Research in Brief: To Study Language Skills, Match the Syntax In examinations of late-developing language skills—such as idioms—in children with autism spectrum disorders, the children’s syntax abilities should be used as a matching variable, says a study published Dec. 23 in the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, suggesting that children’s syntax abilities may be more important than previously ... Research in Brief
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Research in Brief  |   April 01, 2014
Research in Brief: To Study Language Skills, Match the Syntax
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Development / Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   April 01, 2014
Research in Brief: To Study Language Skills, Match the Syntax
The ASHA Leader, April 2014, Vol. 19, 18. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB4.19042014.17
The ASHA Leader, April 2014, Vol. 19, 18. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB4.19042014.17
In examinations of late-developing language skills—such as idioms—in children with autism spectrum disorders, the children’s syntax abilities should be used as a matching variable, says a study published Dec. 23 in the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, suggesting that children’s syntax abilities may be more important than previously believed.
Researchers led by Elisabeth M. Whyte at Pennsylvania State University, University Park, investigated idiom, syntax and advanced theory-of-mind abilities in 26 children with ASD (21 boys and five girls, ages 5–12), and compared them to those of typically developing children in two control groups, one matched by chronological age and nonverbal IQ, and the other by syntax age-equivalence and raw scores. Whyte’s team examined the children’s idiom comprehension, syntax, vocabulary and advanced theory-of-mind abilities.
Although children with ASD performed worse on idiom comprehension than did the typically developing, age-matched group, they performed comparably to the syntax-matched group. For the children with ASD, linguistic skills and advanced theory-of-mind abilities contributed to successful idiom comprehension. This was not true for the typically developing children, whose idiom comprehension was not related to their theory-of-mind abilities.
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April 2014
Volume 19, Issue 4