Many individuals with autism utter unconventional verbal behavior, a continuum of verbal behavior the function of which ranges from symbolic to quasi-symbolic, and that includes immediate echolalia, delayed echolalia, perseverative speech, and incessant questioning. The purposes of the present study were to clarify which utterances by an adult readily obtained a response from a youth with autistic disorder, and to clarify the process by which the adult came to understand the youth's unconventional verbal behavior. Participants were 1 adolescent with autistic disorder (15 years old) and 1 adult. The adult's utterances and protocols for interactions with the youth were analyzed. The results indicated that 2 categories of the adult's utterances (those aiming at turn-taking, and monitoring) obtained responses from the youth at a high rate. Both of these categories proactively used the youth's unconventional verbal behavior. Stages in the process by which the adult understood the unconventional verbal behavior were: (1) finding meaning in the verbal behavior, (2) using understanding as a communicative strategy, and (3) using the unconventional verbal behavior positively. These results suggest the importance of adults uncovering the communicative intent of unconventional verbal behavior.
|Translated title of the contribution
|Adult Utterances Toward an Adolescent With Autistic Disorder: Understanding Unconventional Verbal Behavior
|Number of pages
|特殊教育学研究 = The Japanese journal of special education
|Published - 2008