Teaching Emotion Recognition 1

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Teaching Emotion Recognition

1

Running head:
Recognition of Emotion in Children with Autism










Remediation of Deficits in Recognition of Facial Emotions in

Autistic Children


Paige Weinger

Cornell University


























Teaching Emotion Recognition

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Abstract


This study evaluated the efficacy of
the
Mind Reading

interactive computer software to
remediate emotion recognition deficits in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Six
unmedicated children with ASD and 11 unmedicated non
-
clinical control subjects participated in
the study. The cli
nical sample used the
Mind Reading

software for five 30
-
45 minute sessions.
The control subjects did not receive training, and were evaluated only on pre
-

and post
-
test
performance to assess practice effects. Results showed that participants with ASD score
d
significantly higher on the post
-
test than on the pre
-
test. As level of emotion difficulty increased,
mean scores on the pretest decreased, indicating that difficulty level had a valid effect. Findings
also revealed that neither age nor diagnosis was cor
related with performance or with one another.
In addition, a trend indicated that greater initial performance leads to greater gains through
training. The
Mind Reading
computer software appears to significantly improve the emotion
recognition abilities in
children with ASD.


















Teaching Emotion Recognition

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Autistic Disorder
, along with
Asperger’s Syndrome

and Pervasive Developmental
Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD
-
NOS)
,

make up the three Autism Spectrum Disorders
(ASD). Individuals with autism have a range of cognit
ive
and affective
abilities,
resulting in

differences in
the

capacity to form social relationships and to recognize emotions in both
themselves and others.

D
espite
the adequate

cognitive abilities of many individuals with

ASD,

severe deficits in communicat
ion and repetitive and restrictive interests and behaviors

become
problematic
. I
ndeed, i
mpairments in reciprocal social interaction and
deficits in
communication
are key symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (American Psychiatric Association, 1994).

Althou
gh i
ndividuals with
autism

may

have a desire to affiliate,
the above impairments often
result in a

lack
of
social skills

that are

needed to form meaningful relationships (Bauminger &
Kasari, 2000).

A common explanation of
the impaired
social functioning
i
n ASD
is grounded in theory
of mind
(ToM).

According to this
notion
, people’s perceptions of the behaviors of others allow
them to gauge an individual’s mental state (
Joseph & Tager
-
Flusberg, 2004
). This information is
then used to guide a person’s actions
, thus allowing natural reciprocal communication to occur.

Accordingly, t
heory of mind
first
requires an individual to have a perceptual understanding of
others
,

and

then

the ability to

use these perceptions as inferences that guide behavior in social
situ
ations. As a result,
ToM

permits typically functioning individuals to infer the mental and
emotional states of others as a means of engaging in reciprocal communication and maintaining
relationships.

Often referred to as “mindblind” (Baron
-
Cohen, 1995), in
dividuals with ASD lack the
seemingly innate social intelligence abilities attributed to
ToM
. The inability
of

people

with
ASD

to read facial expression
s

and n
on
-
verbal cues (Derulle, Rondan, Gepner & Tardif,
2004) creates
Teaching Emotion Recognition

4

significant difficulties in the c
apacity for these individuals to interpret and understand the causes
of emotion (Baron
-
Cohen, Spitz, & Cross, 1993). Consequently, individuals with
ASD

are
unable to interpret and reflect on the emotions
experienced by

themselves and others.

These theory
of mind impairments
may contribute to

the core social interaction and
communication deficits that are characteristic of individuals on the autism spectrum (Baron
-
Cohen, 1988, Tage
r
-
Flusberg, 1999; Joseph & Tager
-
Flusberg, 200
4). According to the
mindblind
hypothesis, individuals with
ASD

lack an awareness of the motives, goals, or desires
of others. Impairments in emotion recognition abilities are a fundamental difficulty in individuals
who are considered

mindblind


(Baron
-
Cohen,
1995
). While theories o
f

e
xecutive functioning
and central coherence have also targeted symptoms of
ASD

in relation to social and
communication deficits
(Baron
-
Cohen, & Swettenham, 1997, Tager
-
Flusberg, 2004)
, for the
purpose of this study,
ToM

is examined only in terms of the capa
city
of

individuals with
ASD

to
recognize emotion.

The empathizing
-
systemizing model (Baron
-
Cohen, 2002) of autism provides further
explanation for the theory of mind deficits described above. In this model,
ToM

serves as

the

primary

component
, central to
the deficits in emotion recognition, while d
ifficulties in affective
reactions
represent

a secondary area of impairment (Baron
-
Cohen
, Wheelwright, Lawson,
Griffin & Ashwin et al., 2005
). The disturbance in affective functioning refers mainly to
impairment
in the ability
of

individuals with ASD to empathize. Empathizing is defined as a
person’s desire to appraise the emotions and thoughts of others and to respond to these appraisals
in an emotionally appropriate manner (Baron
-
Cohen & Belmonte, 2005). Exampl
es of
empathizing deficits include impairments in joint attention (
Mundy, Sigman & Kasari, 1990
);
an
inability to distinguish mental
objects

from physical
objects

(Oznoff, Pennington, & Rogers,
Teaching Emotion Recognition

5

1990); and difficulty understanding complex emotions (
Bauminge
r, 2002
).
These deficits
demonstrate the need for an intact theory of mind in order to successfully empathize.

Emotional
understanding and a

drive to care for others allow

people to communicate responses in an
app
ropriate

manner. Individuals with ASD lack
competence in these areas.

The ability to systemize serves as the alternate component to the empathizing
-
systemizing model. Systemizing refers to the desire to create and analyze systems as a means of
making sense of and predicting behavior. Studies have
concluded that the
“intuitive physics”

of
children with
ASD

are significantly superior to their empathizing abi
lities (Baron
-
Cohen et al.,
2005
). Common behaviors in
ASD
, such as collecting specific items, a desire for structure and
routine, excessive atte
ntion to detail, and restricted interests, can all be described as patterns of a
concentrated desire to systemize (Baron
-
Cohen, 2002).

Theory of mind serves as a foundation for many intervention methods presently used
with individuals on the autism spectr
um. There is a general consensus that deficits in social
interaction and communication are caused by an impaired ability to recognize and understand
emotion.

The ability to recognize emotion is necessary in order to achieve ToM.
Despite the poor
empathizin
g abilities typical of individuals with
ASD
, the systemizing capacities in these
individuals have been described as
normal

or above average (Baron
-
Cohen

et al.
, 2005).

Therefore, c
ombining theory of mind with the empathizing
-
systemizing theory of autism ma
y aid
in the design of more modern methods to teach emotion recognition (ER
).


In tasks of emotion recognition,
ASD

populations have exhibited greater difficulty than
non
-
clinical subjects (Deruelle et al. 2004, Castelli
,

2005)
,

especially in t
asks

using c
omplex
em
otions (Adolphs, Sears, & Piven,
2001
; Deruelle et al., 2004
). However, social
-
emotional
interventions have
produced

positive results. Stud
ies have found

that emotion

recognition

can be
Teaching Emotion Recognition

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taught
,

and that greater social understanding can result from

such

training (Bauminger, 2002).

Most treatment programs
, however,

do not approach ER training in a systematic way. The
majority of treatment methods focus on teaching conversational skills and daily living routi
nes
(Golan & Baron
-
Cohen, 2006)
.
One

goal o
f the current study’s
ER
intervention
, then,

is to make
use of the superior systemizing abilities of individuals with ASD.


The proficient computer abilities in many individuals with
autism

make the use of
computer
-
based interventions not only practical, b
ut in many ways advantageous.
Studies

generally
find

successful intervention outcomes
, although the generalizability of these tools
remains in question (Moore & Calvert, 2000; Bosseler & Massaro, 2003; Hetzroni & Tannous,
2004
).

The environment offered by
computer
-
based intervention tools
are

habitual and persistent;
levels of difficulty can be adjusted to fit the needs of the individual user; and lessons can be
repeated
,

creating consistency in structure and the development of a training routine (Golan &
B
aron
-
Cohen, 2006).

The goal of the tool is to present users with a “system” of emotions
.
Ideally, once learned, these systems can be applied by users to real
-
life situations.

A recent computer
-
assisted approach
for

individuals with
ASD show
s

promise.

Mind

Reading
:
The Interactive Guide to Emotions

(Baron
-
Cohen, Golan, Wheelwright & Hill, 2004) is
a multimedia computer program aimed at systematically teaching emotion recognition. This is
the first program of its kind to teach
ER

in a systematic way using li
felike faces (Golan & Baron
-
Cohen, 2006). Golan and Baron
-
Cohen (2006) tested the efficacy of the
Mind Reading
software
in a two
-
part study of adults with high
-
functioning autism and Asperger syndrome. The first
experiment compared a clinical sample to a g
roup of clinical and non
-
clinical controls who
received no intervention. The second experiment added a social skills training component.
Marked improvement in emotion recognition skills was seen in both
experimental
groups over
Teaching Emotion Recognition

7

the 10
-
15 week period. Findi
ngs from the second study reflected the added benefit of social
interaction which is addressed in the present study. A pilot study has also been administered to
assess the
Mind Reading
software in a group of children. LaCava, Golan, Baron
-
Cohen, and
Myle’s

(2007) analysis, though limited by the small sample of 8 children, did find significant
improvement in the recognition of both simple and complex emotions. Together, the results of
these studies are promising; however
,

the novelty of the tool leaves a nee
d for further analysis.

The

present study operationalizes theory of mind and the systemizing
-
e
mpathizing
model
s

in an attempt to empirically test the efficacy of this remedial program. While there is no
clear consensus on the assumptions proposed by these

theories, there is overwhelming agreement
regarding

the urgent need for successful social
-
emotional intervention methods for children with
ASD
. The purpose of this study
, then,

is to evaluate

ER remediation in
a group of children with
ASD

with
the
Mind Re
ading

software when used for a
much
short
er

period of time

than used in
previous studies.

Methods

Participant
s



Six

unmedicated children on the autism spectrum (5 males, 1 female) ages 7 through 11

(
M
=
8.5,

SD

=
1.38)

participated in th
e

study. All partic
ipants had a formal diagnosis of AS
D

by
an independently licensed psychiatrist or psychologist. Diagnoses were
corroborated

using the
Autism
-
Spectrum Quotient (Baron
-
Cohen, Wheelwright, Skinner, Martin, & Clubley, 2001).

Diagnoses are shown in Table 1.

Par
ticipants were recruited through schools and agencies

that
assist students with special needs

in the
Miami, FL community.
No compensation was offered
for participation; however
,

if successful, participants could potentially benefit from the use of the
inte
rvention.

Teaching Emotion Recognition

8


Eleven healthy, unmedicated control subjects (6 males, 5 females) ages 7 through 12 (
M
=
9.27,
SD

=1.62) also participated in the study. These subjects were only administered the pre
-

and post
-
tests (described below) without training sessions as
a means of assessing changes as a
function of repeated testing only. Participants were recruited through a local elementary school
in the Ithaca, NY community. No compensation was offered for participation.

Table 1.
Clinical
Participant Diagnoses

Diagnosis

Number of
Participants

Asperger’s

Syndrome

2

High
-

Functioning

Autism

2

Autism

2


Materials

The material for the study was an interactive computer software program,

Mind Reading
:
A Systematic Guide to Emotions
. This program contains a taxonomy of 412

emotions and
mental states. The software is organized according to groups of emotions and developmental
levels. Level 3, designed for
children up to 13 years of age,

was used for this study.
The 10
complex emotions that made up the emotion set used in thi
s study are proud, lonely, aggressive,
annoyed, bored, understanding, threatened, sorry, doubtful, and ignored.
Emotions are
introduced
by

a definition and a short video clip with an actor depicting the emotion

(see Figure
1)
. Silent films and written exam
ples of situations that evoke the
emotion were used in this study.
Each emotion contains a set of six films and six sentences

(see Figure 1)
. The actors are of both
genders, mixed ages, ethnicities and races.

Teaching Emotion Recognition

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Figure 1. Lesson Stimuli from
Mind Reading

Com
puter
Software








Screenshots from
Mind Reading: The Interactive Guide to Emotions
, by S. Baron
-
Cohen, O. Golan, S. Wheelwright, &
J.J. Hill, 2004, London: Jessica Kingsley Limited. Copyright 2003 by the University of Cambridge.

Teaching Emotion Recognition

10

There are three a
pplications
within

the
Mind Reading

program
: the emotion library, the
learning center, and the game zone. The learning center contains lessons and quizzes. The
“build
-
your
-
own” section within the learning center allows the user to select a set of emotions
to
focus on. Users can collect rewards (i.e. birds, spinning objects, trains) for answering questions
correctly. There is also the option to have a helper

provide

assistance while using the program.

Mind Reading

lessons were used for practice lessons and
quizzes were used for both pre
-

and post
-
testing

(see Figure 2)
. An animated helper was also enabled during the study.

Figure 2. Quiz Stimuli from
Mind Reading

Computer

Software


Screenshots from
Mind Reading: The Interactive Guide to Emotions
, by S. Bar
on
-
Cohen, O. Golan, S. Wheelwright, &
J.J. Hill, 2004, London: Jessica Kingsley Limited. Copyright 2003 by the University of Cambridge.


Autism
-
Spectrum Quotient

(Baron
-
Cohen, Wheelwright, Skinner, Martin, & Clubley,
2001): a 50
-
item survey designed to de
termine the extent of autistic traits and behaviors.
Questions were answered using a Likert
-
type scale. Answer choices ranged from “definitely
agree” to “definitely disagree.” The survey has generally been used on adults so a “not
Teaching Emotion Recognition

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applicable” answer choice

was added by the experimenter

for the present study
. Parents were
asked to complete this questionnaire with their child (see Appendix
A
).

Subject Data Form
:
The subject data form, created by the experimenter, asked basic
demographic questions (i.e. gende
r, age), child’s reported diagnosis
, and child’s previous social
skills training

(
see Appendix
B
).


Procedure

Participants completed the study in five 30
-
45 minute sessions over a three week period

(see Figure 3)
. The experimenter remained with participant
s during the duration of each session.
The
Mind Reading

computer software was loaded onto a Dell Lattitude D600 laptop computer.
The computer was provided by the experimenter
,

and all sessions took place on the same
computer. Lessons were conducted in the
homes of participants.

Figure 3. Procedure


Session one was a 45
-
minute session. First, consent was obtained from both
parent/guardian and child participants. Parents were asked to fill out a subject data form and the
Autism
-
Spectrum Quotient (Baron
-
Cohen

et al.,
2001). Upon completion of informed consent
and the distribution of parent forms, participants were given a computer
-
based pretest. A quiz
from the
Mind Reading
software was used as the pretest.
The 10 emotions used in this study’s
pretest were sel
ected based on results from a pilot study of children with ASD who used the
Teaching Emotion Recognition

12

Mind Reading
software over a 6
-
week period. Each of the participants in the pilot study
incorrectly identified the 10 emotions used in the present study on the initial pretest, but

with
training each was able to identify the 10 selected emotions. Hence, the emotions used in the
pretest are sufficiently difficult initially so as to allow progress as a function of the training
sessions. Participants were also tested on their ability t
o recognize 6 basic emotions: happy, sad,
angry, afraid, surprised, disgusted.

After pretesting, the experimenter introduced participants to the computer program using
an introductory sample computer lesson. During this lesson the experimenter demonstrated

the
use of the computer program to the subject. Participants were introduced to each of the 10
emotions taught over the three week period. The experimenter was available to answer any
questions from participants.

Sessions two through four lasted for 30
-
m
inutes. These sessions utilized the lessons
section
from

the
Mind Reading
software. During each practice session
,

participants were briefly
re
-
introduced to the emotion set. The lessons contained 20 practice items presented in a non
-
random mixed order. Usi
ng the computer mouse to point and click, subjects chose the video clip
or emotional picture that correctly depicted the emotion named in the word on the screen.

The fifth and final session was 45
-
minutes in length. During this session subjects were
evalu
ated
on a post
-
test, which used the same emotions as in the

pretest. Upon completion of
post
-
testing, the child participant and parent/guardian were free to ask any final questions.

Results

The dependent measure was the number of emotions correctly identif
ied, expressed as a
percent. First, all ASD subjects correctly identified the 6 basic emotions at a 100% level of
accuracy. Concerning the test stimuli, Table 2 shows mean scores on the pre
-

and post
-
test by
Teaching Emotion Recognition

13

level of difficulty of emotions. A paired
-
sample
s t
-
test revealed that participants with ASD
scored significantly higher on the post
-
test (M = 90%, SD = 8.94) than on the pre
-
test (M =
26.7%, SD = 10.33),
t
(5) =
-
.19,
p

< .001. As level of emotion difficulty increased, mean scores
on both the pre
-

and p
ost
-
test decreased. As shown in Table 2, planned comparisons by use of
paired
-
samples t
-
tests on just the pre
-
test scores comparing the three levels of difficulty of
emotion showed a trend towards differences between levels 1 and 2, 1 and 3, but not betwee
n 2
and 3 in both control and ASD subjects. These differences can be seen in Figure 4, which shows
performance means for the ASD sample on the pre
-

and post
-
test as a function of emotion
difficulty level.

Table 2. Average Scores (% correct) by Level of Em
otion Difficulty

Level

Pretest

Posttest

1

.56

.94

2

.17

.92

3

.11

.83

Figure 4.


Teaching Emotion Recognition

14

Whether other factors affected changes in performance from pre
-
test to post
-
test was also
assessed. First, no effects of repeated testing were found: controls, who receiv
ed no training
sessions, showed no significant improvement from pre
-
test (M = 89%, SD = 8.31) to post
-
test
(M = 90%, SD = 10.95),
t
(10) =
-
.27, n.s. There was a fairly even distribution in directional
change from pre
-

to post
-
test performance for the contr
ol sample, with a portion of the sample
(27%) showing a decrease, 25% an increase, and the rest no change in performance from pre
-

to
post
-
test. In addition, other variables can be ruled out: none of the children in the clinical sample
were on medication,
so results could not vary as a function of drug
-
status, and all had previously
received equivalent levels of social skills training.

Correlational analyses were conducted to test whether other subject variables were
related to pre
-
postchanges within the A
SD group. Neither age nor clinical diagnosis was
correlated with degree of improved performance. Age and diagnosis also showed no correlation
with each other in this sample. A trend (p<0.16) was found between initial performance and
percent improvement, wh
ere higher performance on pre
-
test predicted greater levels of
improvement. This is consistent with the finding that children who received perfect scores on the
post
-
test all had a diagnosis of Aspergers syndrome.

Discussion


The
Mind Reading

computer sof
tware appears to significantly (p <.001) improve the
emotion recognition abilities in children with ASD. With training, participants in the clinical
sample reached levels of ER comparable to the levels of ER observed in our age
-
matched control
sample of ch
ildren (both groups having a
mean of approximately

90%
)
. Control’s showed no
directional change from pre
-

to post
-
testing, thus enabling us to rule out the simple effects of
testing as an explanation of ASD improvement. Results also indicated that neither

age nor
Teaching Emotion Recognition

15

diagnosis was correlated with performance. In addition, a trend indicated that greater initial
performance leads to greater gains through training.


The strength of this study may derive from several factors, one of which is the novelty of
its de
sign. This is one of few studies to test the
Mind Reading
computer
-
based intervention

tool
on children with ASD, and the first to use the software with a focus on a specific set of emotions.
In addition, previous studies have required participants to use t
he software independently for a
predetermined amount of time each week; participants in these studies were evaluated based on
tests using a general bank of emotions. Furthermore, the present study also incorporated guided
lessons, where all subjects were a
ided by the primary investigator throughout the duration of
each session. This social interaction component may have positively influenced the performance
change observed. Additionally, the composition of the clinical sample was an added benefit to
the stu
dy’s design. This is the first study to use the
Mind Reading

tool on a group of individuals
with mixed diagnoses. Previous studies have assessed
Mind Reading

only in individuals with
high
-
functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome.

Typical of many studies
using clinical samples, generalizability is not assured in this
study due to the small size of the sample. In order to improve generalizability, however, the
sample was selected to include a range in age, diagnosis, and ability. It is also important to
men
tion that the primary investigator administered all pretests, lessons and posttests, and
therefore was not blind to any child’s performance. In spite of this, all stimuli and scores were
computer generated and recorded, thus any effects of the researcher o
n participant performance
should be minimal. At this point there is also no measure of retest stability of the performance
gains; this is currently being assessed in a 5
-
month follow up post
-
test of all ASD subjects.

Teaching Emotion Recognition

16


The goal of the present study was to

use the
Mind Reading
computer
-
based intervention
tool to teach children with ASD to match a physical emotional face with both a meaning and a
label. According to the assumption that individuals with ASD lack a basic understanding of
human emotion, the imp
rovement witnessed through
Mind Reading
training may have rectified
some of these ER impairments. Additionally, while an impaired theory of mind might underlie
deficits in emotion recognition of the human face, participants were all fully capable of facial

identity. Without probing, participants freely referred to the stimulus characters by name. Each
of the participants also demonstrated competence at recognizing basic emotions; this may be
attributed to prior social skills training.


Despite previous soci
al skills training, in combination with proficient computer skills,
none of the ASD participants had received emotion recognition training through a computer
-
based intervention nor had any participants engaged in any form of systematic ER instruction.
The
benefits of systematic ER training are clearly demonstrated here. Significantly, the improved
performance in ASD subjects found in this study was accomplished through the use of a
relatively short period of training (i.e., 3 sessions), which is much briefe
r than used in previous
studies (e.g., 15 sessions), indicating that systematic training of ER may occur very rapidly. It is
theoretically interesting to test whether one or two sessions of ER training might also be as
effective with this population. If so
, it implies that ASD deficits in the emotional domain may be
more plastic than some have presumed. In any case, perhaps the significant improvement in ER
performance may be attributed to the superior systemizing abilities of children with ASD. While
ToM d
eficits could account for a lack of emotional understanding, the superior systemizing
abilities of these children may explain the capacity for considerable improvement through
training.

Teaching Emotion Recognition

17


The present study demonstrated that significant improvement in the r
ecognition of
specific complex emotions is possible through training with the
Mind Reading
computer
-
based
intervention tool when used for a short period of time by a group of children with ASD. Future
studies should look into the generalizability of this t
ool, and whether benefits are present in the
long
-
term.





















Teaching Emotion Recognition

18

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f
unctioning children with
autism.
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456.

Bosseler, A. & Massaro, D. (2003). Development and Evaluation of a Computer
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Animated

Tutor for Vocabulary and Language Lea
rning in Children with Autism.
Journal of Autism
and Development
al Disorders, 33,

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672.

Castelli, F. (2005). Understanding emotions from standardized facial expressions in autism and
normal development.
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, 9, 428
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ng
in children with autism and Asperger syndrome.
Journal of Autism and Developmental
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, 34, 199
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Cohen, S. (2006a). Systemizing empathy: Teaching adults with Asperger
Syndrome or high functioning autism to recognize complex
emotions using interactive
media.
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, 18, 591
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based intervention program on the
communicative functions of children with autism.
Journal of Autism and Developmen
tal
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, 34, 95
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eph, R. & Tager
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Flusberg, H. (2004). The relationship of theory of mind and executive
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Psychopathology
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-
Cohen, S., & Myles, B. S. (2007). Using assistive technology to
teach emotion recognition to students with Asperger syndrome.
Remedial and Special
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Teaching Emotion Recognition

21

Appendix A

DIAGNOSIS VERIFICATION FORM


PARTICIPANT ID


PARTICIPANT GENDER


PARTICIPANT AGE


ADMINISTRATION DATE

ADMINISTRATOR’S

RELATIONSHIP TO CHILD


Please respond to each statement by circling the appropriate response to the right of each
state
ment.


1. My child prefers to do things with others rather than
alone.


definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

2. My child prefers to do things the same way o
ver and
over again.


definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

3. If my child tries to imagine something, he/she finds
it very easy to create a picture in his/he
r mind.


definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

4. My child frequently gets so strongly absorbed in one
thing that he/she loses sight of other things.


defin
itely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

5. My child often notices small sounds when others do
not.


definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely

not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

6. My child usually notices license plates or similar
strings of information.



definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree


disagree applicable

7. Other people frequently tell my child that what
he/she said is impolite, even though my child thinks
it is polite.



definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree


disagree applicable

8. When my child is reading a story, he/she can easily
imagine what the characters might look like.



definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree

applicable

9. My child is fascinated by dates.



definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

10. In a social group, my child can easily keep track of
several

different people’s conversations.



definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

11. My child finds social situations easy.



definitely

slightly

slightly


definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

12. My child tends to notice details that others do not.


definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree


disagree applicable

13. My child would rather go to a library than a party.


definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

14. My child finds maki
ng up stories easy.



definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

15. My child finds himself/herself drawn more
strongly to people than to things.


definitely

sli
ghtly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

16. My child has strong interests and gets upset if
he/she can’t pursue them.


definitely

slightly

slightly

definitel
y not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

17. My child enjoys social chit
-
chat.


definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

18. When my child talks, it isn’t always easy for others
to get a word in.



definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

19. My child is fascinated by numbers.



definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

20. When my reads or listens to a story, he/she finds it
difficult to work out the characters’ intentions.



definite
ly

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

21. My child doesn’t particularly enjoy reading fiction.



definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely n
ot


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

Teaching Emotion Recognition

22

22. My child finds it hard to make new friends.



definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

Teaching Emotion Recognition

23


23. My child notices patterns in things all the time.


definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

24. My child would rather go to the theater than a
museum.



d
efinitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

25. It does not upset my child if his/her daily routine is
disturbed.



definitely

slightly

slightly

def
initely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

26. My child often finds that he/she don’t know how to
keep a conversation going.



definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

27. My child finds it easy to “read between the lines”
when someone is talking to him/her.



definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

d
isagree applicable

28. My child usually concentrates more on the whole
picture, rather than the small details.



definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

29. My child is not very good at remembering phone
numbers.



definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

30. My child doesn’t usually notice small changes in a
situation, or a person’s appearance.



definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

31. My child knows how to tell if someone listening to
him/her is getting bored.



definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

32. My child finds it easy to do more than one thing at
once.



definitely

slightly

slightly

definit
ely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

33. When my child is on the phone, he/she is not sure
when it’s his/her turn to speak.


definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

34. My child enjoys doing things spontaneously.



definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

35. My child is
often the last to understand the point of a
joke.


definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

36. My child finds it easy to work out what someone is
thinking or f
eeling just by looking at their face.



definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

37. If there is an interruption, my child can switch back
to what he/she was do
ing very quickly.



definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

38. My child is good at social chit
-
chat.



definitely

slightly

slightly

definit
ely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

39. People often tell my child that he/she goes on and
on about the same thing.


definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagre
e

disagree applicable

40. When my child was young, he/she used to enjoy
playing games involving pretending with other
children.



definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree


disagree applicable

41. My child likes to collect information about categories
of things (e.g. types of car, types of bird, types of
train, etc.).



definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

42. My child finds it hard to imagine what it would be
like to be someone else.


definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applic
able

43. My child likes to plan any activities he/she
participates in carefully.


definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

44. My child enjoys social occasions
.



definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

45. My child finds it difficult to work out people’s
intentions.



definitely

slightly

slightly

de
finitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

46. New situations make my child anxious.



definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree

applicable

47. My child enjoys meeting new people.



definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

48. My child is a good diplomat.



definitely

slightly

slightl
y

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

49. My child is not very good at remembering people’s
date of birth.


definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agre
e

agree

disagree

disagree applicable

50. My child finds it easy to play games with that
involve pretending.


definitely

slightly

slightly

definitely not


agree

agree

disagree

disagree

applicable



Baron
-
Cohen, Wheelwright, Skinner, Martin, & Clubley, 2001

Teaching Emotion Recognition

24

Appendix B

Subject Data Form


Evaluation of
Mind Reading

Software Package on

Improving Autistic Children's Abilities to Recognize Emotion




Parent or Guardian:


Please complete
al
l
information inside the shaded box

below. Please do not
make any markings outside the shaded box.



Child’s Gender:

____________________


Child’s Age:

____________________


Child’s Handedness:

____________________

(with which hand does your child typical
ly write?)


Child’s Reported Diagnosis:

____________________


Additional Notes:



____________________
___________

(please list any relevant information,

i.e. IQ scores, previous social skills training, etc.)






_______________________________





______
_________________________








_______________________________



Date:

____________________


ID Number:

____________________


Start Date:

____________________


Investigator
Notes:

________________________________________________



_______________________
_________________________