Prosodic Characteristics Observed in Verbal Children with Autism
Type of Degreethesis
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Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) exhibit difficulties with the suprasegmental aspects of speech production, more specifically, with prosody. However, there is a paucity of research regarding the perception of prosody and if young children with ASD exhibit atypical prosody in their speech. The overall purpose of the current study is to describe the prosodic characteristics (i.e., intonation, stress patterns, pitch and phrasing) of young verbal children with autism who are between the ages of 24 and 66 months. The Prosody-Voice Screening Profile (PVSP; Shriberg, Kwiatkowski and Rasmussen, 1990) will be used to identify and quantify the prosodic characteristics observed. These characteristics will be compared to the prosody of typically developing children to determine whether or not there are similar patterns present. Additional information regarding atypical prosody in young children with ASD would provide clinicians with an additional diagnostic tool to rule out or confirm a diagnosis of ASD. Implications of these findings for understanding prosodic deficits in children with ASD and directions for future research are discussed.