Compliance with requests by children with autism: the impact of sentence type

Autism. 2012 Sep;16(5):523-31. doi: 10.1177/1362361311406296. Epub 2012 Mar 7.


This study assesses the extent to which children with autism understand requests performed with grammatically non-imperative sentence types. Ten children with autism were videotaped in naturalistic conditions. Four grammatical sentence types were distinguished: imperative, declarative, interrogative and sub-sentential. For each category, the proportion of requests complied with significantly exceeded the proportion of requests not complied with, and no difference across categories was found. These results show that children with autism do not rely exclusively on the linguistic form to interpret an utterance as a request.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Comprehension*
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Speech*