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Responses to contingent queries in adults with mental retardation and pervasive developmental disorders

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 November 2008

Rhea Paul*
Affiliation:
Yale Child Study Center
Donald J. Cohen
Affiliation:
Yale Child Study Center
*
Rhea Paul, Yale Child Study Center, P.O. Box 3333, New Haven, CT 06510

Abstract

Eight young adults with autism and autistic-like pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) and eight mentally retarded adults were matched for nonverbal IQ and given a series of standard language tests. They were then engaged in conversations into which examiners injected three types of contingent query requests for clarification (‘I watched “Dynasty” last night.’ “You watched what?”). Results of the standard language measures revealed that the PDD group was inferior in all areas except articulation. Responses to the contingent, query task showed the PDD group to be both less specific and less willing to supply information beyond that directly queried. Implications of these results for understanding the social and linguistic deficiencies in autism are discussed.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1984

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