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Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and specific language impairment (SLI) often have immature lexical-semantic knowledge; however, the organization of lexical-semantic knowledge is poorly understood. This study examined lexical processing in school-age children with ASD, SLI, and typical development, who were matched on receptive vocabulary. Children completed a lexical decision task, involving words with high and low semantic network sizes and nonwords. Children also completed nonverbal updating and shifting tasks. Children responded more accurately to words from high than from low semantic networks; however, follow-up analyses identified weaker semantic network effects in the SLI group. Additionally, updating and shifting abilities predicted lexical processing, demonstrating similarity in the mechanisms which underlie semantic processing in children with ASD, SLI, and typical development.
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- Lexical Processing in School-Age Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Children with Specific Language Impairment: The Role of Semantics
Susan Ellis Weismer
- Springer US