ERIC Number: EJ1090338
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
"Uh," "Um," and Autism: Filler Disfluencies as Pragmatic Markers in Adolescents with Optimal Outcomes from Autism Spectrum Disorder
Irvine, Christina A.; Eigsti, Inge-Marie; Fein, Deborah A.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, v46 n3 p1061-1070 Mar 2016
Filler disfluencies--"uh" and "um"--are thought to serve distinct discourse functions. We examined fillers in spontaneous speech by youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), who struggle with pragmatic language, and by youth with ASD who have achieved an "optimal outcome" (OO), as well as in peers with typical development (TD). While "uh" rates did not differ, participants with ASD produced "um" less frequently than OO or TD groups. "Um" rate was associated with autism symptom severity, but not executive function or language abilities, suggesting that "um" serves a pragmatic, listener-oriented function. Moreover, in contrast to minimal production in ASD, the typical OO "um" production substantiates the normalization of subtle social communication in this population.
Descriptors: Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Pragmatics, Speech Communication, Interpersonal Competence, Correlation, Symptoms (Individual Disorders), Severity (of Disability), Executive Function, Language Skills, Adolescents
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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