Prosody in Portuguese Children with HighFunctioning Autism

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There is a lack of research investigating prosody in Portuguese children with autism. In this chapter, we analyze 15 Portuguese children aged 5–9 years with high-functioning autism (HFA) in comparison to their typically developing peers. We also evaluated nonverbal intelligence, vocabulary, phonological awareness, pragmatics, attention, and executive functions. Statistical analyses, using pairwise matching of nonverbal intelligence and chronological age, suggested that children with HFA have difficulties perceiving and imitating prosodic patterns, as well as difficulties understanding or effectively producing some of the communicative functions conveyed by prosody. Findings suggested a significant positive correlation between prosody and other language domains. Additionally, two case studies were conducted to further discuss the prosodic impairments.


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