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Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC)
Autism Research Database
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC)
 
Project Element Element Description

Project Title

Project Title

Developing Automated Algorithms to Assess Linguistic Variation in Individuals with Autism

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

Parish-Morris, Julia

Description

Description

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often struggle to use conversational and flexible speech, which complicates their efforts to navigate social relationships and contributes to peer alienation. Effective treatment for communication impairments is hindered by insufficient metrics to measure change. In fact, it is sometime hard to “put your finger on” what exactly differs in the language of a person on the spectrum, even though we easily identify that there is a difference. This study will identify linguistic markers of ASD in naturalistic language samples. Certain markers (e.g., conversational turn-taking) are hypothesized to correlate with real-world social functioning, while others (e.g., contraction use) are hypothesized to correlate with cognitive flexibility (which usually goes hand in hand with issues such as insisting on sameness). The tools developed in this project can be used to establish personalized profiles of linguistic strengths and weaknesses, enhancing our ability to design effective interventions for pragmatic language, and will directly benefit individuals and families by providing quantifiable treatment goals and dimensional measures of change. We hope to expand this line of research and collect conversational language samples remotely, including from toddlers, and use this information as part of a package of tools to more efficiently make diagnoses. Because this project uses “machine learning” and auditory recordings, it is easy to scale up to collect “big data” for research on causal mechanisms and for widespread clinical applications.

Funder

Funder

Autism Science Foundation

Fiscal Year Funding

Fiscal Year Funding

0

Current Award Period

Current Award Period

2014-2015

Strategic Plan Question

Strategic Plan Question

Question 1: When Should I Be Concerned?

Strategic Plan Objective

Strategic Plan Objective

Yellow dot: Objective has some degree of funding, but less than the recommended amount. 1LC. Identify and develop measures to assess at least three "continuous dimensions" (e.g., social reciprocity, communication disorders, and repetitive/restrictive behaviors) of ASD symptoms and severity that can be used by practitioners and/or families to assess response to intervention for people with ASD across the lifespan by 2016. IACC Recommended Budget: $18,500,000 over 5 years.

Project Link

Project Link

Developing Automated Algorithms to Assess Linguistic Variation in Individuals with Autism (External web link)

Institution

Institution

University of Pennsylvania

State/Country

State/Country

Pennsylvania

Project Number

Project Number

Federal or Private?

Federal or Private?

Private

Received ARRA Funding?

Received ARRA Funding?

No

History/Related Projects

History/Related Projects

Developing Automated Algorithms to Assess Linguistic Variation in Individuals with Autism | 35000 | 2014 |

 
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