Assessing prosody in minimally to nonverbal children with autism

Author(s): Jill Thorson, Steven Meyer, Daniela Plesa-Skwerer, Rupal Patel and Helen Tager-Flusberg


A procedure for assessing the basic prosodic abilities in the perception and production of minimally to nonverbal children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder is described (AP: Assessment of Prosody). The procedure consists of three sections: an optional primer phase, a learning phase, and an assessment phase. It includes the assessment of both the perception of basic pitch accent structure distinctions (low versus high) and the elicitation of expressive productions of these contrasts. The goal of the procedure is to evaluate the extent to which this population can perceive and produce prosodic distinctions. The overarching aim is to create a pre and post assessment to quantify prosodic competence and performance of minimally to nonverbal children and adolescents who are eligible for music-motor based intervention therapies (i.e. AMMT: Auditory Motor Mapping Therapy). Current and future versions of the assessment are discussed.