The level of social relations comprehension and its impact on text comprehension in individuals with autistic spectrum disorder
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Submission date: 2016-05-26
Final revision date: 2016-07-23
Acceptance date: 2016-07-23
Online publication date: 2016-10-17
Publication date: 2016-10-19
Health Psychology Report 2017;5(1):1–11
The study was carried out within the research “Reading comprehension – typical development and its risks”. The article contains data from a component study focused on 4th grade students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who were incorporated into a group of readers with reading comprehension development risks. The main aim was to establish whether variable results in children’s reading and comprehension tests relate to the level of understanding of social relations.

Participants and procedure
We tested 20 students with ASD in two phases: T1 and T2. Each phase consisted of 2 individual sessions. Under the leadership of a research assistant, during each of these sessions a student would carry out the test focused on general intellectual skills, language skills, reading, and reading comprehension. For students with autistic spectrum disorder the Strange Stories test was added in order to ascertain the level of social relations understanding.

The results in reading and reading comprehension tests among students with ASD varied significantly. Based on a correlation analysis it was found that the Strange Stories results substantially correlate with tests focused on reading, text comprehension and language skill levels.

Our research proved the following: the Strange Stories test results show that the level to which an individual is able to understand social relations and social behavior is significantly related to his/her ability to comprehend a text. Consequently, this can influence his/her learning skills as well as the quality of life in society. Cultivation of social abilities, social communication and understanding of social situations and relations is therefore necessary for compensation of autistic spectrum disorder expressions.
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