Absence of delay in spontaneous use of gestures in spoken narratives among children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
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Gestures are spontaneous hand movements produced when speaking. Despite gestures being of communicative significance, little is known about the gestural production in spoken narratives in six- to 12-year-old children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

The present study examined whether six- to 12-year-old children with ASD have a delay in gestural production in a spoken narrative task, in comparison to their typically-developing (TD) peers.

Methods and procedures:
Six- to-12-year-old children with ASD (N = 14) and their age- and IQ-matched TD peers (N = 12) narrated a story, which could elicit spontaneous speech and gestures. Their speech and gestures were then transcribed and coded.

Outcomes and results:
Both groups of children had comparable expressive language skills. Children with ASD produced a similar number of pointing and marker gestures to TD children and significantly more iconic gestures in their spoken narratives. While children with ASD produced more reinforcing gestures than their TD counterparts, both groups of children produced comparable numbers of disambiguating and supplementary gestures.

Our findings indicate that children with ASD may be as capable as TD children in gestural production when they engage in spoken narratives, which gives them spontaneity in producing gestures.
Acceptance Date06/11/2017
All Author(s) ListMiranda Kit-Yi Wong, Wing-Chee So
Journal nameResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Volume Number72
Pages128 - 139
LanguagesEnglish-United States
KeywordsIconic gestures, Spoken narrative, Speech-gesture integration, Children with ASD

Last updated on 2021-12-06 at 02:10