Adaptation of object descriptions to a partner under increasing communicative demands: a comparison of children with and without autism
McGill University, School of Communication, Sciences and Disorders, Montreal, QC, Canada. Autism Research
(Impact Factor: 4.33).
12/2009; 2(6):334-47. DOI: 10.1002/aur.102
This study compared the object descriptions of school-age children with high-functioning autism (HFA) with those of a matched group of typically developing children. Descriptions were elicited in a referential communication task where shared information was manipulated, and in a guessing game where clues had to be provided about the identity of an object that was hidden from the addressee. Across these tasks, increasingly complex levels of audience design were assessed: (1) the ability to give adequate descriptions from one's own perspective, (2) the ability to adjust descriptions to an addressee's perspective when this differs from one's own, and (3) the ability to provide indirect yet identifying descriptions in a situation where explicit labeling is inappropriate. Results showed that there were group differences in all three cases, with the HFA group giving less efficient descriptions with respect to the relevant context than the comparison group. More revealing was the identification of distinct adaptation profiles among the HFA participants: those who had difficulty with all three levels, those who displayed Level 1 audience design but poor Level 2 and Level 3 design, and those demonstrated all three levels of audience design, like the majority of the comparison group. Higher structural language ability, rather than symptom severity or social skills, differentiated those HFA participants with typical adaptation profiles from those who displayed deficient audience design, consistent with previous reports of language use in autism.
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- "For example, of children with ASD, only those with poor language skills show a low ability to suppress word meanings that are not consistent within a context; those with language skills in the normal range show normal context-dependent suppression (Norbury, 2005; Brock et al., 2008). Similarly, language ability predicts whether children with ASD use the appropriate amount of information in descriptions of objects according to the knowledge of their communication partner (Nadig et al., 2009). In one study, Norbury et al. (2009) used eye tracking while participants watched videos of peers interacting in familiar situations. "
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ABSTRACT: Abnormal prosody is a striking feature of the speech of those with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but previous reports suggest large variability among those with ASD. Here we show that part of this heterogeneity can be explained by level of language functioning. We recorded semi-spontaneous but controlled conversations in adults with and without ASD and measured features related to pitch and duration to determine (1) general use of prosodic features, (2) prosodic use in relation to marking information structure, specifically, the emphasis of new information in a sentence (focus) as opposed to information already given in the conversational context (topic), and (3) the relation between prosodic use and level of language functioning. We found that, compared to typical adults, those with ASD with high language functioning generally used a larger pitch range than controls but did not mark information structure, whereas those with moderate language functioning generally used a smaller pitch range than controls but marked information structure appropriately to a large extent. Both impaired general prosodic use and impaired marking of information structure would be expected to seriously impact social communication and thereby lead to increased difficulty in personal domains, such as making and keeping friendships, and in professional domains, such as competing for employment opportunities.
Frontiers in Psychology 03/2012; 3:72. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00072 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: New type of heterogeneous catalysts based on mesoporous molecular sieve MCM-41 modified with molybdenum oxide was proposed for the application in metathesis of linear 1-olefins. This catalyst prepared via "thermal spreading method" operates in a liquid phase under ambient or slightly higher reaction temperature without the presence of solvent. The optimum loading of molybdenum oxide was 8 wt. % of Mo. For 1-octene, the conversion achieved in 390 min. at 40°C was 74%, and the selectivity to 14-tetradecene was 82%.
Studies in surface science and catalysis 01/2005; 156:795-802. DOI:10.1016/S0167-2991(05)80288-5
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ABSTRACT: The present study reports the effects of referential communication training in individuals formally diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Participants were 20 children with ASD (M age = 14.3 yr., SD = 4.2; 6 girls, 14 boys) in the role of speakers and 20 control children, who acted as listeners. They were all enrolled in mainstream compulsory education. Inclusion/exclusion criteria were defined according to the clinical diagnosis of ASD, the presence or absence of additional or associated disability, previous training in referential communication, and any drug treatment. Speakers were randomly assigned to one of two groups (trained vs untrained). Linguistic age, cognitive level and autistic symptoms were analyzed, respectively, with the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT), the Wechsler Intelligence Scale (WISC-R or WAIS-III), and the Autistic Behavior Checklist (ABC). Communicative abilities were analyzed through two indexes related to message complexity and self-regulation. The trained group was trained in referential communication tasks (task analysis, role taking, and task evaluation), while the untrained group took part in a communicative game but without any specific communicative training. The results showed that the complexity of emitted messages had improved statistically significantly in the trained group as an effect of training. Ecological referential communication is shown to be an appropriate paradigm for studying the communicative process and its products and could be used to develop and implement a training program focused on those skills in which individuals with ASD are most deficient.
Psychological Reports 12/2011; 109(3):921-39. DOI:10.2466/10.11.15.28.PR0.109.6.921-939 · 0.53 Impact Factor
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