Communication Sciences and Disorders Publications


Nonverbal learning disabilities and asperger syndrome in young adults: Vocabulary, gestalts, and social perception

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Medical and Educational Perspectives on Nonverbal Learning Disability in Children and Young Adults

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© 2016, IGI Global. All rights reserved. The purpose of this chapter is to explore data-driven hypotheses concerning linguistic similarities and differences in adults with nonverbal learning disabilities (NLD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The focus of the chapter is on profiling linguistic, cognitive, and neuropsychological strengths and weaknesses seen in both clinical groups. A research sample of adults from 19 to 44 years of age is described. Findings include strengths in the breadth of vocabulary and weaknesses in semantic precision and integration. A secondary finding, in which responses to adult autism screening surveys distinguish both clinical groups from controls, and the clinical groups from one another, is presented. Patterns and trends in this data point to difficulties with verbal and nonverbal gestalt formation that are amenable to intervention. Clinical examples of interventions suggested by the data are provided, as they apply to post-secondary students of the same age as the sample.

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