Publication details [#651]

Persicke, Angela, Jonathan Tarbox, Jennifer Ranick and Megan St. Clair. 2012. Establishing metaphorical reasoning in children with autism. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders 6 (2) : 913–920. 8 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Amsterdam: Elsevier


Researchers have shown that children with autism have difficulty with non-literal language, such as irony, sarcasm, deception, humor, and metaphors. To date, few studies have attempted to remediate these deficits, and no studies of which we are aware have attempted to teach children with autism to understand metaphors. Metaphorical reasoning consists of complex verbal behavior, involving relations of coordination, hierarchy, and distinction, at a minimum. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate multiple exemplar training for teaching children with autism to attend to relevant features of the context in which a metaphor is used and to engage in the required relational responding in order to respond correctly to metaphorical questions. Participants included three children, ages 5–7. Results suggest that multiple exemplar training is effective for teaching children with autism to understand metaphors. Furthermore, generalization to untrained metaphors was found for all participants.