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Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Fonoaudiologia

Print version ISSN 1516-8034

Abstract

MOREIRA, Camila Ramos  and  FERNANDES, Fernanda Dreux Miranda. Assessing communication in the autistic spectrum: interference of familiarity in language performance. Rev. soc. bras. fonoaudiol. [online]. 2010, vol.15, n.3, pp. 430-435. ISSN 1516-8034.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-80342010000300019.

PURPOSE: To identify the best technique to assess the communication of autistic spectrum individuals, analyzing the interference of the familiarity of the situation in communication's functionality. METHODS: Subjects were 18 children and adolescents with diagnosis included within the autistic spectrum, and ages between three years and 11 months and 17 years and 11 months, with an average of eight years and nine months (SD=3,6 years). Initially, an interaction situation between each participant and a familiar speech-language pathologist was filmed during 15 minutes, during a routine evaluation setting that reproduced weekly therapy sessions (Familiar Situation). On the following session, an interaction situation between each subject and a non-familiar speech-language pathologist using pre-determined material (Non-Familiar Situation) was also filmed during 15 minutes. Data were transcribed and analyzed according to the Functional Communicative Profile protocol. RESULTS: The comparison between situations showed differences in only four variables (23%), from the 17 analyzed; three of them presented better results in the Familiar Situation: communicative acts per minute, number of responses, and proportion of use of the Non-Focused communicative function. Only one of the variables had better results in the Non-Familiar Situation: proportion of use of the Play communicative function. CONCLUSION: The interference of the familiarity of the communicative situation in the communicative performance of autistic subjects is very small, and the evaluation procedure along the lines of the Familiar Situation was slightly better for the assessment of this population.

Keywords : Autistic disorder; Language disorders; Evaluation; Communication; Language tests; Language; Recognition (Psychology).

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