Perception and Comprehension of Prosody in Children with ASD


Successful communication depends on both what is said and how something is said. This aspect of language is collectively referred to as prosody and is ubiquitous in human communication. Individuals with ASD demonstrate significant difficulties with at least one aspect of prosody. Not only are prosodic deficits likely to persist and affect long-term social and communicative competence in individuals with ASD, they also create stigmatizing barriers to social integration and acceptance, which directly impact their interpersonal relationships, professional opportunities, emotional development, and overall quality of life. Thus, accurate identification and effective interventions that target prosodic deficits are necessary to improve long-term social and communication outcomes for individuals with ASD.

This project aims to understand the perception of prosody in children with ASD and is guided by three aims:

1. Develop and test the feasibility of an eye-tracking paradigm that measures the perception of prosody in children with ASD

2. Investigate if children with ASD perceive specific prosodic cues (i.e. contrastive pitch accent) differently from typically developing children

3. Understand if variabilities in the perception of specific prosodic cues in children with ASD are related to broader communication skills, including (a) receptive prosody, (b) expressive prosody, (c) pragmatic language skills, and (d) social communication functions.

A summary of results coming soon!