Figurative language comprehension in typical and atypical populations


This study investigates the development of figurative language comprehension in typically developing children, as well as children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and specific language impairment (SLI). Figurative expressions, such as “that car is a bullet”, are frequently used within daily language, as well as within education. Yet, there is little known about how and when children come to understand these expressions. A better understanding of how figurative language comprehension develops in children will lead to better interventions and allow us to advice teachers about when to use figurative language. In this study a researcher will come and visit your child either your home or your child’s school. Your child will be listening to some short stories on a computer, after which some questions will be asked. Next, your child will be asked to complete some paper and pencil tasks in which he/she needs to point to words, copy patterns, complete patterns etc. Generally children enjoy these tasks and breaks will be taken as often and long as necessary.

This study is in collaboration with Dr Gabriella Rundblad (King’s College London) and is carried out by Fiona Rooney, Nikki Dadjooyi and Suhana Salam. We are still looking for children with ASD and SLI to take part in this study. If you would like to take part please email Jo on