Graduation Year

2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Major Professor

Timothy M. Weil

Abstract

The way in which humans engage in conversation and social interactions is largely due to their ability to form relationships between a wide variety of stimuli. Two people are able to communicate fluently and effectively because each has the capacity to derive meaning during social interactions. Forming relationships is an effortless process that humans engage in daily, however for those individuals with developmental disabilities, the ability to form relationships between various stimuli based on arbitrary properties does not appear to happen in the natural course of development. The purpose of this study was to assess the ability of children to derive relationships between a set of stimuli following training on Same and Opposite for a subset of the possible relations. Four children participated: 2 typically developing children and 2 age matched children diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome (AS). Two goals of this study were to identify differences in ability to derive across multiple nodal distances, and, if there was consistency in failures at larger nodal distances. Results indicated typically developing children were able to derive relationships at a greater distance and with a quicker rate of acquisition than those diagnosed with AS.

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