International Meeting for Autism Research (May 7 - 9, 2009): Language Profiles in ASD, SLI, and ADHD

Language Profiles in ASD, SLI, and ADHD

Friday, May 8, 2009
Northwest Hall (Chicago Hilton)
1:30 PM
H. M. Geurts , Psychonomics, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
M. Embrechts , Research and Development, Dr Leo Kannerhuis, Doorwerth, Netherlands
Background: Developmental disorders might differ in their language profiles when using parent reports.

Objectives: In order to study language profiles with the Children's Communication Checklist-2 (CCC-2; Bishop, 2003) we carried out two studies.The first goal of the two presented studies was to explore whether there is a specific ASD language profile in terms of the nature and extent of their language skills and deficits and whether this profile depends on the age range. The second goal was to explore how this ASD language profile is related to the language profiles in other disorders such as ADHD and SLI.

Methods: In Study 1, children with ASD will be directly compared to children with ADHD and typically developing children (all aged 7 to 14 years). In Study 2, a direct comparison will be made between preschoolers with ASD, preschoolers with SLI and typically developping preschoolers (all aged 4 to 7 years).

Results: The first study indicated that school aged children with ASD have similar language profiles as children with ADHD. Both groups had relatively more difficulties with pragmatics than with structural language aspects. The second study indicated that both preschoolers with ASD and those with SLI show the opposite pattern, thus having relatively more difficulties with structural language aspects than with pragmatics. Finally, an increase in the presence of ADHD characteristics of impulsivity in these preschoolers is associated with an increase in language difficulties, while there is no such relation with inattention.

Conclusions: It seems useful to evaluate the communication abilities of children regularly in the course of development and take ADHD characteristics into account. Finally recommendations on clinical use of the CCC-2 are discussed.

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