Semester of Graduation

Spring 2019


Master of Arts (MA)


Communication Disorders

Document Type



The present study was designed to compare the acoustic parameters of prosody of children between the ages of three and six with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD to age matched typically developing (TD) speakers. The acoustic parameters of prosody examined were fundamental frequency (f0), intensity, speech rate, and speech rhythm. Analyzing the acoustic features of atypical expressive prosody in speakers with ASD would provide more detailed and defined information regarding the nature of the prosodic abnormality in these individuals to guide clinicians in providing a more concentrated focus for intervention. Speech samples were obtained from ten English-speaking, monolingual children (5 ASD, 5 TD) between the ages of three and six. The speech samples were analyzed for various measurements of f0, intensity, speech rate, and speech rhythm to determine differences. Results showed that, of the ten prosodic variables analyzed, five of them were significantly different between ASD and TD speakers: %V, mean f0, f0 standard deviation, intensity range, and intensity standard deviation. Specifically, TD speakers had a higher %V, f0 mean, intensity range, and intensity standard deviation, while ASD speakers had a higher f0 standard deviation. These findings in relation to previous, similar research, suggest that the prosodic features of preschool age children with ASD change with increasing age. Therefore, it is essential that clinicians are aware of ages in which prosodic deficits tend to appear so that intervention can begin at the appropriate age for each child and potential social barriers can be minimized or prevented.

Committee Chair

Hartzheim, Daphne