Types of Parent Verbal Responsiveness That Predict Language in Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder PurposeThis study examined short-term predictive associations between 5 different types of parent verbal responsiveness and later spoken vocabulary for 32 young children with a confirmed diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).MethodParent verbal utterances were coded from videotapes of naturalistic parent–child play sessions using interval and event-based coding. A vocabulary difference ... Article
Article  |   August 01, 2010
Types of Parent Verbal Responsiveness That Predict Language in Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Andrea McDuffie
    Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin—Madison
  • Paul Yoder
    Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  • Contact author: Andrea McDuffie, University of Wisconsin—Madison, Waisman Center, 1500 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53705-2280. E-mail: mcduffie@waisman.wisc.edu.
Article Information
Development / Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / Language
Article   |   August 01, 2010
Types of Parent Verbal Responsiveness That Predict Language in Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2010, Vol. 53, 1026-1039. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/09-0023)
History: Received February 6, 2009 , Revised July 24, 2009 , Accepted November 9, 2009
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2010, Vol. 53, 1026-1039. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/09-0023)
History: Received February 6, 2009; Revised July 24, 2009; Accepted November 9, 2009
Web of Science® Times Cited: 46

PurposeThis study examined short-term predictive associations between 5 different types of parent verbal responsiveness and later spoken vocabulary for 32 young children with a confirmed diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

MethodParent verbal utterances were coded from videotapes of naturalistic parent–child play sessions using interval and event-based coding. A vocabulary difference score, calculated using the MacArthur Communicative Development Inventories (L. Fenson et al., 1993), was used as the outcome measure of spoken vocabulary 6 months later.

ResultsParent follow-in comments and follow-in directives predicted spoken vocabulary after controlling for child engagement. Parent expansions of child verbal utterances predicted spoken vocabulary after controlling for child talkativeness. When entered together into a regression analysis, metrics that represented (a) the number of parent utterances following into the child’s focus of attention and (b) the number of parent utterances responding to child verbal communication acts both accounted for unique variance in predicting change in spoken vocabulary from Time 1 to Time 2.

ConclusionParent verbal utterances that follow into the child’s current focus of attention or respond to child verbal communication acts may facilitate the process of early vocabulary acquisition by mitigating the need for children with ASD to use attention-following as a word-learning strategy.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R01CD03581 (Paul Yoder, principal investigator) and a core grant (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Grant HD15052) awarded to the Vanderbilt University Kennedy Center.
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