Grammatical Comprehension in Italian Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Jessica Barsotti, Gloria Mangani, Roberta Nencioli, Lucia Pfanner, Raffaella Tancredi, Angela Cosenza, Gianluca Sesso, Antonio Narzisi, Filippo Muratori, Paola Cipriani, Anna Maria Chilosi
2020 Brain Sciences  
Language deficits represent one of the most relevant factors that determine the clinical phenotype of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The main aim of the research was to study the grammatical comprehension of children with ASD. A sample of 70 well-diagnosed children (60 boys and 10 girls; aged 4.9–8 years) were prospectively recruited. The results showed that language comprehension is the most impaired language domain in ASD. These findings have important clinical implications,
more » ... ce the persistence of grammatical receptive deficits may have a negative impact on social, adaptive and learning achievements. As for the grammatical profiles, persistent difficulties were found during the school-age years in morphological and syntactic decoding in children with relatively preserved cognitive and expressive language skills. These data and the lack of a statistically significant correlation between the severity of ASD symptoms and language skills are in line with the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition) perspective that considers the socio-communication disorder as a nuclear feature of ASD and the language disorder as a specifier of the diagnosis and not as a secondary symptom anymore. The presence of receptive difficulties in school-age ASD children with relatively preserved non-verbal cognitive abilities provides important hints to establish rehabilitative treatments.
doi:10.3390/brainsci10080510 pmid:32748841 fatcat:amqhaxrbnzaqlhwiwboujbps3a