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Tags: inner | dialogue | autism

'Inner Dialogue' Might Aid Autistics

Wednesday, 25 January 2012 08:49 PM EST

Teaching people to "talk things through in their head" before attempting complex daily tasks could help people with autism live fuller, more independent lives, a new study finds.
Researchers at Durham University in England examined how high-functioning autistic adults completed a test that measures memory and planning, and then compared them to people without the disorder. Their findings suggested people who use an "inner dialogue" -- talking things through in their minds before acting – have an easier time planning and completing tasks.
People with autism often have difficulty with communication and social interactions. The researchers said children with autism have the mechanism for usability to use "inner speech" but they don't always use it in the same way as children without the disorder.
Encouraging children with autism to use inner speech – by asking them to describe their actions out loud, for instance -- may help them learn basic skills required to live independently in their day-to-day lives, the study found.
Researchers also said children with autism could benefit from verbal learning of their daily school schedules, rather than using written or other visual timetables.
"Most people will 'think in words' when trying to solve problems, which helps with planning or particularly complicated tasks," said study author David Williams, of Durham University, in a university news release. "Young, typically developing children tend to talk out loud to guide themselves when they face challenging tasks."
The study appeared in the journal Development and Psychopathology.

© HealthDay

Helping people with autism 'talk things through in their head' before attempting complex daily tasks could help, study finds.
Wednesday, 25 January 2012 08:49 PM
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