Verbal perseveration in boys with fragile X syndrome with and without autism compared to boys with Down syndrome Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
Last Modified
  • March 21, 2019
  • Martin, Gary Everett
    • Affiliation: School of Medicine, Department of Allied Health Sciences, Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences
  • This study compared boys with FXS with (n = 29) and without (n = 30) autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to boys with Down syndrome (DS; n = 29) and younger typically developing (TD) boys (n = 29) on measures of verbal perseveration (i.e., excessive self-repetition) during a play-based interaction, picture-supported story retelling, and verbal word fluency test (sample sizes varied according to context). Types of perseveration examined in interaction and narration included utterance-level (successive repetition of a word, phrase, or utterance) and ideational (excessive repetition of an idea, topic, or theme). Types of perseveration examined during the verbal fluency test included stuck-in-set (inappropriate continuation of a category), recurrent (inappropriate repetition of a previous response after an intervening response or stimulus), and continuous (inappropriate prolongation of a behavior without interruption). Conversational device repetition (repetition of rote sayings and phrases) in interaction and narration, and loss-of-set responses (responses inappropriate for a given category) during the verbal fluency test were also examined. The results revealed that boys with FXS, regardless of autism status, produced significantly more ideational perseveration during play-based interaction than did boys with DS and younger TD boys after controlling for nonverbal mental age. Further, the boys with FXS with ASD displayed significantly more ideational perseveration during interaction than all other groups, and more utterance-level perseveration than boys with DS. In narration, the boys with FXS without ASD and boys with DS produced significantly less utterance-level perseveration than did the TD boys. Further, in interaction as compared to narration, boys with FXS (with and without ASD) displayed significantly more ideational perseveration; boys with FXS with ASD, boys with DS, and TD boys produced significantly more conversational device repetition; and TD boys displayed significantly less utterance-level perseveration. On the verbal fluency test, boys with FXS (with and without autism) and boys with DS produced significantly more loss-of-set responses than TD boys. These findings suggest that boys with FXS display more perseveration than would be expected based on nonverbal mental age or intellectual disability in general, and that autism status as well as language sampling context affect perseveration in boys with FXS.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Roberts, Joanne Erwick
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Open access

This work has no parents.