Do deaf children with Autism Spectrum Disorder show
deficits in the comprehension and production of emotional
and linguistic facial expressions in British Sign Language?
Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London).
Normally hearing children with ASD are often reported to have a lack of interest in others, particularly when looking at faces, as a result of this they manifest difficulties understanding and using facial expressions compared to typically developing controls. Deaf children often show advantages with the processing of the face, as they need to look to the face more to communicate, due to the presence of linguistic facial expressions in British Sign Language (BSL). It is unknown how deaf individuals with ASD will fare when processing faces. This is the first study to look at how deaf children with ASD compare to typically developing deaf controls on a face processing measure and a number of comprehension and production measures looking at affective and linguistic facial actions in BSL. Surprisingly the deaf ASD group showed no general face processing impairment or difficulty attending to the face for the purpose of communication, they did not show characteristics usually associated with hearing individuals with ASD. This suggests the extra experience gained from attending to faces may reduce face processing impairments in deaf individuals with ASD. More research is needed to warrant this conclusion. The deaf ASD group did demonstrate specific impairments with the comprehension and production of some affective facial expressions in BSL. Linguistic facial expressions were largely preserved, with the exception of adverbials. The impairments that emerged in the deaf ASD group were most pronounced when production or comprehension of the face required attributions about the mental states of others. These results suggest that deaf individuals with ASD are not impaired with face processing, rather they have a highly specific and subtle pattern of impairments with using the face in sign language.
|Title:||Do deaf children with Autism Spectrum Disorder show deficits in the comprehension and production of emotional and linguistic facial expressions in British Sign Language?|
|Open access status:||An open access version is available from UCL Discovery|
|Additional information:||Third party copyright material has been removed from the e-thesis.|
|UCL classification:||UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Psychology and Language Sciences (Division of) > Developmental Science|
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