William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families Assistant Professor of Psychology
Ph.D., University of Rochester



Dr. Diehl’s research focuses on understanding and improving social-communication in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (including Asperger syndrome and PDD) and other neurodevelopmental disorders.  Dr. Diehl’s work adapts psycholinguistic and neurocognitive paradigms to investigate the language and communication deficits that characterize these disorders. Additionally, Dr. Diehl integrates current research with adaptive technology to develop and test interventions aimed at improving communication.

One current line of research examines the production and comprehension of prosody by individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Dr. Diehl is interested in what prosody can tell us about communication and social deficits in autism spectrum disorders, and also in prosody’s promise as an early diagnostic marker of the disorder.

A second line of research involves the integration of an interactive humanoid robot into social skills interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders. The goal of this research is to critically examine whether or not the inclusion of this cutting-edge technology into the intervention provides additional benefits over traditional methods of practicing social skills.


F.U.N. Lab Homepage

Recent publications:

Diehl, J.J., Friedberg, C., Paul, R., & Snedeker, J. (in press).  The use of prosody during syntactic processing in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders.  Development and Psychopathology.  Manuscript in press.

Kaboski, J.R., Diehl, J.J., Beriont, J., Crowell, C.R., Villano, M., Wier, K., & Tang, K. (in press).  Brief Report:  A pilot summer robotics camp to reduce social anxiety and improve social/vocational skills for adolescents with ASD and their peers.  Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.  Manuscript in press.

Diehl, J.J., Frost, S.J., Sherman, G., Mencl, W.E., Kurian, A., Molfese, P., Landi, N., Preston, J., Soldan, A., Fulbright, R.K., Rueckl, J., Seidenberg, M.S., Hoeft, F., & Pugh, K.R.  (in press).  Neural correlates of language and non-language visual processing in adolescents with reading disability.  Neuroimage.  Manuscript in press.

Diehl, J.J., Crowell, C.R., Villano, M., Wier, K., Tang, K., & Riek, L. (2014).  The clinical applications of robots in the diagnosis and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).  In V.B. Patel, V.R. Preedy, and C.R. Martin (Eds.), A comprehensive guide to autism (pp. 411-422).  Springer Publishing.

Bolte E. & Diehl, J.J. (2013).  Measurement tools and target symptoms/skills used to assess treatment response in individuals with autism spectrum disorder.  Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 43(11), 2491-2501.  doi: 10.1007/s10803-013-1798-7.

Diehl, J.J., Tang, K., & Thomas, B. (2013).  High-functioning autism (HFA).  In F. Volkmar, R. Paul, K. Pelphrey, & M. D. Powers (Eds.), Encyclopedia of autism spectrum disorders (pp. 1504-1507). New York:  Springer Publishing. doi:  10.1007/978-1-4419-1698-3_344

Diehl, J.J., & Paul, R. (2013).  Acoustic and perceptual measurements of prosody production on the PEPS-C by children with autism. Applied Psycholinguistics, 34, 135-161.  doi:  10.1017/S0142716411000646. 

Millea, M.A., Shea, N.M., & Diehl, J.J. (2013).  Understanding the interaction of temperament and social skills in the development of social anxiety in children with autism spectrum disorders. Autism, S3(002), 1-7.  doi:  10.4172/2165-7890.S3-002.

Shea, N.M., Millea, M.A., & Diehl, J.J. (2013).  Perceived autonomy support in children with autism spectrum disorder.  Autism, S3(001), 1-6.  doi:  10.4172/2165-7890.S3-001.

Ritvo, E.,  Barnhill, J., Berckelaer-Onnes, I.A. van, Begeer, S., Beversdorf, D., Bitsika, V, Brereton, A., Bull, K., Diehl, J.J., Fiard, D., Fuentes, J., Gillberg, C., Ghasiuddin, M., Guthrie, D., Harris, S., Hu, V., Mataix-Cols, D., Matson, J., Montgomery, J., Peterson, A, Ploog, B, Prior, M., Rinehart, N., Rojahn, J., Ritvo, R.A., Stoesz, B, Tonge, B., Van Bergeijk, Woodbury-Smith, M., Yoo, J.H.. (2012).  Postponing the proposed changes in DSM-5 for Autism Spectrum Disorder until new scientific evidence adequately supports them.  Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42(9), 2021-2022.  doi: 10.1007/s10803-012-1613-x. 

Diehl, J.J., & Paul, R. (2012).  Acoustic differences in the imitation of prosodic patterns in children with autism spectrum disorders.  Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 6(1), 123-134.  doi: 10.1016/j.rasd.2011.03.012. PMID: 22125576

Diehl, J.J., Schmitt, L., Crowell, C.R., & Villano, M. (2012). The clinical use of robots for children with autism spectrum disorders:  A critical review.  Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 6(1), 249-262.  doi: 10.1016/j.rasd.2011.05.006.  PMID: 22125579

Diehl, J.J., Wolf, J., Herlihy, L., & Moller, A.C. (2011). Seeing red:  Are colors a window into implicit societal conceptions about the autism spectrum?  Disability Studies Quarterly, 31(3)http://dsq-sds.org/article/view/1676/1595.

Villano, M., Crowell, C.R., Wier, K, Tang, K. , Thomas, B., Shea, N., Schmitt, L.M., & Diehl, J.J. (2011).   DOMER:  A wizard of oz interface for using interactive robots to scaffold social skills for children with autism spectrum disorders.  Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE international conference on human-robot interaction, Lausanne, Switzerland. 279-280.  doi:  10.1145/1957656.1957770.

Diehl, J.J., Frost, S.J., Mencl, W.E., & Pugh, K. (2011).  Neuroimaging and the phonological deficit hypothesis.  In D. Braze, S. Brady, and C. Fowler (Eds.) Weighing Individual Differences in Reading: Theory and Evidence (pp. 217-237).  New York:  Psychology Press.

Diehl, J.J. & Berkovits, L. (2010).  Is prosody a diagnostic and cognitive bellwether of autism spectrum disorders?  In A. Harrison (Ed.) Speech Disorders:  Causes, Treatments, and Social Effects (pp. 159-176).  New York:  Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

Diehl, J.J. & Paul, R. (2009).  The assessment of prosodic disorders and neurological theories of prosody.  International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 11, 287-292.  doi: 10.1080/17549500902971887. PMID: 20852744

Diehl, J.J., Watson, D., Bennetto, L., McDonough, J., & Gunlogson, C. (2009).  An acoustic analysis of prosody in high-functioning autism.  Applied Psycholinguistics, 30, 1-20.  doi:10.1017/S0142716409090201

Arnold, J.A., Bennetto, L., & Diehl, J.J. (2009).  Reference production in young speakers with and without autism.  Cognition, 110, 131-146.  doi: 10.1080/01690960801920099. PMID: 19111285

Diehl, J.J., Bennetto, L., Watson, D., Gunlogson, C., & McDonough, J. (2008).  Resolving ambiguity:  A psycholinguistic approach to prosody processing in high-functioning autism.  Brain and Language, 106, 144-152.  doi: 10.1016/j.bandl.2008.04.002. PMID: 18502497

Diehl, J.J., Bennetto, L., & Young, E.C. (2006).  Story recall and narrative coherence of high-functioning children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 34, 83-98.  doi: 10.1007/s10802-005-9003-x. PMID: 16485176

Young, E.C., Diehl, J.J., Morris, D., Hyman, S.L., & Bennetto, L. (2005).  The use of two language tests to distinguish pragmatic language problems in children with autism spectrum disorders.  Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 36, 62-72.  doi: 10.1044/0161-1461(2005/006). PMID: 15801508

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Contact Information:
114B Haggar Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556
Phone: (574) 631-1371
Email: joshua.diehl@nd.edu