A multimethod analysis of pragmatic skills in children and adolescents with fragile X syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, and down syndrome

Gary E. Martin*, Lauren Bush, Jessica Klusek, Shivani Patel, Molly Losh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Pragmatic language skills are often impaired above and beyond general language delays in individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities. This study used a multimethod approach to language sample analysis to characterize syndrome-and sex-specific profiles across different neurodevelopmental disabilities and to examine the congruency of 2 analysis techniques. Method: Pragmatic skills of young males and females with fragile X syndrome with autism spectrum disorder (FXS-ASD, n = 61) and without autism spectrum disorder (FXS-O, n = 40), Down syndrome (DS, n = 42), and typical development (TD, n = 37) and males with idiopathic autism spectrum disorder only (ASD-O, n = 29) were compared using variables obtained from a detailed hand-coding system contrasted with similar variables obtained automatically from the language analysis program Systematic Analysis of Language Transcripts (SALT). Results: Noncontingent language and perseveration were characteristic of the pragmatic profiles of boys and girls with FXS-ASD and boys with ASD-O. Boys with ASD-O also initiated turns less often and were more nonresponsive than other groups, and girls with FXS-ASD were more nonresponsive than their male counterparts. Hand-coding and SALT methods were largely convergent with some exceptions. Conclusion: Results suggest both similarities and differences in the pragmatic profiles observed across different neurodevelopmental disabilities, including idiopathic and FXS-associated cases of ASD, as well as an important sex difference in FXS-ASD. These findings and congruency between the 2 language sample analysis techniques together have important implications for assessment and intervention efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3023-3037
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Volume61
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

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