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01-01-2015 | Original Paper | Uitgave 1/2015

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 1/2015

Typical and Atypical Pragmatic Functioning of ASD Children and Their Partners: A Study of Oppositional Episodes in Everyday Interactions

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders > Uitgave 1/2015
Marie-Hélène Plumet, Edy Veneziano
Belangrijke opmerkingen
This work is based on a presentation made by the present authors at the International Conference ComSym2011 held in Paris in February 2011, and it is submitted as a contribution to the special issue entitled ‘Communication and symbolic understanding in autism spectrum disorder’ edited by Charles Lewis and Melissa Allen.


Pragmatic functioning of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) children is rarely examined in socially-meaningful contexts. This study investigates the way oppositional episodes are handled in such contexts by 25 families, 10 with ASD and 15 with typically-developing children. Oppositions occur whenever someone protests, refuses or denies someone else’s action, request or statement. The analysis focuses on justifications accounting for the opposition and on their immediate persuasive effect. Analyses of 1,065 oppositional episodes show no differences in justifications among partners and children, except for ASD children with a verbal age 3–4 years, who justify less than their matched controls. The persuasive effect of justifications on children and on partners differs according to their group and verbal age. Implications of the study and future perspectives are discussed.

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