Autism and Interactional Aspects of Dialogue

Peter Heeman,  Rebecca Lunsford,  Ethan Selfridge,  Lois Black,  Jan van Santen


Little research has been done to explore potential differences in the interactional aspects of dialogue between children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and those with typical development (TD). However, quantifying any differences could aid in diagnosing ASD, understanding its nature, and better understanding the mechanisms involved in dialogue processing. In this paper, we report on a study of dialogues between examiners and children with ASD and TD, finding that the two groups differ substantially in how long they pause before speaking, as well as in their use of filled pauses, acknowledgments, and discourse markers.