/Bordeaux (Novotel London West)
E. Gilbert , Centre de recherche Université Laval Robert-Giffard, Quebec, QC, Canada
K. Morasse , Hôtel-Dieu de Lévis, Quebec, QC, Canada
N. Rouleau , École de Psychologie, Université Laval, Quebec, QC, Canada
Background: Social deficits are central in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Evidence from relatively few studies in ASD population may suggest that episodic memory could be associated to the level of social functioning (Goddard & al.,2006; Liss & al., 2001,Shapiro,1997). Findings from the literature suggest that children with ASD experience deficits especially with the source monitoring in episodic memory. However, the nature of these deficits remains unclear and to this date no study has investigated precisely if source memory may be linked to social difficulties in ASD.

Objectives: To better understand source memory functioning and its relation with social skills in children with ASD . 

Methods: A preliminary sample of 13 high functioning boys with ASD aged 8 to 17 years old and matched control were assessed. Groups were match on age, sex and global IQ. Social skills were assessed with the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale-2nd edition (Sparrow & al., 2006). Children’s memory was assessed using a theory driven experimental task designed to measure memory for source and temporal context of studied words (Doré & al., 2007).

Results: Preliminary findings revealed that children with ASD were not different from the control group in recognition of target words nor in identification of their source and temporal context. However, qualitative data revealed that the ASD group had a different pattern of responses bias. Furthermore, results showed that the ASD children who significantly recognized more target words also displayed a lower level of global adaptive functioning on the VABS. Analyses on the subscales are yet to come.

Conclusions: These preliminary findings suggest that episodic source memory seems to be associated to the adaptive functioning in children with high functioning ASD. Recruitment for this project is still in process and results from further assessment will be discussed.

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