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Pragmatic Language and its relation to Executive Functioning, Adaptive Functioning and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Open Access

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Pragmatic language difficulties are commonly documented in individuals with autism spectrum disorder; however, little research exists that looks at pragmatic language in relation to executive functioning, adaptive functioning, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in this population. The current study had two aims: (1) determine the structural and pragmatic language profile of relative strengths and weaknesses among individuals with autism spectrum disorder using the Children’s Communication Checklist-2 (CCC-2) and (2) examine relationships between pragmatic language as measured by the CCC-2 and the following; executive functioning as measured by the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, adaptive functioning as measured by the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, and ADHD symptomatology as measured by the ADHD Rating Scale. Results revealed a relative strength in structural language and a relative weakness in pragmatic language among individuals with autism spectrum disorder on the CCC-2. Furthermore, results showed pragmatic language to be associated with aspects of executive functioning, adaptive functioning, and ADHD symptomatology. This relationship suggests that treatment of executive functioning or adaptive functioning could result in positive outcomes in ameliorating pragmatic language deficits (or vice versa) in individuals with autism spectrum disorder.

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