Center for Health Policy and Research (CHPR) Publications


Quality matters! Differences between expressive and receptive non-verbal communication skills in adolescents with ASD

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry; Shriver Center; Center for Health Policy and Research

Publication Date


Document Type



Child Development Disorders, Pervasive; Nonverbal Communication


Behavioral Disciplines and Activities | Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Communication Sciences and Disorders | Mental Disorders


We analyzed several studies of non-verbal communication (prosody and facial expressions) completed in our lab and conducted a secondary analysis to compare performance on receptive vs. expressive tasks by adolescents with ASD and their typically developing peers. Results show a significant between-group difference for the aggregate score of expressive tasks, but not for the aggregate score of receptive tasks. There was also a significant within-group difference among individuals with ASD for expressive vs. receptive performance. Our data indicate that adolescents with ASD can achieve receptive accuracy in non-verbal communication, but show significant qualitative deficits in expressive skills across a range of tasks, which may have a significant negative impact on their success as social communicators.

DOI of Published Version



Res Autism Spectr Disord. 2013 Jul;6(3):1150-1155. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Research in autism spectrum disorders

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed