Unusual Prosodic Descriptors in Young, Verbal Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
University of Memphis, 2011
This study aimed to determine which prosodic descriptors best characterized the speech of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and whether these descriptors (e.g., sing-song and monotone) are acoustically different. Two listeners' auditory perceptions of the speech of the children with ASD and the pitch of the speech samples were analyzed. The results suggest that individual children are characterized by a variety of prosodic descriptors. Some thought groups were described as both sing-song and monotone, however, most children appear to be either more monotone or more sing-song. Furthermore, the subjective and acoustic data suggest a strong relationship between atypical intonation and sing-song perceptions as well as atypical rhythm and monotone perceptions. Implications for an earlier diagnosis of ASD and for the development of therapy tasks to target these deficits are discussed.
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