Exploring Visual Perspective Taking and body awareness in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Cogn Neuropsychiatry. 2018 Jul;23(4):254-265. doi: 10.1080/13546805.2018.1486182. Epub 2018 Jun 21.


Introduction: Recent evidence suggests that impairments in social cognition are associated to the cognitive abilities needed to take several viewpoints in perceptual situations and body awareness. The aim of the current study was to investigate Visual Perspective Taking (VPT) and Body awareness performance in a group of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) compared with a group of children with Intellectual Disability (ID) and typically developing (TD) children.

Methods: Our groups were administered an IQ test and a VPT task, and body awareness tests.

Results: Children with ASD or ID were more impaired in body awareness development compared to TD (p < .001) children. The ASD group differentiates largely from the other two groups in the mean VPT (p < .001) scores.

Conclusions: The current study provides a framework for considering social impairments in autism on a broader scale, including visuoperceptual and body awareness difficulties as a core contributor to social interaction difficulties.

Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorder; Visual Perspective Taking; body awareness; body schema.

MeSH terms

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / psychology*
  • Awareness*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intelligence Tests
  • Male
  • Social Behavior*