The Role of Cognition on Navigational Skills of Children and Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorders Purpose This study examined the role of cognition on the navigational process of a speech-generating device (SGD) among individuals with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The objective was to investigate the role of various cognitive factors (i.e., cognitive flexibility, sustained attention, categorization, fluid reasoning, and working memory) on ... Research Article
Research Article  |   July 13, 2018
The Role of Cognition on Navigational Skills of Children and Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorders
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Manon Robillard
    Speech-Language Pathology School, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
  • Annie Roy-Charland
    Department of Psychology, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
  • Sylvie Cazabon
    Speech-Language Pathology School, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Annie Roy-Charland is now at the Psychology School, Université de Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
    Annie Roy-Charland is now at the Psychology School, Université de Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada×
  • Correspondence to Manon Robillard: mrobillard@laurentian.ca
  • Editor-in-Chief: Julie Liss
    Editor-in-Chief: Julie Liss×
  • Editor: Tanya Eadie
    Editor: Tanya Eadie×
Article Information
Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   July 13, 2018
The Role of Cognition on Navigational Skills of Children and Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, July 2018, Vol. 61, 1579-1590. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-S-17-0206
History: Received May 31, 2017 , Revised October 6, 2017 , Accepted February 18, 2018
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, July 2018, Vol. 61, 1579-1590. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-S-17-0206
History: Received May 31, 2017; Revised October 6, 2017; Accepted February 18, 2018

Purpose This study examined the role of cognition on the navigational process of a speech-generating device (SGD) among individuals with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The objective was to investigate the role of various cognitive factors (i.e., cognitive flexibility, sustained attention, categorization, fluid reasoning, and working memory) on the ability to navigate an SGD with dynamic paging and taxonomic grids in individuals with ASD.

Method Twenty individuals aged 5 to 20 years with ASD were assessed using the Leiter International Performance Scale–Revised (Roid & Miller, 1997) and the Automated Working Memory Assessment (Alloway, 2007). They also completed a navigational task using an iPad 4 (Apple, 2017; taxonomic organization).

Results Significant correlations between all of the cognitive factors and the ability to navigate an SGD were revealed. A stepwise linear regression suggested that cognitive flexibility was the best predictor of navigational ability with this population.

Conclusion The importance of cognition in the navigational process of an SGD with dynamic paging in children and adolescents with ASD has been highlighted by the results of this study.

Acknowledgments
The authors would like to thank Autism Ontario Sudbury & District for the partnership that allowed this research to be conducted. Thank you to Maxine Perrin, France Rainville, Mélissa Therrien, and Alexandra Albert for their assistance in data collection. This research was performed as part of the last author's master's dissertation.
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