Aims of the Study:
We are explored several novel questions in our research:
1. How do children on the autism spectrum fare across all the different stages of a criminal investigation - during initial questioning, in an investigative interview, when identifying perpetrators, and during cross-examination - relative to non-autistic children?
2. What can be done to improve the amount of information that the children recall, without making them more prone to making errors; for example, is the assistance of an intermediary - a professional communications specialist who assists vulnerable individuals within the criminal justice system - useful?
3. Do the general public - who may be evaluating evidence as part of a jury - perceive autistic witnesses as credible?
4. Can we predict how well children will perform as witnesses? For example, are those that have better general memory abilities, or who have good language skills, more likely to provide accurate statements?