Autistic Children: Annotated Bibliography

1012 Words 5 Pages
Tb) Unique Human Cognitive Ontogeny
To achieve his second objective, that is to provide evidence on the uniqueness of human cognitive ontogeny while it is related to cultural learning ontogeny that he has proved already. He uses a second line of evidence, where he compares normal children with autistic children and benefits a third line of evidence when he compares children, wild and enculturated chimpanzees. Providing evidence that cognition has not developed in normal way in autistic children, he concludes that - although they are of different groups- they are certainly incapable of cultural learning since the common denominator among all of them is the problem to relation to other persons, stating that “Autistic children thus show little
…show more content…
A basic finding is that autistic children have much difficulty in reproducing any behavior that is novel (P.504)”, i.e. the inability of half of this group to learn language . But, he remarks that, in agreement with his account, the higher is the degrees of social-cognition of a high functional autistic child, the higher is the ability to learn and use language. In the case of chimpanzees he believes that we have to differentiate sharply the wild and the human reared ones since the later are exposed to and live within human culture. Chimpanzees in wild show some behaviors in their natural habitat, i.e. tool use, that suggest the possibility of imitative learning but more scrutiny by Galef 1988 and Tomasello 1990 show that it can be better explained by individual learning and stimulus enhancement since it “does not require individuals to understand the behavior of others as separable into means and goals in the same way as does imitative learning (1999, P.32)”. They don 't learn to use tools as an object-directed action since they do it all in the same way even though they are introduced to different methods of use, while human child learn the methods as well. It is more promising in the case of simple behaviors such as walking like injured group mate or communicative gestures, however, the problem is that “these are all naturalistic observations in which it is impossible to tell whether two animals behave similarly for reasons other than imitative learning, for example, they experienced similar environmental learning conditions in the past(P.506).” He claims this might be emulation learning that is a very intelligent and creative learning process but it is a more adaptive strategy than imitative learning. The results for enculturated chimpanzees are interestingly in contrast with the former; the enculturated chimpanzees were as

Related Documents

Related Topics