Defense Date

7-20-2010

Graduation Date

2010

Availability

Immediate Access

Submission Type

thesis

Degree Name

MS

Department

Speech-Language Pathology (SLP)

School

Rangos School of Health Sciences

Committee Chair

Diane Williams

Committee Member

Yang Chen

Keywords

autism, semantics

Abstract

This study examined the semantic processing of 19 adults with high-functioning autism (HFA) and 18 age and verbal-IQ matched controls using language tasks that varied in the demand for simple or integrative processing. On standardized measures, the individuals with autism had relatively intact vocabulary skills compared to controls, whereas the comprehension and use of figurative language was relatively weaker. The adults with HFA were relatively insensitive to context and incorrectly completed sentences with a commonly associated word pair rather than a semantically appropriate response. On a 3-letter word stem completion task, the autism group provided a similar mean number of words for each word stem as the controls. The individuals with autism had a significantly longer reaction time when choosing a real word versus nonword compared to the control group. Semantic processing skills are relatively intact in individuals with HFA but are affected by demands for integration and time constraints.

Format

PDF

Language

English

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