Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 519–524 | Cite as

Brief Report: The Relationship between Discourse Deficits and Autism Symptomatology

  • Courtney M. Hale
  • Helen Tager-Flusberg


This study investigated the relationship between discourse deficits to a broader range of other symptoms in 57 children with autism. We hypothesized that autism symptomatology, as measured by the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), would be related to the children’s difficulty in maintaining an ongoing topic of discourse. Children provided a natural language sample while interacting with one parent. These language samples were coded for the child’s use of off-topic or noncontingent utterances. Results showed significant relationships between overall diagnostic symptomatology, and more specifically, deficits in communication as measured by the ADOS-G, and noncontingent discourse. The findings provide diagnostic validity to the ADOS-G and highlight in greater detail the significant communication impairment in autism.


ADOS autism communication discourse 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryChildren’s Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolUSA
  2. 2.Boston UniversitySchool of MedicineUSA
  3. 3.Department of Anatomy and NeurobiologyBoston University School of MedicineBostonUSA

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