Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 404–417

Non-word Repetition Impairment in Autism and Specific Language Impairment: Evidence for Distinct Underlying Cognitive Causes

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-012-1579-8

Cite this article as:
Williams, D., Payne, H. & Marshall, C. J Autism Dev Disord (2013) 43: 404. doi:10.1007/s10803-012-1579-8

Abstract

Language-impaired individuals with autism perform poorly on tests such as non-word repetition that are sensitive clinical markers of specific language impairment (SLI). This has fuelled the theory that language impairment in autism represents a co-morbid SLI. However, the underlying cause of these deficits may be different in each disorder. In a novel task, we manipulated non-word stimuli in three ways known to influence the repetition accuracy of children with SLI. Participants with SLI were affected differently by these manipulations to children with autism. Children with autism performed similarly to language-matched typical children in terms of levels and patterns of performance, and types of error made, suggesting that the underlying cognitive cause of non-word repetition deficits is different in each disorder.

Keywords

AutismSpecific language impairmentNon-word repetitionClinical markers

Abbreviations

ASD-LI

Language-impaired individuals with autism spectrum disorder

VMA-TD

Verbal mental age-matched typically developing individuals

CA-TD

Chronological age-matched typically developing individuals

SLI

Specific language impairment

CELF

Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals

CLS

Core language score

CNTNAP2

Contactin associated protein-like 2

ATP2C2

ATPase, Ca++ transporting, type 2C, member 2

CMIP

c-Maf inducing protein

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyDurham UniversityDurhamUK
  2. 2.Department of Language and Communication ScienceCity UniversityLondonUK
  3. 3.Department of Psychology and Human Development, Institute of EducationUniversity of LondonLondonUK