Clarifying the associations between language and social development in autism: A study of non-native phoneme recognition

John N. Constantino, Dan Yang, Teddi L. Gray, Maggie M. Gross, Anna M. Abbacchi, Sarah C. Smith, Catherine E. Kohn, Patricia K. Kuhl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are characterized by correlated deficiencies in social and language development. This study explored a fundamental aspect of auditory information processing (AIP) that is dependent on social experience and critical to early language development: the ability to compartmentalize close-sounding speech sounds into singular phonemes. We examined this ability by assessing whether close-sounding non-native language phonemes were more likely to be perceived as disparate sounds by school-aged children with high-functioning ASD (n = 27), than by unaffected control subjects (n = 35). No significant group differences were observed. Although earlier in autistic development there may exist qualitative deficits in this specific aspect of AIP, they are not an enduring characteristic of verbal school-aged children with ASD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1256-1263
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of autism and developmental disorders
Volume37
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2007

Keywords

  • Auditory discrimination
  • Autism
  • Information processing
  • Language
  • Phonemic awareness
  • Social responsiveness scale
  • Speech perception

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