Receptive and Expressive Prosodic Ability in Children With High-Functioning Autism Purpose This study aimed to identify the nature and extent of receptive and expressive prosodic deficits in children with high-functioning autism (HFA). Method Thirty-one children with HFA, 72 typically developing controls matched on verbal mental age, and 33 adults with normal speech completed the prosody assessment procedure, Profiling ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2007
Receptive and Expressive Prosodic Ability in Children With High-Functioning Autism
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Susan Peppé
    Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Joanne McCann
    Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Fiona Gibbon
    Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Anne O’Hare
    Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, and University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Marion Rutherford
    Royal Hospital for Sick Children
  • Contact author: Susan Peppé, Speech and Hearing Sciences, Queen Margaret University, Clerwood Terrace, Edinburgh EH12 8TS, United Kingdom. E-mail: speppe@qmu.ac.uk.
Article Information
Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2007
Receptive and Expressive Prosodic Ability in Children With High-Functioning Autism
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2007, Vol. 50, 1015-1028. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/071)
History: Received March 1, 2005 , Revised August 30, 2005 , Accepted November 8, 2006
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2007, Vol. 50, 1015-1028. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/071)
History: Received March 1, 2005; Revised August 30, 2005; Accepted November 8, 2006
Web of Science® Times Cited: 104

Purpose This study aimed to identify the nature and extent of receptive and expressive prosodic deficits in children with high-functioning autism (HFA).

Method Thirty-one children with HFA, 72 typically developing controls matched on verbal mental age, and 33 adults with normal speech completed the prosody assessment procedure, Profiling Elements of Prosodic Systems in Children.

Results Children with HFA performed significantly less well than controls on 11 of 12 prosody tasks (p < .005). Receptive prosodic skills showed a strong correlation (p < .01) with verbal mental age in both groups, and to a lesser extent with expressive prosodic skills. Receptive prosodic scores also correlated with expressive prosody scores, particularly in grammatical prosodic functions. Prosodic development in the HFA group appeared to be delayed in many aspects of prosody and deviant in some. Adults showed near-ceiling scores in all tasks.

Conclusions The study demonstrates that receptive and expressive prosodic skills are closely associated in HFA. Receptive prosodic skills would be an appropriate focus for clinical intervention, and further investigation of prosody and the relationship between prosody and social skills is warranted.

Acknowledgments
This research was funded by the Scottish Executive Chief Scientist Office (CZB/4/3/4). We thank the parents, speech and language therapists, teachers, and children who have supported and participated in this research.
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