Affordable Access

Publisher Website

Positive, negative, neutral-or unknown? The perceived valence of emotions expressed by young autistic children in a novel context suited to autism.

Authors
  • Jacques, Claudine1, 2
  • Courchesne, Valérie2
  • Mineau, Suzanne2
  • Dawson, Michelle2
  • Mottron, Laurent2, 3
  • 1 Université du Québec en Outaouais, Canada. , (Canada)
  • 2 CIUSSS du Nord-de-l'Île-de-Montréal, Canada. , (Canada)
  • 3 Université de Montréal, Canada. , (Canada)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Autism : the international journal of research and practice
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2022
Volume
26
Issue
7
Pages
1833–1848
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/13623613211068221
PMID: 35168392
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Autistic people are believed to have emotions that are too negative and not positive enough, starting early in life. Their facial expressions are also persistently judged to be unusual, as reflected in criteria used to identify autism. But it is possible that common autistic facial expressions are poorly understood by observers, as suggested by a range of findings from research. Another issue is that autistic emotions have always been assessed in contexts suited to non-autistics. In our study, the facial expressions of young autistic and typical children were rated as positive, negative, neutral, or "unknown"-a category we created for emotions that observers notice but do not understand. These emotions were assessed using a context suited to autistic children, including objects of potential interest to them. We found that in this context, autistic and typical children did not differ in positive, negative, or neutral facial emotions. They did differ in unknown emotions, which were found only in autistic children. We also found that repetitive behaviors in autistic children co-occurred with positive, neutral, and unknown emotions, but not with negative emotions. In a context which suits their characteristics, autistic children do not show emotions that are too negative or not positive enough. They do show emotions perceived as unknown, which means we need to improve our understanding of their full emotional repertoire.

Report this publication

Statistics

Seen <100 times