Language and Communication in Autism: An Integrated View
ABSTRACT Children with autism spectrum disorders can have varying degrees of difficulty acquiring spoken and written language, but symptoms of communication impairment associated with social impairment are uniformly present, distinguishing autism spectrum disorders from other neurodevelopmental disabilities. Early diagnosis and early intervention involving parents can improve prognosis. Red flags for social communication problems can be observed early. This article summarizes findings from the National Standards Project of the National Autism Center, which identified 11 types of treatment, 8 of which address communication. Both contemporary behavioral approaches and naturalistic developmental approaches are included in this set.
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ABSTRACT: 22q11 deletion syndrome (22qDS), also known as DiGeorge syndrome, is a copy number variant disorder that has a diverse clinical presentation including hypocalcaemia, learning disabilities, and psychiatric disorders. Many patients with 22q11DS present with signs that overlap with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) yet the possible physiological mechanisms that link 22q11DS with ASD are unknown. We hypothesized that early childhood hypocalcemia influences the neurobehavioral phenotype of 22q11DS. Drawing on a longitudinal cohort of 22q11DS patients, we abstracted albumin-adjusted serum calcium levels from 151 participants ranging in age from newborn to 19.5 years (mean 2.5 years). We then examined a subset of 20 infants and toddlers from this group for the association between the lowest calcium level on record and scores on the Communication and Symbolic Behavior Scales-Developmental Profile Infant-Toddler Checklist (CSBS-DP ITC). The mean (SD) age at calcium testing was 6.2 (8.5) months, whereas the mean (SD) age at the CSBS-DP ITC assessment was 14.7 (3.8) months. Lower calcium was associated with significantly greater impairment in the CSBS-DP ITC Social (p < 0.05), Speech (p < 0.01), and Symbolic domains (p < 0.05), in regression models adjusted for sex, age at blood draw, and age at the psychological assessment. Nevertheless, these findings are limited by the small sample size of children with combined data on calcium and CSBS-DP ITC, and hence will require replication in a larger cohort with longitudinal assessments. Considering the role of calcium regulation in neurodevelopment and neuroplasticity, low calcium during early brain development could be a risk factor for adverse neurobehavioral outcomes.European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience 09/2014; DOI:10.1007/s00406-014-0546-0
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ABSTRACT: This study investigates occupational therapy for early communication in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The research explored the role of occupational therapists in supporting children with ASD to become better communicators by considering their inter-professional collaboration with speech-language pathologists. Convenience samples of 21 clinical occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists were recruited to participate in semi-structured audio-recorded focus groups, using a qualitative design. Distinct views included a child-centred focus from speech-language pathologists, whereas occupational therapists spoke of the child through societal viewpoints, which later pointed to occupational therapists' proficiency in enabling skill generalization in ASD. An equal partnership was consistently reported between these clinicians, who identified the same objectives, shared strategies, joint treatments, and ongoing collaboration as the four main facilitators to inter-professional collaboration when treating children with ASD. Three unique roles of occupational therapy comprised developing non-verbal and verbal communication pre-requisites, adapting the setting, educating-partnering-advocating for the child, and providing occupation-based intervention. These three themes meshed with the discipline-specific occupational therapy domains represented in the Person-Environment-Occupation framework. When working in inter-professional collaboration, speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists agree that occupational therapy is indispensable to early intervention in enabling communication in ASD.International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology 01/2014; 16(6). DOI:10.3109/17549507.2013.876665
North American journal of medicine & science 08/2012; 5:172-179.