Understanding Social Communication Differences in Autism Spectrum Disorder and First-Degree Relatives: A Study of Looking and Speaking

Michelle Lee, Kritika Nayar, Nell Maltman, Daniel Hamburger, Gary E. Martin, Peter C. Gordon, Molly Losh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined narrative ability in ASD and parents across two contexts differing in structure and emotional content, and explored gaze patterns that may underlie narrative differences by presenting narrative tasks on an eye tracker. Participants included 37 individuals with ASD and 38 controls, 151 parents of individuals with ASD and 63 parent controls. The ASD and ASD parent groups demonstrated lower narrative quality than controls in the less structured narrative task only. Subtler, context-dependent differences emerged in gaze and showed some associations with narrative quality. Results indicate a narrative ability profile that may reflect genetic liability to ASD, and subtle links between visual attention and complex language skills that may be influenced by ASD genetic risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2128-2141
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume50
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Communication
  • Eye gaze
  • Language
  • Narrative
  • Visual attention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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