Chapter published in:Developmental Perspectives in Written Language and Literacy: In honor of Ludo Verhoeven
Edited by Eliane Segers and Paul van den Broek
[Not in series 206] 2017
Written narratives in children with autism
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who are high functioning often perform in the normal range on standardized language measures, but they show impairments in the social use of spoken language, especially in more naturalistic situations. As they enter school, literacy, that is, learning to read and write, becomes the principal linguistic challenge; in this chapter, we look at written personal narratives from school-age children with ASD. The narrative texts are analyzed for both structural aspects of language as well as social discourse, i.e., narrative structure. Our findings indicate that children with ASD write shorter narratives, make more morphological errors, and use fewer and less diverse complex sentences than the typically developing children. They also show impoverished use of some social discourse elements in their written narratives. Our results are discussed in light of potential explanations including Frith’s (1989) theory of “Weak Central Coherence”.
Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorder, High Functioning Autism, written narratives, children, school age, writing, narrative, central coherence, language development, morphology, syntax
Published online: 21 December 2017
American Psychiatric Association
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