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How Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Developmental Language Disorder, and Typical Language Learn to Produce Global and Local Semantic Features

Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115, USA
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Brain Sci. 2020, 10(4), 231; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10040231
Received: 27 February 2020 / Revised: 9 April 2020 / Accepted: 9 April 2020 / Published: 11 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Autism Research)
A local processing bias, often considered a cognitive style unique to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), may influence the types of semantic features acquired by children with ASD and could contribute to weaknesses in word learning. Children with developmental language disorder (DLD) also struggle to learn semantic aspects of words, but this cognitive style has not been ascribed to children with DLD. The purpose of this study was to explore whether global–local processing differences influence the type of semantic features children with ASD, DLD, and their neurotypical peers learn to produce when learning new words. Novel word definitions produced by 36 school-aged children (12 with ASD, 12 with DLD, and 12 with typical language) who participated in an extended word-learning paradigm were used to extract newly learned semantic features. These semantic features were then coded for global and local attributes and analyzed to detect whether there were differences between groups. Results indicated that the children with ASD and DLD produced more global, rather than local, semantic features in their definitions than the children with typical language. An over-reliance on global, rather than local, features in children with ASD and DLD may reflect deficits in depth of word knowledge. View Full-Text
Keywords: autism spectrum disorder; developmental language disorder; semantic features; word learning; central coherence autism spectrum disorder; developmental language disorder; semantic features; word learning; central coherence
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    Doi: doi.org/10.1111/desc.12543
    Description: Story Script for Semantically Rich Cues Condition
MDPI and ACS Style

Gladfelter, A.; Barron, K.L. How Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Developmental Language Disorder, and Typical Language Learn to Produce Global and Local Semantic Features. Brain Sci. 2020, 10, 231.

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