This study compares the ability of nonretarded autistic children (9–16 years of age) with the ability of normally developing children (9–14 years of age) to discriminate between various emotional states, to take the perspective of another regarding emotional states, and to respond affectively. The children's understanding of conservation was also assessed. While the children with autism did surprisingly well on the empathy-related measures, they performed less well than the normal children on these measures and on conservation. There was a closer association between cognitive abilities and affective understanding in the group of autistic children than in the control group.