SRCLD Presentation Details
Assessing Pragmatic Language Skills in High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Yale in vivo Pragmatic Protocol
Elizabeth Schoen -
Rhea Paul -
Ami Klin -
Fred Volkmar -
Pragmatic language deficits are a core feature of high-functioning autism (HFA). These deficits are often difficult to assess. This study was designed to examine the usefulness of the Yale in vivo Pragmatic Protocol (YiPP), a semi-structured conversational tool designed to assess five domains of pragmatic language (discourse management, presupposition, communicative function, register variation, conversational repair) commonly impaired in HFA. Twenty children with HFA and twenty typically developing (TD) children were evaluated using the YiPP. A trained research assistant, blind to diagnosis, coded the YiPPs for pragmatic behavior and the level of cueing required to produce each behavior. Results reveal significant differences between diagnostic groups, such that the HFA group required a greater amount of clinician support to produce pragmatic behaviors related to discourse management and presupposition. No differences were noted among the remaining pragmatic skills. Clinical implications of these findings are discussed.
This study was made possible through the NICHD: Autism and Related Disorders: Development and Outcome - Project 3: Pragmatics and Prosody in Speakers with ASD grant P01-HD03008.