It is stated that the language performances of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has a heterogeneous structure. Studies examining the language performance of children with ASD reveal very different results. An important part of the studies consists of researches which involves children speaking languages of Indo-European linguistic family. Language characteristics of children with autism spectrum disorder who speak Turkish, which is an agglutinative language, may contribute to the development of a new perspective in the field, different from the Indo-European language family. The aim of this study is to compare Turkish-speaking children with ASD to their typically developing peers on receptive language, expressive language and total language scores. Thirty children (15 autism, 15 typical developmental) aged between 36 months and 73 months whose nonverbal intelligence and chronological ages were matched constitute the participants of the study. Turkish version of Early Language Development Test (Hresko et al.,1999) was used to evaluate receptive language, expressive language and total language performance. It was found that Turkish-speaking children with autism underperformed their typically developing peers in the control group in terms of expressive language, receptive language, and total language scores. As a result, although there was no difference between the groups in terms of non-verbal intelligence and chronological age, it was found that the language performances of children with autism were lower than their typically developing peers. Therefore, it can be said that as a result of their social interaction limitations and/or language difficulties, language performances of children with autism are behind their typically developing peers. There are studies in the literature suggesting that the expressive language performance of children with ASD is better than their receptive language performance. However, this study does not agree with these findings in the literature, and it is stated that both receptive and expressive language performances of children with ASD are behind the control group.
Turkish, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Language performance