This study was designed to evaluate the feasibility of using the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Quality of Communication Life Scale (QCL; Paul et al., 2004) for a group of individuals with developmental communication disorders—adolescents with high-functioning autism/Asperger syndrome (HFA/AS). Perceptions of quality of communication life (QoCL) have not been studied in this group and are important for intervention planning.
Fourteen adolescents with HFA/AS and 15 typically developing peers rated their QoCL using the QCL. Mothers of study participants also rated their children’s QoCL. It was hypothesized that the adolescents with HFA/AS would rate their QoCL less positively than their peers and more positively than their mothers.
The QoCL ratings of adolescents with HFA/AS were significantly lower than those of their peers but were generally positive. Self-ratings for the HFA/AS group were somewhat higher than parent ratings.
The results of this study provide evidence that adolescents with HFA/AS can effectively evaluate aspects of their QoCL and that the QCL may provide useful information for this group. The study also provides preliminary evidence that adolescents with HFA/AS rate their QoCL lower than their peers. Further research is necessary to better understand the meaning of lower ratings for this group and the effects of intervention on their perceptions of their QoCL.