Eyewitness testimony in autism spectrum disorder: a review

J Autism Dev Disord. 2014 Nov;44(11):2682-97. doi: 10.1007/s10803-012-1502-3.


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is estimated to affect around 1% of the population, and is characterised by impairments in social interaction, communication, and behavioural flexibility. A number of risk factors indicate that individuals with ASD may become victims or witnesses of crimes. In addition to their social and communication deficits, people with ASD also have very specific memory problems, which impacts on their abilities to recall eyewitnessed events. We begin this review with an overview of the memory difficulties that are experienced by individuals with ASD, before discussing the studies that have specifically examined eyewitness testimony in this group and the implications for investigative practice. Finally, we outline related areas that would be particularly fruitful for future research to explore.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / complications*
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / psychology*
  • Emotions
  • Forensic Psychiatry*
  • Humans
  • Memory Disorders / complications*
  • Memory Disorders / psychology*
  • Mental Recall*
  • Suggestion