Very Early Processing Skills and Language Acquisition in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Nicole Blake Kushner, Fordham University

Abstract

With the increasing prevalence of autism diagnoses, large percentage of diagnosed individuals with comorbid language difficulties, and negative effects of these difficulties on language development and overall functioning, research on language acquisition in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder is essential. The current study used data from the Simons Simplex Collection, a national database of 2,700 families, to explore the theory that very basic phonological and socio-cognitive processing skills are related to language acquisition in children diagnosed with autism who have only acquired phrase speech. Phonological memory, social orienting, response to joint attention, initiation of joint attention, and nonverbal reasoning were examined in relation to receptive and expressive language in three different groups of children. Results revealed that nonverbal reasoning significantly predicted many aspects of receptive and expressive language in all groups. Phonological memory significantly predicted receptive vocabulary, receptive language, and expressive language in Group 1. In Group 2, lower social responsiveness significantly predicted many aspects of receptive and expressive language. Correlations run between direct and indirect assessments measuring the same constructs yielded mostly moderate to strong correlations. Many Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule and Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised items were significantly weakly correlated. Items assessing pointing, social overtures, and eye contact were not correlated.^

Subject Area

Linguistics|Developmental psychology|Psychology

Recommended Citation

Kushner, Nicole Blake, "Very Early Processing Skills and Language Acquisition in Autism Spectrum Disorder" (2017). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10602899.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI10602899

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