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A Journal on Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychopharmacology

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
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Minerva Psichiatrica 2016 September;57(3):93-103

language: English

Pragmatic abilities in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder: a study with the ABaCo battery

Romina ANGELERI 1, Ilaria GABBATORE 2, Francesca M. BOSCO 3, 4, Katiuscia SACCO 3, 4, 5, Livia COLLE 3, 4

1 Department of Psychology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA; 2 Faculty of Humanities, Research Unit of Logopedics, Child Language Research Center, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland; 3 Center for Cognitive Science, Department of Psychology, University of Turin, Turin, Italy; 4 Neuroscience Institute of Turin, Turin, Italy; 5 Imaging and Plasticity Research Group, Department of Psychology, University of Turin, Turin, Italy


BACKGROUND: Pragmatic disorders are a core problem in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Despite the clinical importance of detecting specific impairments, there are relatively few tools available to assess pragmatic abilities in these individuals. The present study aims to gain greater insight into the pragmatic skills of individuals with high-functioning ASD by using the Assessment Battery for Communication (ABaCo), a new clinical tool that assesses a wide range of communicative behaviors.
METHODS: The pragmatic performance of 16 individuals with ASD and 16 control participants were compared.
RESULTS: Participants with ASD had significantly poorer scores compared with healthy matched controls on all ABaCo scales, with the sole exception of paralinguistic production.
CONCLUSIONS: ABaCo is an effective tool in identifying and assessing pragmatic impairments in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

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