Person-centred (deictic) expressions and autism

Hobson, R Peter, García-Pérez, Rosa M. and Lee, Anthony (2010) Person-centred (deictic) expressions and autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 40 (4). pp. 403-415. ISSN 0162-3257 (Print) 1573-3432 (Online)

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We employed semi-structured tests to determine whether children with autism produce and comprehend deictic (person-centred) expressions such as ‘this’/‘that’, ‘here’/‘there’ and ‘come’/‘go’, and whether they understand atypical non-verbal gestural deixis in the form of directed head-nods to indicate location. In Study 1, most participants spontaneously produced deictic terms, often in conjunction with pointing. Yet only among children with autism were there participants who referred to a location that was distal to themselves with the terms ‘this’ or ‘here’, or made atypical points with unusual precision, often lining-up with an eye. In Study 2, participants with autism were less accurate in responding to instructions involving contrastive deictic terms, and fewer responded accurately to indicative head nods.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Communication (incl. disorders of) > Autism
Department/People: Special Units

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