The Connect Project

Autism contains a puzzling conundrum: Although 70% of autistic individuals demonstrate age-appropriate language and cognitive abilities on standardized tests, they nonetheless experience significant communication breakdowns during everyday interactions that negatively affect their social, educational, and occupational outcomes. This proposal advances research and clinical practice by defining clinically meaningful markers of conversational success in 560 autistic and neurotypical adolescents participating in (1) neurotype-concordant (autistic-autistic or neurotypical-neurotypical) and (2) neurotype-discordant (autistic-neurotypical) dyads. By combining traditional standardized language tests with innovative psycholinguistic measures derived from spontaneous natural conversations, a key output of this project will be clinically useful and ecologically valid profiles of communication strengths and weaknesses that can be used to inform personalized interventions focused on improving autistic adolescents’ conversational success.  See this article for more details!

Our project team includes Inge-Marie Eigsti (PI), Ruth Grossman of Emerson College, Julia Parish-Morris of CHOP, and Ethan Weed and Riccardo Fusaroli of Aarhus University.