Author(s): Young EC, Diehl JJ, Morris D, Hyman SL, Bennetto L
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Abstract PURPOSE: Pragmatic language disorders (PLDs) are difficult to diagnose in a cost-effective manner, and there are few assessment tools that yield quantitative data. This investigation was designed to determine whether two formal assessment tools would differentiate PLDs in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) from controls matched on verbal IQ and language fundamentals. METHOD: Thirty-four matched participants were given the Test of Pragmatic Language (TOPL; D. Phelps-Terasaki & T. Phelps-Gunn, 1992) and the Strong Narrative Assessment Procedure (SNAP; C. J. Strong, 1998). RESULTS: Participants with ASDs had significantly poorer scores than controls on the TOPL. On the SNAP, the children with ASDs performed similarly to controls on syntax, cohesion, story grammar, and completeness of episodes. The controls performed significantly better only on the ability to answer inferential questions. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: The TOPL was effective in differentiating PLDs in children with ASDs when performance was compared tomatched controls. The SNAP did not clearly differentiatelanguage problems in these two groups. Research is needed to develop formal assessment tools that target the unique language disabilities of high-functioning individuals with ASDs.
This article was published in Lang Speech Hear Serv Sch
and referenced in Autism-Open Access