Communicative competence in parents of children with autism and parents of children with specific language impairment

Tilla F. Ruser, Deborah Arin, Michael Dowd, Sara Putnam, Brian Winklosky, Beth Rosen-Sheidley, Joseph Piven, Bruce Tomblin, Helen Tager-Flusberg, Susan Folstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

68 Scopus citations

Abstract

While the primary language deficit in autism has been thought to be pragmatic, and in specific language impairment (SLI) structural, recent research suggests phenomenological and possibly genetic overlap between the two syndromes. To compare communicative competence in parents of children with autism, SLI, and down syndrome (DS), we used a modified pragmatic rating scale (PRS-M). Videotapes of conversational interviews with 47 autism, 47 SLI, and 21 DS parents were scored blind to group membership. Autism and SLI parents had significantly lower communication abilities than DS parents. Fifteen percent of the autism and SLI parents showed severe deficits. Our results suggest that impaired communication is part of the broader autism phenotype and a broader SLI phenotype, especially among male family members.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1323-1336
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume37
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2007

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Communication
  • Family study
  • Pragmatics
  • Specific language impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

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    Ruser, T. F., Arin, D., Dowd, M., Putnam, S., Winklosky, B., Rosen-Sheidley, B., Piven, J., Tomblin, B., Tager-Flusberg, H., & Folstein, S. (2007). Communicative competence in parents of children with autism and parents of children with specific language impairment. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37(7), 1323-1336. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-006-0274-z