Cognitive deficits and symbolic play in preschoolers with autism

Yan Grace LAM, Siu Sze YEUNG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated symbolic play in 12 children with autism and 12 children with typical development and compared theories that consider either theory of mind, executive function or central coherence to be causally involved in the development of symbolic play in autism. Children with autism demonstrated significantly less symbolic play than their typically developing peers and had significant deficits in theory of mind and central coherence measures but not executive function measures. A tentative conclusion is that symbolic play deficits in autism are more associated with theory of mind and weak central coherence. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)560-564
JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


Lam, Y. G., & Yeung, S.-s. S. (2012). Cognitive deficits and symbolic play in preschoolers with autism. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 6(1), 560-564.


  • Symbolic play
  • Theory of mind
  • Central coherence
  • Executive functions
  • Preschoolers with autism


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