Text Chat as a Tool for Referential Questioning in Asperger Syndrome Purpose This article reports a study in which referential communication in 11 individuals with Asperger syndrome (AS) and 11 controls was compared between text chat and telephone, using a route-solving task. Method Participants deduced routes by asking closed questions, and the dependent variables were (a) accuracy in working ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2006
Text Chat as a Tool for Referential Questioning in Asperger Syndrome
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Gnanathusharan Rajendran
    University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Peter Mitchell
    The University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom
  • Contact author: G. Rajendran, School of Education, The University of Edinburgh EH8 8AG, United Kingdom. Email: thusha.rajendran@ed.ac.uk
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Autism Spectrum / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2006
Text Chat as a Tool for Referential Questioning in Asperger Syndrome
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2006, Vol. 49, 102-112. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/008)
History: Received January 9, 2004 , Revised April 7, 2004 , Accepted June 23, 2005
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2006, Vol. 49, 102-112. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/008)
History: Received January 9, 2004; Revised April 7, 2004; Accepted June 23, 2005
Web of Science® Times Cited: 9

Purpose This article reports a study in which referential communication in 11 individuals with Asperger syndrome (AS) and 11 controls was compared between text chat and telephone, using a route-solving task.

Method Participants deduced routes by asking closed questions, and the dependent variables were (a) accuracy in working out the route, (b) number of questions posed (turns taken), and (c) time taken to complete the task.

Results Generally, individuals with AS were equally competent in solving the task in both media but less efficient than the typically developing comparison group. Individuals with AS who had higher measured executive ability adopted a similar approach to the comparison group, asking about landmarks on the map to deduce the route taken. In contrast, AS participants with lower executive ability used an inefficient left/right questioning strategy, which occupied more time, required more conversational turns, and was associated with a higher rate of error.

Conclusion Individuals with AS, who also have problems of executive functioning, may have difficulty communicating with others to use a route-solving task.

Acknowledgments
We thank the students, parents, teachers, and staff of Leicestershire Autism Outreach Team; Leicestershire, Loughborough, Derbyshire, and Nottingham autistic and Asperger support groups; the Nottingham Blue Coat School; Loughborough College; and Burleigh Community College. Special thanks go to Peter Lloyd for his help and maps; Lee Melton, Joan Allsopp, and Lindsay Smith, for invaluable technical support; Katherine Myant and Lesley Smith, for help with reliability. This research was completed while the first author held an Economic and Social Research Council studentship then an Economic and Social Research Council Fellowship at The University of Nottingham.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access