Linguistic markers of autism spectrum conditions in narratives: a comprehensive analysis

Schroeder, K.; Rosselló, J.; Ribalta, T.; Hinzen, W.
Membres autors
Autism & developmental language impairments, 8, 1-5 

Background & Aims: Narratives are regularly elicited as part of standardized assessments for autism spectrum conditions (ASC) such as the ADOS, but have rarely been utilized as linguistic data in their own right. We here aimed for a specific and comprehensive quantitative linguistic profile of such narratives across nominal, verbal, and clausal domains of grammatical organization, and error patterns. Methods: We manually transcribed and annotated narratives elicited from the ADOS from a sample of bilingual autistic Spanish-Catalan children (n = 18), matched with typically developing controls (n = 18) on vocabulary-based verbal IQ. Results: Results revealed fewer relative clauses and more frequent errors in referential specificity and non-relational content-word choice in ASC. Frequent error types are also discussed qualitatively. Conclusions & Implications: These findings, based on more finegrained linguistically defined variables, help to disentangle previous inconsistencies in the literature, and to better situate language changes in the spectrum of neurocognitive changes in this population.