Although several attempts have been made to elucidate cognitive processes among children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), research in this area yields inconsistent results. The aim of our research was to compare the performance of individuals with ASD and neurotypical (NT) individuals in terms of specific cognitive processes (verbal working memory, processing speed, perceptual reasoning, and selective attention). The research sample consisted of 20 children with ASD and 20 NT children, matched on age, sex and IQ. Participants were administered four experimental tasks, each of which involved one of the named cognitive processes. The results indicated significant deficits in individuals with ASD in verbal working memory and processing speed. On the contrary, there were no differences in perceptual reasoning and selective attention compared to NT individuals. The presented results and their practical impact are discussed in the light of previous findings.
Keywords: Cognitive processes, autism spectrum disorders, children, heterogeneity