School of Psychological Science

Postgraduate Profiles


Lauren Taylor

Phone: (+61 8) 6488 1300

Start date

Jan 2010

Submission date

Jan 2014

Lauren Taylor

Lauren Taylor profile photo


The Phenotypic and Aetiological Relationship between Autism and Specific Language Impairment


There is debate regarding the relationship between autism and specific language impairment (SLI), with some researchers proposing etiological overlap between the conditions and others maintaining their etiological distinction. Although considerable research has investigated the language phenotypes of these disorders, the relationship between the cognitive phenotypes has been left relatively unexplored. Therefore, in this thesis we will explore the cognitive characteristics of ASD and SLI in children with these conditions, to determine whether there is phenotypic overlap. In addition, we will explore cognitive characteristics of first degree relatives of children with ASD and those with SLI, which will lead to a greater understanding of the aetiological overlap between these two conditions.

Why my research is important

This research has both theoretical and clinical implications. Understanding the phenotypic link between ASD and SLI will have implications for current conceptualisations of the boundaries between developmental language disorders and may lead to more focussed assessment measures and specialised interventions. Understanding the aetiological link between these conditions is likely to inform genetic research and theories of ASD and language impairment.


  • Australian Postgraduate Award
  • UWA Top-up Scholarship
  • Apex Foundation Trust for Autism PhD Grant


This Page

Last updated:
Friday, 23 January, 2015 3:27 PM