The Oral and Written Language Scales: Is it useful for older children with autism spectrum disorder?

Sigan L. Hartley, G. Robert Buckendorf, Kristin Haines, Trevor A. Hall, Darryn M. Sikora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Communication impairment is a defining feature of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Little research attention has been devoted to establishing standardized methods for defining and identifying language impairment in children with known or suspected ASD. The present study examines the feasibility and utility of the Oral and Written Language Scales (OWLS) among 70 children with ASD and matched controls (aged 6-21 years). More than 87% of children with ASD were able to complete the OWLS and achieve a true basal score. Scores on the OWLS differentiated children with ASD from their typically developing peers and non-ASD children matched on nonverbal cognitive functioning. Findings suggest that the OWLS is a feasible measure for the large majority of older children with ASD and useful in identifying a variety of language impairments. Findings have implications for standardizing ASD evaluations and achieving greater diagnostic consistency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-146
Number of pages10
JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Diagnosis
  • Language
  • Oral and Written Language Scales

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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