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Does phonetic repertoire in minimally verbal autistic preschoolers predict the severity of later expressive language impairment?

Saul, J; Norbury, C; (2020) Does phonetic repertoire in minimally verbal autistic preschoolers predict the severity of later expressive language impairment? Autism 10.1177/1362361319898560. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Trajectories of expressive language development are highly heterogeneous in autism. Yoder et al. found that parental responsiveness, child response to joint attention, child communicative intent and consonant inventory were unique predictors of expressive language growth in minimally verbal preschoolers 16 months later (n = 87). This study applied these predictors to an independent sample, over a 12-month period (n = 27). A broader measure of phonetic repertoire, combining reported, elicited and observed speech sounds, was included to further understand the contribution of speech production skills. Expressive language growth was highly variable: 65% remained minimally verbal at mean age 5;2, while 7% gained over 340 words. Contrary to expectations, communicative intent, parent responsiveness and response to joint attention were not found to predict expressive language growth or outcome. In contrast, both consonant inventory and phonetic repertoire were significant predictors (adjusted R2 = 0.29 and 0.45). These results underscore the contribution of speech production abilities to expressive language development in this population, which may reflect an additional deficit rather than a consequence of core autism symptoms. Future work should include those with the most persistently limited expressive language, so that findings can be generalized and additional barriers to communication identified and addressed.

Type: Article
Title: Does phonetic repertoire in minimally verbal autistic preschoolers predict the severity of later expressive language impairment?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/1362361319898560
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/1362361319898560
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: autism spectrum disorders, communication and language, development, expressive language, longitudinal study, minimally verbal
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Language and Cognition
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10095078
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