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Autism Research and Treatment
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 505393, 11 pages
Research Article

Unique Theory of Mind Differentiation in Children with Autism and Asperger Syndrome

1Department of Education, Dartmouth College, 6103 Raven House, Hanover, NH 03755, USA
2Office of Academic Affairs, The City University of New York, 535 East 80th Street, NY 10021, USA

Received 30 September 2011; Accepted 18 January 2012

Academic Editor: Bennett L. Leventhal

Copyright © 2012 Michele Tine and Joan Lucariello. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study was designed to determine if ToM abilities of children with autism and Asperger syndrome differentiate into Intrapersonal ToM and Social ToM. A battery of Social and Intrapersonal ToM tasks was administered to 39 children with autism and 34 children with Asperger syndrome. For both groups of children, ToM differentiated and Intrapersonal ToM was stronger than Social ToM. This asymmetry was greater for children with autism, whose Social ToM was especially weak. These results support a differentiated, as opposed to integrated, ToM. Moreover, the findings provide a more thorough understanding of the cognitive abilities associated with autism and Asperger syndrome.