Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 230–235 | Cite as

Brief Report: Pointing Cues Facilitate Word Learning in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Hironori Akechi
  • Yukiko Kikuchi
  • Yoshikuni Tojo
  • Hiroo Osanai
  • Toshikazu Hasegawa
Brief Report

Abstract

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) reportedly have difficulty associating novel words to an object via the speaker’s gaze. It has also been suggested that their performance is related to their gaze duration on the object and improves when the object moves and becomes more salient. However, there is a possibility that they have only relied on the object’s movement and have not referenced the speaker’s cue (i.e. gaze direction). The current study with children with ASD and typically developing children aged 6–11 years demonstrated that adding another speaker’s cue (i.e. pointing) improves the performance of children with ASD. This suggests that additional speaker’s cues may help referential word learning in children with ASD.

Keywords

Autism spectrum disorder Word learning Gaze Pointing Eye-tracking 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hironori Akechi
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yukiko Kikuchi
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Yoshikuni Tojo
    • 4
  • Hiroo Osanai
    • 5
  • Toshikazu Hasegawa
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Cognitive and Behavioral Science, Graduate School of Arts and SciencesUniversity of TokyoTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of ScienceTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Division of Information System DesignTokyo Denki UniversitySaitamaJapan
  4. 4.Department of Education for Children with DisabilitiesIbaraki UniversityIbarakiJapan
  5. 5.Musashino Higashi Center for Education and ResearchMusashino Higashi GakuenTokyoJapan

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