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Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Fonoaudiologia

On-line version ISSN 1982-0232


VOGINDROUKAS, Ioannis  and  ZIKOPOULOU, Olga. Idiom understanding in people with Asperger syndrome/high functioning autism. Rev. soc. bras. fonoaudiol. [online]. 2011, vol.16, n.4, pp.390-395. ISSN 1982-0232.

PURPOSE: To extend previous research in the development of idiom comprehension by investigating this ability in children with Asperger Syndrome (AS) or with High Functioning Autism (HFA). METHODS: Three groups participated in the study. The first group consisted of 27 children with AS/HFA (mean age 11.3 years) and the other two consisted of typically developing children and adults, respectively. The Comprehension Test of Idiomatic Phrases (CTIP) was administered to all participants. RESULTS: Children with AS/HFA had lower performance compared to the other two groups. No difference was found in the performance between the two typically developing groups. Also, there was no significant correlation between the IQ and the performance for the children with AS/HFA, while positive correlations were revealed between performance and age for the two groups of children. CONCLUSION: The results provide further evidence that children with AS/HFA have difficulties in understanding idioms and they confirm their tendency to make literal interpretations. These impairments are irrelevant to their intelligence and they affect their communication with others. The understanding of these difficulties is important in order to find ways to limit the confusion and the misinterpretations which are observed during the communicative acts with this clinic group.

Keywords : Comprehension; Aptitude; Psycholinguistics; Child language; Cognition; Asperger syndrome; Autistic disorders.

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