Report  |   January 2005
The Use of Two Language Tests to Identify Pragmatic Language Problems in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
 
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Article Information
Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / Language Disorders / Social Communication & Pragmatics Disorders
Report   |   January 2005
The Use of Two Language Tests to Identify Pragmatic Language Problems in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2005, Vol. 36, 62-72. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2005/006)
History: Received March 16, 2003 , Revised August 18, 2003 , Accepted April 23, 2004
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2005, Vol. 36, 62-72. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2005/006)
History: Received March 16, 2003; Revised August 18, 2003; Accepted April 23, 2004
Web of Science® Times Cited: 36

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 to matched controls. The SNAP did not clearly differentiate language 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.

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