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ERIC Number: ED232340
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Comparing Sensorimotor Performance with Multiple Measures of Communicative Ability in Autistic Children.
Dores, Paul A.
The relationship between sensorimotor performance and communicative ability in 18 autistic children (40 to 108 months old) was studied. The children were administered the Means-End and Operational Causality scales from the Ordinal Scales of Psychological Development. In addition, the Ss were assessed on four measures of verbal and nonverbal competence: (1) a teacher rating of the child's typical method of communication, (2) two classroom observations of spontaneous and prompted nonverbal/verbal communicative behavior, (3) the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, and (4) six standardized tasks designed to elicit communicative responses. No prevalent pattern of pre-Stage V sensorimotor performance was found. While communicative capabilities varied substantially across the children, sensorimotor performance was consistently at or above Stage V in all cases, and predominantly at or above Stage VI. The relationship between sensorimotor performance and communicative ability that has been found in several studies of both normal and retarded children was not replicated in this sample of autistic children. While these results do not disprove the theory that Stage V sensorimotor skills are necessary for communicative development, they do suggest that achieving that level of skill does not predict advanced communicative ability. It is suggested that future research assess the interface of developmental and behavioral psychology, and that greater effort be made to translate known/theorized developmental processes into intervention procedures for atypical populations. (SEW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (7th, Boston, MA, October 8-10, 1982).