Autism and the use of fillers: differences between ‘um’ and ‘uh’

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


DiSS-LPSS Joint Workshop 2010 - 5th Workshop on Disfluency in Spontaneous Speech and 2nd International Symposium on Linguistic Patterns in Spontaneous Speech, Tokyo, Japan, p.107-110 (2010)



autism, disfluencies, DiSS, fillers


Little research has been done to explore differences in the use of the fillers ‘um’ and ‘uh’ between children with Autistic Spec- trum Disorder (ASD) and those with typical development (TD). Quantifying any differences could aid in diagnosing ASD, un- derstanding its nature, and better understanding the mechanisms involved in dialogue processing. In this paper, we report on a study of dialogues between clinicians and children with ASD or TD, finding that the two groups of children differ substantially in their use of ‘um’ but not ‘uh’. This suggests that these two fillers result from different cognitive processes.


University of Tokyo; September 25-26, 2010