This paper examined the fundamental frequency variation in the narratives of individuals with high-functioning autism (HFA) and typical controls matched on age, IQ, and verbal abilities. Study 1 found increased fundamental frequency variation in the speech of 21 children and adolescents with HFA when compared to 21 typical controls. Study 2 replicated the findings from Study 1 with a younger sample of 17 children with HFA and 17 typical controls. In addition, Study 1 found evidence that acoustic measurements of prosody were related to clinical judgments of autism-specific communication impairments, although this was not replicated in Study 2. Taken together, these studies provide evidence for differences in expressive prosody in individuals with HFA that can be measured objectively.
(Received October 31 2007)
(Accepted November 14 2008)