Social Communication Profiles of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders Late in the Second Year of Life

Department of Communication Disorders, Florida State University, RRC 107, Tallahassee, FL 32306-7814, USA.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (Impact Factor: 3.34). 06/2007; 37(5):960-75. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-006-0237-4
Source: PubMed


This study examined social communication profiles from behavior samples videotaped between 18 and 24 months of age in three groups of children: 50 with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), 23 with developmental delays (DD), and 50 with typical development (TD). The ASD group scored significantly lower than the DD group on 5 social communication measures and the TD group on all 14 measures, indicating distinct profiles late in the second year. Understanding was the strongest predictor of developmental level and behavior regulation and inventory of gestures were the strongest predictors of autism symptoms at 3 years of age. The predictive relations suggest five pivotal skills late in the second year that have a cascading effect on outcomes of children with ASD.

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Available from: Lindee Morgan, Nov 14, 2014
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    • "Social communication skills include verbal and nonverbal behaviors used in reciprocal social interaction. Autistic children may show different social communication deficits , depending upon their intellectual and social development (Wetherby et al., 2007). Some children may be unable to speak, whereas others may have rich vocabularies and be able to talk about specific subjects in great detail. "
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    ABSTRACT: Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are among the most severe developmental psychiatric disorders known today, characterized by impairments in communication and social interaction and stereotyped behaviors. However, no specific treatments for ASD are as yet available. By enabling selective genetic, neural, and pharmacological manipulations, animal studies are essential in ASD research. They make it possible to dissect the role of genetic and environmental factors in the pathogenesis of the disease, circumventing the many confounding variables present in human studies. Furthermore, they make it possible to unravel the relationships between altered brain function in ASD and behavior, and are essential to test new pharmacological options and their side-effects. Here, we first discuss the concepts of construct, face, and predictive validity in rodent models of ASD. Then, we discuss how ASD-relevant behavioral phenotypes can be mimicked in rodents. Finally, we provide examples of environmental and genetic rodent models widely used and validated in ASD research. We conclude that, although no animal model can capture, at once, all the molecular, cellular, and behavioral features of ASD, a useful approach is to focus on specific autism-relevant behavioral features to study their neural underpinnings. This approach has greatly contributed to our understanding of this disease, and is useful in identifying new therapeutic targets.
    Behavioural pharmacology 09/2015; 26(6):522-540. DOI:10.1097/FBP.0000000000000163 · 2.15 Impact Factor
    • "Gestures are another skill strongly associated with language development in young children with ASD (Charman, Drew, Baird, & Baird, 2003; Luyster et al., 2008; Wetherby et al., 2007). Toddlers' gesture inventories, as measured by parent checklists such as the MacArthur- Bates Communicative Developmental Inventory (Fenson et al., 1993), predict concurrent language skills in toddlers with ASD (Luyster et al., 2008) as well as later language abilities (Luyster, Qui, Lopez, & Lord, 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: Spoken language benchmarks proposed by Tager-Flusberg et al. (2009) were used to characterize communication profiles of toddlers with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and to investigate whether there were differences in variables hypothesized to influence language development at different benchmark levels. The communication abilities of a large sample of toddlers with ASD (N = 105) were characterized in terms of spoken language benchmarks. The toddlers were grouped according to these benchmarks to investigate whether there were differences in selected variables across benchmark groups at a mean age of 2 ½ years. The majority of children in the sample presented with uneven communication profiles, with relative strengths in phonology and significant weaknesses in pragmatics. When children were grouped according to one expressive language domain across-group differences were observed in response to joint attention and gestures, but not cognition or restricted and repetitive behaviors. The spoken language benchmarks are useful for characterizing early communication profiles and investigating features that influence expressive language growth.
    American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology 08/2015; 24(4). DOI:10.1044/2015_AJSLP-14-0190 · 1.59 Impact Factor
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    • "The conceptually overlapping theories suggest that the putative predictors will be associated with each other. Indeed, prior work has revealed noteworthy intercorrelations among many of the aforementioned predictors of language development in children with ASD (Toth et al. 2006; Luyster et al. 2008; Wetherby et al. 2007). Our long-term goal of increasing the proportion of children with ASD who can speak is not best served by simply amassing a list of predictors of language. "
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    ABSTRACT: Eighty-seven preschoolers with autism spectrum disorders who were initially nonverbal (under 6 words in language sample and under 21 parent-reported words said) were assessed at five time points over 16 months. Statistical models that accounted for the intercorrelation among nine theoretically- and empirically-motivated predictors, as well as two background variables (i.e., cognitive impairment level, autism severity), were applied to identify value-added predictors of expressive and receptive spoken language growth and outcome. The results indicate that responding to joint attention, intentional communication, and parent linguistic responses were value-added predictors of both expressive and receptive spoken language growth. In addition, consonant inventory was a value-added predictor of expressive growth; early receptive vocabulary and autism severity were value-added predictors of receptive growth.
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