Brief Report: Parent Verbal Responsiveness and Language Development in Toddlers on the Autism Spectrum

This study examined the longitudinal associations between parent verbal responsiveness and language three years later in 34 toddlers with a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder

Eileen Haebig

2013

Scholarcy highlights

  • This study examined the longitudinal associations between parent verbal responsiveness and language three years later in 34 toddlers with a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder
  • Language abilities and language learning opportunities are especially important given that the development of verbally fluent spoken language during the preschool years is a strong prognostic indicator of long-term outcomes in children with autism spectrum disorders
  • Siller and Sigman only assessed the contribution of parent utterances that were synchronous with or mapped onto the child’s focus of attention. They did not assess the contribution to later language of parent responses to child communication acts, which have been shown to be an important source of language support for young children with ASD as they develop verbal language ability
  • The information concerning child intervention services gathered for the current study was not detailed enough to draw strong conclusions with regard to the influence of intervention on language outcomes; a dichotomous variable was derived to differentiate children who had ever received intensive autism intervention over the course of the four year study
  • The current study found that certain types of responsive verbal language input provided by parents when their children are toddlers can influence children’s language gains when measured three years later
  • Follow-in comments and responses to child communication acts were not significantly correlated to language gains
  • The negative associations detected for the role of redirects and other kinds of parent talking align with previous research on verbal responsiveness and underscore the importance of parents who provide meaningful linguistic input that describes their child’s current attentional focus
  • Regardless of initial linguistic abilities, the current study found that directives for language that followed into the child’s focus of attention uniquely explained 20% of the variance in language comprehension three years later, and approached significance, explaining 10% of the variance, in later expressive language

Need more features? Save interactive summary cards to your Scholarcy Library.