Pragmatic Skills in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Posted on March 25, 2022 by Cheapest Assignment

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Literature review 

People use pragmatic language for effective and successful interaction with others. However, persons suffering from autism experience significant challenges in pragmatic skills depicting consequent impairments in communication. Provided the complex nature of pragmatic language or skills, several studies have pointed out the significance of investigating diverse factors affecting the autism group in their conversation. This literature review mainly relies on three articles that have significantly addressed the issue of Autism and how it affects the communication of persons who have Autism.  

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Jackson and his colleagues (2003) did research on the responses as well as sustained interactions in infants who have Autism and mental retardation found out that infants with Autism generated lesser positive answers and more “no responses” compared to children suffering from mental retardation. Also, in their studies, the author found out that children affected by Autism are less expected to participate in sustained play when compared with those suffering mental retardation (Jackson et al., 2003). Jackson et al. (2003) found out that autistic children master the need-oriented social skills, including simple conversation, but unfortunately, they will master other types of social interactions, including play. 

Furthermore, Martin and other researchers did a study focusing on pragmatic language skills in young children as well as teenagers with fragile X syndrome, down system, and spectrum disorder. In most cases, pragmatic language skills are mostly impaired past language delays in persons that have neurodevelopmental incapacities. These researchers realized that noncontingent language as well as preservation were the main traits of the pragmatic identities of genders were suffering from fragile X syndrome and boys with an autism spectrum disorder. Furthermore, their study found that boys with autism spectrum disorder also produced turns less often, although they were more nonresponsive compared to other groups (Martin, 2019). On the other hand, girls suffering from fragile X and autism syndrome are more likely to be nonresponsive than boys experiencing the same disorder. Therefore, neurodevelopmental disabilities greatly affect pragmatic skills, especially when the affected group is nonresponsive. 

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Capps, L., Kehres, J., & Sigman, M. (1998) also conducted research on conversational abilities among children with developmental delays and Autism. In their study, they found that children who have Autism behaved differently from the rest. For instance, these children are likely to repeat what they said previously. Hence, their contributions were also often bizarre compared to their counterparts (Capps et al., 1998). However, the researcher provides very interesting observation when it comes to using non-verbal communication like gestures. In this case, children with Autism are effective on gesture response, and they are more likely to respond by using gestures. It means that they understood what the speaker was inquiring about or the speaker’s communicative intent. 

The three articles show that pragmatic skills use among people with neurodevelopmental disabilities like Autism is a challenge. It is a challenge for them to learn as well as use pragmatic skills. People with Autism are more affected compared to other neurodevelopmental disabilities like mental retardation. However, when it comes to non-verbal communication like gestures, they respond just like other persons, although not effective in indirect questions despite understanding the speaker’s intention. Autism children are however not very effective in turn-taking, and it is fundamental to understand their social interaction abilities. 

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Capps, L., Kehres, J., & Sigman, M. (1998). Conversational abilities among children with autism and children with developmental delays. Autism2(4), 325-344.

Jackson, C. T., Fein, D., Wolf, J., Jones, G., Hauck, M., Waterhouse, L., & Feinstein, C. (2003). Responses and sustained interactions in children with mental retardation and autism. Journal of autism and developmental disorders33(2), 115-121.

Martin, G. E., Bush, L., Klusek, J., Patel, S., & Losh, M. (2018). A multimethod analysis of pragmatic skills in children and adolescents with fragile X syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, and Down syndrome. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research61(12), 3023-3037.

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