Article

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
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

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.

2 Followers
 · 
15 Reads
  • Source
    • "There are a number of reasons why performance would be enhanced in structured language tasks vs. communication in real life. For one, the interaction is more predictable and the problem space is limited, so it may become easier to incorporate contextual information including a partner's perspective (Nadig et al., 2009). Begeer and colleagues proposed that over arousal and a focus on local rather than global processing that is observed in many individuals with ASD could be " neutralized in structured social interaction " (Begeer et al., 2010, p. 115). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Over repeated reference conversational partners tend to converge on preferred terms or referential pacts. Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are characterized by pragmatic difficulties that are best captured by less structured tasks. To this end we tested adults with ASD who did not have language or intellectual impairments, and neurotypical comparison participants in a referential communication task. Participants were directors, describing unlexicalized, complex novel stimuli over repeated rounds of interaction. Group comparisons with respect to referential efficiency showed that directors with ASD demonstrated typical lexical entrainment: they became faster over repeated rounds and used shortened referential forms. ASD and neurotypical groups did not differ with respect to the number of descriptors they provided or the number of exchanges needed for matchers to identify figures. Despite these similarities the ASD group was slightly slower overall. We examined partner-specific effects by manipulating the common ground shared with the matcher. As expected, neurotypical directors maintained referential precedents when speaking to the same matcher but not with a new matcher. Directors with ASD were qualitatively similar but displayed a less pronounced distinction between matchers. However, significant differences and different patterns of reference emerged over time; neurotypical directors incorporated the new matcher's contributions into descriptions, whereas directors with ASD were less likely to do so.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Frontiers in Psychology
  • Source
    • "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. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · Frontiers in Psychology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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%.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2005 · Studies in surface science and catalysis
Show more

Similar Publications