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Is verbal reference impaired in autism spectrum disorder? A systematic review

Malkin, Louise, Abbot-Smith, Kirsten, Williams, David (2018) Is verbal reference impaired in autism spectrum disorder? A systematic review. Autism and Developmental Language Impairments, 3 . pp. 1-24. ISSN 2396-9415. E-ISSN 2396-9415. (doi:10.1177/2396941518763166) (KAR id:66543)


Background and aims: Pragmatic language is a key difficulty in autism spectrum disorder. One such pragmatic skill is verbal reference, which allows the current entity of shared interest between speakers to be identified and thus enables fluid conversation. The aim of this review was to determine the extent to which studies have found that verbal reference is impaired in autism spectrum disorder. We organise the review in terms of the methodology used and the modality

found no between-group differences in this regard. To understand this cross-modality discrepancy, we need studies withthe same sample of individuals, whereby the task requirements for comprehension and production are as closely matched as possible. The field also requires the development of experimental manipulations which allow us to pinpoint precisely if and how each comprehension and/or production task requires mentalising and/or various components of executive functioning. Only through such detailed and controlled experimental work would it be possible to determine the precise location of impairments in verbal reference in autism spectrum disorder. A better understanding of this would contribute to the development of interventions.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/2396941518763166
Uncontrolled keywords: Pragmatics, Referential Communication, Autism
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Developmental Psychology
Depositing User: Louise Malkin
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2018 16:57 UTC
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2020 13:15 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Abbot-Smith, Kirsten:
Williams, David:
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