Learning of idiomatic language expressions in a group intervention for children with autism

Elisabeth M. Whyte, Keith Nelson, Kiren S. Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

In typical development, children learn an extensive range of idioms and other figurative (non-literal) language expressions during childhood and adolescence. However, many children with autism fall far behind in their idiom comprehension and production and never fully reach adult levels. The current study measured the effectiveness of a group idiom intervention for ten children, aged 7 to 12 years, with autism spectrum disorders. This intervention was conducted by a community-based social skills program. The children were initially very low in idiom understanding, but were able to learn and remember the meaning of idiomatic phrases that they were taught during the 2-week-long intervention. The children showed greater increases at a delayed post-test for idioms trained in the intervention than idioms that were untrained controls. Implications for future educational possibilities are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-464
Number of pages16
JournalAutism
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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