Boys with Autism Demonstrate Surprising Capacity for Grammar Processing

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One of the most prevalent characteristics of kids with autism spectrum disorder is a challenge with language and communication. But a study by neuroscientists found that boys with high-functioning autism were significantly faster when producing past tenses for regular verbs, one of the main tenants of English grammar. Look for a Autism Specialist as soon as possible.

The findings, which were published in Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, state that children with ASD may have a surprising strength in language use. Dr. Michael Ullman of Georgetown University was not expecting the findings and added that the data found in the study could reveal that children with autism might also exhibit other strengths.

The data was collected from boys age 7 to 13 which were diagnosed with high functioning autism and a control group of boys which were not diagnosed with ASD. The boys with ASD were found to be significantly quicker than the control group at constructing regular past tenses, such as “step-stepped” as well as imaginary verbs such as “plag-plagged.” The study also found that both groups were at the same level when producing verbs with irregular past tenses such as “sing-sang.”

These results suggest that children with high-functioning autism exhibit higher speed when it comes to the processing of grammar, though stored words such as irregular verbs are unaffected. According to Ullman, the study is just the first step in understanding just what areas of the brain are affected by ASD.