The present study is concerned with the research on pragmatic abilities of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The classic symptom triad of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) includes qualitative impairments regarding social interaction, communication, as well as restricted and repetitive behavior, activities and interests. In the context of Speech Language Therapy with patients suffering from ASD it is crucial to consider the functional use of language, i.e. pragmatics. A valid and reliable diagnosis is essential for an ideographic approach to treatment planning. So far in German-speaking regions there are only very few diagnostic instruments available which can meet the needs of pragmatic-communicative diagnostic tests suitable for children with ASD who are able to use spoken language. This leads to the central question of the present research, how preschool and primary school children with ASD (N=7) differ from physiologically developing children (N=10) and children with speech language delay (N=6) in the development of their pragmatic abilities. For this purpose an analysis scheme for interactions was developed, which was to be correlated to the statements obtained from a parents’ interview, the “Pragmatisches Profil” (Dohmen, Dewart, & Summers, 2009). The comparison of the groups showed qualitative distinctions, particularly with reference to nonverbal communication, identification and interpretation of emotions as well as theory of mind and the adaption of the interlocutors’ perspective. In many cases a possible interaction with the development of speech could be assumed. The discovered key aspects of the dysfunction proved to be in accordance with the parents’ estimations and accumulated in the main deficits of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Hence the instrument could be employed as a useful complement in the diagnostic process of pragmatic abilities of children with ASD.
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.