Alt, M., & Moreno, M. H. (2012). The effect of test presentation on children with autism spectrum disorders and neurotypical peers . Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools , 43 (2), 121–131.

Journal Article

Alt, M., & Moreno, M. H. (2012). The effect of test presentation on children with autism spectrum disorders and neurotypical peers. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 43(2), 121–131.


Autism; Electronic administration; Electronic administration; Electronic administration; Elementary; Intelligence test; K-12; Layout/organization of test items; Middle school; No disability; Prompting; Reinforcement; U.S. context



The testing conditions were paper-based and computer-administered versions of a standardized vocabulary test. The computer version was fit into a presentation document format, and included the playing of intermittent recorded oral prompts and feedback statements as students proceeded through the test items.


Thirty-six students ranging in age from 5 through 13 years old participated, recruited from clinics in Tucson, Arizona (U.S.). Half of the participants (n=18) were identified with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and a matched-group (by sex and age) of 18 students with no neurological disabilities.

Dependent Variable

Test scores on the Expressive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Test (EOWPVT-2000) and the Receptive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Test (ROWPVT-2000) were analyzed comparatively. Prior to testing, parents of the participants with ASDs completed surveys regarding their disabilities. Additional examination of behavioral observations during testing, using the Conners' Rating Scales, was completed to determine differences for each participant group and each condition for both of the tests.


There were no significant differences in scores between the test formats for each participant group. In fact, the reliability across the two test formats was high for both the expressive and receptive tests for both groups. However, the scores of students without disabilities were higher on both tests than scores of students with ASD. All students scored higher on the expressive test than on the receptive test. Neither group had observable differences in behavior between the paper-based and computer-based formats. The behavioral ratings were higher, indicating more negative behaviors, for the students with ASD than for students without disabilities. Limitations of the study were reported, and future research directions were suggested.