The Influence of Language Phenotype on Predictors of Emergent Literacy in Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder
The development of emergent literacy skills in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is a growing subject of inquiry in the field of communication sciences and disorders; however, few studies have investigated the relationship between oral language skills and emergent literacy as a function of various language phenotypes of children with ASD. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between oral language abilities in various domains and emergent literacy skills as a function of two language phenotypes, ASD Language Normal (ALN) and ASD Language Impaired (ALI). These phenotypes were determined based on the standardized test scores of a nonword repetition measure of phonological memory. Domains of oral language assessed included semantics (definitional vocabulary and lexical retrieval), morphology, syntax, and pragmatics (receptive/expressive language). Emergent literacy skills assessed in this study include phonological awareness and print knowledge. The participants consisted of 11 children diagnosed with ASD between the ages of 4 years 0 months and 5 years 11 months. Of those 11 participants, 4 were classified in the ALN phenotype and 7 in the ALI phenotype. Significant positive correlations were found between the oral language skills of definitional vocabulary, syntax, morphology, and pragmatics, and phonological awareness. No significant correlations were found between print knowledge and oral language skills with the exception of lexical retrieval. Furthermore, phonological awareness performance was found to be significantly different as a function of phenotype, while print knowledge was not. ALN participants demonstrated greater abilities in phonological awareness than ALI participants, while print knowledge skills were strong in both phenotype groups. These results demonstrate a significant relationship between phonological awareness performance and oral language domains, as well as ASD language phenotype. Overall, participants in the ALN phenotype had significantly higher scores in measures of vocabulary, syntax, morphology, pragmatics, and phonological awareness. Scores on these standardized tests indicate a distinct emergent literacy profile for both ALN and ALI participants, with oral language domains that are significantly related to phonological awareness ability. These profiles and their relationship with measures of oral language should be considered when evaluating and formulating treatment goals for preschool aged children with ASD.
Boorom, Olivia. (May 2018). The Influence of Language Phenotype on Predictors of Emergent Literacy in Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (Master's Thesis, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/6750.)
Boorom, Olivia. The Influence of Language Phenotype on Predictors of Emergent Literacy in Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Master's Thesis. East Carolina University, May 2018. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/6750. August 10, 2020.
Boorom, Olivia, “The Influence of Language Phenotype on Predictors of Emergent Literacy in Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder” (Master's Thesis., East Carolina University, May 2018).
Boorom, Olivia. The Influence of Language Phenotype on Predictors of Emergent Literacy in Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder [Master's Thesis]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; May 2018.
East Carolina University