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Dev Neuropsychol. 2005;27(3):361-78.

Executive dysfunction and its relation to language ability in verbal school-age children with autism.

Author information

1
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Boston University School of Medicine, MA 02118, USA. rmjoseph@bu.edu

Abstract

This study examined executive dysfunction and its relation to language ability in verbal school-age children with autism. Participants were 37 children with autism and 31 nonautistic comparison participants who were matched on age and on verbal and nonverbal IQ but not on language ability, which was lower in the autism group. Children with autism exhibited deficits compared to the comparison group across all 3 domains of executive function that were assessed including working memory (Block Span Backward; Isaacs & Vargha-Khadem, 1989), working memory and inhibitory control (NEPSY Knock-Tap; Korkman, Kirk, & Kemp, 1998), and planning (NEPSY Tower; Korkman et al., 1998). Children with autism were less developed than the comparison group in their language skills, but correlational analyses revealed no specific association between language ability and executive performance in the autism group. In contrast, executive performance was positively correlated with language ability in the comparison group. This pattern of findings suggest that executive dysfunction in autism is not directly related to language impairment per se but rather involves an executive failure to use of language for self-regulation.

PMID:
15843102
PMCID:
PMC1201456
DOI:
10.1207/s15326942dn2703_4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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