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Prelinguistic predictors of language development in children with autism spectrum disorders over four–five years

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 July 2010

KAREN D. BOPP*
Affiliation:
University of British Columbia, Canada
PAT MIRENDA
Affiliation:
University of British Columbia, Canada
*
[*]Address for correspondence: The University of British Columbia – Educational Counselling Psychology, and Special Education, 2125 Main Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z4, Canada. tel: 604 822 9691; fax: 604 822 3302; email: bopp@interchange.ubc.ca

Abstract

This study examined relationships between prelinguistic variables from the MacArthur-Bates CDI and the development of language comprehension and production in children with autism. Forty-four children were assessed at baseline and 6, 12, 24, 33 and 53 months later. Growth Curve Modeling was used to examine the extent to which three composite CDI variables and three CDI item groupings predicted language development over 4–5 years. When examined individually, prespeech and early gestures were significant predictors of change for both comprehension and production, but late gestures were not. In addition, initiating joint attention and games and routines predicted comprehension and production over 4–5 years, and conventional gestures also predicted production. When all factors were considered simultaneously, children's ability to participate in games and routines was the only significant predictor of language production over time. The results are discussed with regard to their implications for understanding the complex factors that affect developmental outcomes.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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Footnotes

This research was funded through a post-doctoral fellowship from the National Alliance for Autism Research/Autism Speaks and a grant from the Ministry of Children and Family Development in British Columbia, Canada. We are grateful to the children and families who participated and to the many evaluators and research assistants involved in the project. Portions of this study were presented at the 2008 International Meeting for Autism Research in London, UK; and the 2008 Conference of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in Chicago, IL.

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