In this study, for the first time, prospective memory was investigated in 11 school-aged children with autism spectrum disorders and 11 matched neurotypical controls. A computerised time-based prospective memory task was embedded in a visuospatial working memory test and required participants to remember to respond to certain target times. Controls had significantly more correct prospective memory responses than the autism spectrum group. Moreover, controls checked the time more often and increased time-monitoring more steeply as the target times approached. These differences in time-checking may suggest that prospective memory in autism spectrum disorders is affected by reduced self-initiated processing as indicated by reduced task monitoring.
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