Comprehension of Indirect Requests in Adults with Autistic Disorders and Mental Retardation Eight adults with autistic disorders and 8 IQ-matched, mentally retarded (MR) subjects were given a task involving the comprehension of indirect requests. In one condition, requests were prefaced by instructions making their illocutionary force clear (I'm going to tell you to color some circles). In a second condition, the same ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1985
Comprehension of Indirect Requests in Adults with Autistic Disorders and Mental Retardation
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Rhea Paul
    Yale Child Study Center, Yale University, New Haven, CT
  • Donald J. Cohen
    Yale Child Study Center, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1985
Comprehension of Indirect Requests in Adults with Autistic Disorders and Mental Retardation
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1985, Vol. 28, 475-479. doi:10.1044/jshr.2804.475
History: Received July 19, 1984 , Accepted May 7, 1985
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1985, Vol. 28, 475-479. doi:10.1044/jshr.2804.475
History: Received July 19, 1984; Accepted May 7, 1985

Eight adults with autistic disorders and 8 IQ-matched, mentally retarded (MR) subjects were given a task involving the comprehension of indirect requests. In one condition, requests were prefaced by instructions making their illocutionary force clear (I'm going to tell you to color some circles). In a second condition, the same requests were presented in an unstructured conversation. Although the performance of the MR subjects was better in both conditions, both groups performed similarly to normal 4- to 6-year-olds. In the unstructured condition, however, the autistic group's performance was significantly depressed, especially on sentences requiring greater semantic processing. The implications of these findings for understanding language and social deficits in autistic and similar individuals are discussed.

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