Linguistic Differences in the Production of Narratives by Adolescents with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder
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Adolescents with (n=20) and without (n=20) autism spectrum disorder (ASD), matched for age, intelligence, and language, produced narratives during the Trier Social Stress Test that were analyzed for pronoun use, mental state terms, and disfluencies. Participants, matched for language and intelligence test scores, were given a prompt and told a story to analysts using the Trier Stress Test procedure. For disfluencies, the findings indicated children with ASD increased stutters and repetitions under stressful conditions. TD children may also pay more attention to suprasegmental aspects of speech, thus resulting in more prolonged syllables than children with ASD. Children with ASD produced fewer mental state terms, especially cognitive and affective, than TD children. Children with ASD produced more ambiguous 3rd person pronouns than TD children, which may reflect differences in theory of mind.