The Perception of the Relationship Between Affective Prosody and the Emotional Content in Utterances in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) were compared to children with specific language impairment (SLI) and typically developing (TD) children and adults in their ability to perceive and judge the emotional information conveyed by happy, neutral, and sad prosody. Authors found that high-functioning verbal children with ASD have an implicit ... Article
Article  |   February 01, 2013
The Perception of the Relationship Between Affective Prosody and the Emotional Content in Utterances in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Margaret M. Kjelgaard
    The Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions, Boston, MA
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
  • Helen Tager-Flusberg
    Boston University, Boston, MA
  • Disclosure: Margaret M. Kjelgaard and Helen Tager-Flusberg have no financial or nonfinancial relationships related to the content of this article.
    Disclosure: Margaret M. Kjelgaard and Helen Tager-Flusberg have no financial or nonfinancial relationships related to the content of this article.×
Article Information
Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Articles
Article   |   February 01, 2013
The Perception of the Relationship Between Affective Prosody and the Emotional Content in Utterances in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, February 2013, Vol. 20, 20-32. doi:10.1044/lle20.1.20
SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, February 2013, Vol. 20, 20-32. doi:10.1044/lle20.1.20

Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) were compared to children with specific language impairment (SLI) and typically developing (TD) children and adults in their ability to perceive and judge the emotional information conveyed by happy, neutral, and sad prosody. Authors found that high-functioning verbal children with ASD have an implicit sensitivity to emotional prosody, but are unable to explicitly judge the emotion of the same prosody. Children with SLI showed they were better able to judge the emotional prosody, similar to TD children, although not as well as adults. The findings indicate that, unique to the children with ASD, there is a disconnect between the implicit processing of emotional prosody and the explicit labeling of the emotion in prosody. This is promising for interventions aimed at facilitating the abilities of ASD children in their everyday understanding of emotional prosody in conversation.

Acknowledgments
Thanks go to Jessica Chiew and A. J. Guarino for reviewing the manuscript, the children who participated at UMASS Medical School/BU School of Medicine, Jorge Sanchez de Lozada, Kate Dobroth, Bob Joseph, Milana Flusberg, Katie Gilroy, and John Gabrieli.
This research was supported by NIH F32-HD 08494 (MMK).
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