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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology