Spontaneous Narrative-Discourse Performance of Parents of Autistic Individuals The spontaneous narrative-discourse performance of parents of autistic individuals was compared to controls. The narratives of autism parents were similar in length to controls’ narratives but were less complex and less coherent. A subgroup of autism parents produced either skeletal or rambling narratives that were not characterized by the type ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1991
Spontaneous Narrative-Discourse Performance of Parents of Autistic Individuals
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Rebecca Landa
    School of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Susan E. Folstein
    School of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Crystal Isaacs
    School of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Requests for reprints should be sent to Rebecca Landa, PhD, The Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, 600 North Wolfe Street, Meyer 2-181, Baltimore, Maryland 21205.
Article Information
Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1991
Spontaneous Narrative-Discourse Performance of Parents of Autistic Individuals
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1991, Vol. 34, 1339-1345. doi:10.1044/jshr.3406.1339
History: Received August 22, 1990 , Accepted March 5, 1991
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1991, Vol. 34, 1339-1345. doi:10.1044/jshr.3406.1339
History: Received August 22, 1990; Accepted March 5, 1991

The spontaneous narrative-discourse performance of parents of autistic individuals was compared to controls. The narratives of autism parents were similar in length to controls’ narratives but were less complex and less coherent. A subgroup of autism parents produced either skeletal or rambling narratives that were not characterized by the type of simplifications that are reported to facilitate comprehension in very young or language-impaired children. The narrative-discourse deficits of this subgroup appeared to be consistent with the hypothesis of a genetic liability for autism that expresses in milder forms and may include impaired language abilities.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by National Institute of Mental Health Grant #1 R01 MH39936. The authors wish to thank the participants of this study, who gave generously of their time. We also thank Joseph Piven, Maryann Wzorek, Jeanne Gayle, Dolores Cloud, Jon Simon, Gary Chase, and Cindy Taylor.
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