Interactive use of communication by verbal and non-verbal autistic children.

Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciencias Humanas, Universidade de São Paulo.
Pró-fono: revista de atualização científica 12/2010; 22(4):373-8.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Communication of autistic children.
To assess the communication functionality of verbal and non-verbal children of the autistic spectrum and to identify possible associations amongst the groups.
Subjects were 20 children of the autistic spectrum divided into two groups: V with 10 verbal children and NV with 10 non-verbal children with ages varying between 2y10m and 10y6m. All subjects were video recorded during 30 minutes of spontaneous interaction with their mothers. The samples were analyzed according to the functional communicative profile and comparisons within and between groups were conducted.
Data referring to the occupation of communicative space suggest that there is an even balance between each child and his mother. The number of communicative acts per minute shows a clear difference between verbal and non-verbal children. Both verbal and non-verbal children use mostly the gestual communicative mean in their interactions. Data about the use of interpersonal communicative functions point out to the autistic children's great interactive impairment.
The characterization of the functional communicative profile proposed in this study confirmed the autistic children's difficulties with interpersonal communication and that these difficulties do not depend on the preferred communicative mean.

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