Pragmatic Language Profiles of School-Age Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders and Williams Syndrome Purpose To describe and compare the pragmatic language profiles of school-age children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and Williams syndrome (WS) on a standardized measure to determine whether a standard pragmatics tool can differentiate between 2 groups of children with opposing social presentations and pragmatic language difficulties. Method ... Research Article
Research Article  |   November 01, 2007
Pragmatic Language Profiles of School-Age Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders and Williams Syndrome
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Amy Philofsky
    Colorado State University, Fort Collins
  • Deborah J. Fidler
    Colorado State University, Fort Collins
  • Susan Hepburn
    University of Colorado at Denver Health Sciences Center
  • Contact author: Amy Philofsky, who is now at the Department of Psychiatry, Box C268-30, University of Colorado at Denver Health Sciences Center, Denver, CO 80262. E-mail: amy.philofsky@uchsc.edu.
Article Information
Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Autism Spectrum / Language Disorders / Social Communication & Pragmatics Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   November 01, 2007
Pragmatic Language Profiles of School-Age Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders and Williams Syndrome
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2007, Vol. 16, 368-380. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2007/040)
History: Received October 30, 2006 , Revised February 21, 2007 , Accepted June 26, 2007
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2007, Vol. 16, 368-380. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2007/040)
History: Received October 30, 2006; Revised February 21, 2007; Accepted June 26, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 47

Purpose To describe and compare the pragmatic language profiles of school-age children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and Williams syndrome (WS) on a standardized measure to determine whether a standard pragmatics tool can differentiate between 2 groups of children with opposing social presentations and pragmatic language difficulties.

Method Twenty-two parents of school-age children with ASD, 21 parents of school-age children with WS, and 19 parents of school-age typically developing children rated their child on the Children’s Communication Checklist—Second Edition (CCC–2; D. Bishop, 2003), a standardized pragmatic language assessment tool.

Results Both clinical groups demonstrated impairment in overall communication and pragmatic language functioning, but children with WS performed significantly better on overall pragmatic language functioning, and the magnitude of the effect was medium. Profile examination revealed equivalent performances between ASD and WS on most CCC–2 subscales; however, significantly better performances on the Coherence, Stereotyped Language, Nonverbal Communication, and Social Relations subscales were observed in WS.

Conclusions The CCC–2 appears to provide an effective means to identify and characterize pragmatic language difficulties using a standardized approach in children with ASD and WS.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by funding from two grants: National Institute for Child and Human Development Grant U19 HD35468 and March of Dimes Grant 12-FY03-47. This study was derived from a doctoral dissertation study completed at Colorado State University (Philofsky, 2006), with special thanks to my doctoral dissertation committee members, Drs. George Morgan and Karen Barrett. Additional thanks to Dr. Eric Moody for his help with the Results section. A subset of this work was presented as a poster titled “Pragmatic Language Functioning in Autism and Williams Syndrome” at the 2006 International Meeting for Autism Research, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
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