Recent research into difficulties in figurative language in children with ASD highlighted that it is possible to devise training interventions to overcome these difficulties by teaching specific strategies. This study describes how children with ASD can improve their capability to explain metaphors with a treatment. Two types of metaphors, in the “X is Y” form, were addressed: sensory and physico-psychological. To face the difficulties posed by these metaphors, the adult taught two strategies: inserting the connective “is like” between “X” and “Y”, which transforms the metaphor into a simile; comparing “X” and “Y” by means of thinking maps. Two tests of metaphor comprehension were used, one based on sensory and the other on physico-psychological metaphors. Sixteen 10 year-old children participated into the study, including an experimental group formed by 8 children with ASD (n
= 4) which had received the treatment, and a control group (n
= 4) which had not, and 8 typically-developing (TD) children. At the post-test, the experimental group significantly outperformed the controls in explaining both types of metaphors, but only in the sensory metaphors did their performances reach TD children’s levels. These results illuminate how clinical treatment can positively influence the developmental trajectories of metaphor comprehension.
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