The Self in Autism and Its Relation to Memory

Developmental Disabilities

Sophie E. Lind, David M. Williams, Catherine Grainger, & Julia Landsiedel

Summary:This chapter begins with some definitions of memory and the self and continues to explain their relation on the psychological level along with their facets. It considers the relevance of these theories to autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The chapter provides a critical review of relevant research on the self in autism, followed by some hypotheses concerning how diminished sense of self might predict and explain the unique memory profile in the ASD population. Although there are a considerable number of studies showing typical performance on some types of “self” task among people with ASD on balance, existing evidence suggests that individuals with ASD have atypical me‐selves. There is a considerable amount of evidence to suggest that individuals with ASD have impaired episodic memory. Strikingly, the study of prospective memory in ASD is an emergent research field with a handful of studies published to date. Two forms of prospective memory are commonly distinguished: event‐based and time‐based.