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Title: Acknowledging individual strengths, interests and needs of pupils with Autistic Spectrum Conditions : questioning 'Theory of Mind' (a pilot study)
Author: Tee, Abigail
ISNI:       0000 0004 5989 2293
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2016
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Research investigating children and young people’s (CYP’s) performance in standard False Belief (FB) tasks, such as ‘The Sally Anne Task’ has highlighted that CYP with autistic spectrum condition (ASC) have difficulties in passing the task and demonstrating Theory of Mind (ToM), in comparison to CYP with ‘neurotypical’ development. This finding has led to the suggestion that individuals with ASC may have deficits in their ToM (Baron-Cohen, Leslie & Frith, 1985). The present research aimed to explore whether there were differences in the performance of pupils with ASC on ‘The Sally-Anne Task’ compared to an adapted task, which was tailored to the individual’s strengths, interests and areas of need (via information from a template about the pupil supplied by helpers). Nineteen pupils with a diagnosis of ‘autistic spectrum disorder’ between the ages of 6 and 10 years (mean = 8.47 years, standard deviation = 1.12 years) were recruited from mainstream classrooms or specialist resource bases attached to mainstream classrooms in three Welsh and five English primary schools. A pragmatic research framework employed a within subjects design; each pupil took part in the two (counterbalanced) tasks. A McNemar’s Exact test revealed a significant difference between the pass rates of pupils in the standard and adapted tasks (p = .008). Pupils in the adapted tasks were almost twice as likely to pass the tasks (M = .89, SD = .31) as those in the standard tasks (M = .47, SD = .51). Implications for understanding ToM in pupils with ASC are discussed and suggestions for developing support, which focuses on the individual’s strengths and interests, are proposed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry