Written Expression in Individuals with Autism: a Meta-analysis

Elizabeth G. Finnegan, Amy L. Accardo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: Modern communication requires written expression for work, academic, and personal purposes. Using meta-analysis, this study compares the written expression of individuals with autism with that of their non-diagnosed peers. Recent Findings: In the last five years, there has been an increase in studies that examine holistic elements of written expression. The current study identified 25 studies and the results of these studies showed individuals with autism perform at a rate comparable to their peers in syntax and spelling yet perform significantly lower in scores related to overall quality, structure, and cohesiveness. Summary: Individuals with autism display a wide range of written skills. This study indicates that in general, individuals with autism perform well in the mechanics of writing but may need additional support in the organization and structure of writing. Since researchers tend to study written expression within clinical contexts, further research is needed to determine how individuals with autism use written expression in real-life contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-186
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Developmental Disorders Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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