Irony Comprehension in High-Functioning ASD Children according to Question Types and Task Types and Relationships between ToM and Irony Ability

Suyoung Choi, Seungha Song, Young Tae Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives: The purpose of This study was to investigate if there were significant differences in Irony comprehension according to question types and task types between children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (HF-ASD) and typically developing children (TD) and to determine the relationship between Theory of Mind (ToM) and Irony ability. Methods: 12 HF-ASD children and 12 TD children who were matched on age, receptive vocabulary, sentence comprehension participated in this study. The irony task consisted of 14 open-ended and 14 multiple-choice questions, containing 7 narration type and 7 Comic strips each. The Theory of Mind task consisted of 5 stories. A three-way mixed ANOVA and Pearson correlation coefficient were used for the analysis. Results: Results showed that the HF-ASD group performed significantly poorer than the TD group on the Irony comprehension task. The HF-ASD group showed significantly lower performance with both question types, especially on open-ended questions. Both tasks showed significantly lower performance on the open-ended questions type than multiple-choice questions type. But neither groups showed significant differences between the performances on task types. Lastly, there was significant correlation between the performance of ToM and Irony ability of the HF-ASD group, but not for the TD group. Conclusion: These results indicate that HF-ASD children’s have a weakness in comprehension of Irony compared with TD children, especially in open-ended questions that require linguistic and pragmatic demands. And the ability to understand mental state is related to irony comprehension in children with HF-ASD, but not in TD children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-107
Number of pages12
JournalCommunication Sciences and Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2018S1A3A2075274).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Korean Academy of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology


  • High functioning ASD
  • Irony
  • Theory of Mind


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