Applied Psycholinguistics

Articles

Narrative skill in boys with fragile X syndrome with and without autism spectrum disorder

BRUNO ESTIGARRIBIAa1 c1, GARY E. MARTINa1, JOANNE E. ROBERTSa1, AMY SPENCERa2, AGNIESZKA GUCWAa3 and JOHN SIDERISa3

a1 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

a2 University of North Carolina at Greensboro

a3 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

ABSTRACT

We examined recalled narratives of boys with fragile X syndrome with autism spectrum disorder (FXS-ASD; N = 28) and without ASD (FXS-O; N = 29), and compared them to those of boys with Down syndrome (N = 33) and typically developing (TD) boys (N = 39). Narratives were scored for mentions of macrostructural story grammar elements (introduction, relationship, initiating events, internal response, attempts/actions, and ending). We found that narrative recall is predicted by short-term memory and nonverbal mental age levels in almost all groups (except TD), but not by expressive syntax or caregiver education. After adjusting for these covariates, there were no differences between the three groups with intellectual disability. The FXS-ASD group, however, had significantly poorer performance than the TD group on the overall story grammar score, and both the FXS-O and FXS-ASD groups had lower attempts/actions scores than the TD group. We conclude that some form of narrative impairment may be associated with FXS, that this impairment may be shared by other forms of intellectual disability, and that the presence of ASD has a significantly detrimental effect on narrative recall.

(Received October 01 2008)

(Accepted February 09 2010)

(Online publication March 25 2011)

Correspondence:

c1 ADDRESS FOR CORRESPONDENCE Bruno Estigarribia, Department of Psychology, Davie Hall, Room 364a, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8180. E-mail estigarr@email.unc.edu

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