Mapping out the linguistic profile of Greek-speaking individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Department of Speech and Language Therapy, Technological Educational Institute of Patras
Research on how individuals with autism make use of grammar is very recent, has mainly focused on English language and has usually involved individuals from various points in the autism spectrum. The main objective of the study was to investigate the grammatical abilities of Greek-speaking individuals with autism.
Our sample consisted of 20 children, age 5-8 (mean age: 6 years and 8 months), with high functioning autism and normal verbal and non-verbal abilities. In this way, the linguistic deficits could be attributed more safely to autism. Each child with autism was matched with a typically developing child, age 5-8 (mean age: 6 years and 9 months), on verbal and non-verbal scores. We studied children comprehension of pronominal reference (both strong and clitic personal pronouns, as well as reflexives) and non-active morphology (with passive and reflexive interpretation).
It was found that children with autism did not differ from typically developing children except from reference of pronominal clitics. Clitics are thus rendered a vulnerable domain for Greek-speaking individuals with autism and perhaps also crosslinguistically. Finally, both groups of children had a low performance on passive (but not on reflexive) verbs, despite the fact that these two types involve the same (non-active) morphology in Greek.
Final report (in Greek)
Arhonto Terzi, Professor, Department of Speech and Language Therapy, Technological Educational Institute of Patras
Theodoros Marinis, Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Language Sciences, University of Reading
Konstantinos Francis, Child Psychiatrist, 2nd Psychiatric Department, Atticon Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Angeliki Kotsopoulou, Assistant Professor, Department of Speech and Language Therapy, Technological Educational Institute of Patras