The development of co-speech gesture and its semantic integration with speech in 6-to 12-year-old children with autism spectrum disorders
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AbstractPrevious work leaves open the question of whether children with autism spectrum disorders aged 6-12years have delay in producing gestures compared to their typically developing peers. This study examined gestural production among school-aged children in a naturalistic context and how their gestures are semantically related to the accompanying speech. Delay in gestural production was found in children with autism spectrum disorders through their middle to late childhood. Compared to their typically developing counterparts, children with autism spectrum disorders gestured less often and used fewer types of gestures, in particular markers, which carry culture-specific meaning. Typically developing children's gestural production was related to language and cognitive skills, but among children with autism spectrum disorders, gestural production was more strongly related to the severity of socio-communicative impairment. Gesture impairment also included the failure to integrate speech with gesture: in particular, supplementary gestures are absent in children with autism spectrum disorders. The findings extend our understanding of gestural production in school-aged children with autism spectrum disorders during spontaneous interaction. The results can help guide new therapies for gestural production for children with autism spectrum disorders in middle and late childhood.
All Author(s) ListSo WC, Wong MKY, Lui M, Yip V
Journal nameAutism
Volume Number19
Issue Number8
PublisherSAGE Publications (UK and US)
Pages956 - 968
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
Keywordsautism spectrum disorders; communication and language; gesture; school-aged children; semantic integration
Web of Science Subject CategoriesPsychology; Psychology, Developmental

Last updated on 2021-15-09 at 04:28