What does the literature in psychology tell us about the effects autism have on kid’s communication skills.

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What does the literature in psychology tell us about the effects autism have on kid’s communication skills.


Article 1

Park, C. J., Yelland, G. W., Taffe, J. R., & Gray, K. M. (2012). Brief report: The relationship between language skills, adaptive behavior, and emotional and behavior problems in pre-schoolers with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42(12), 2761-6. doi:http://dx.doi.org.library.capella.edu/10.1007/s10803-012-1534-8

This study investigated the relationship between structural language skills, and communication skills, adaptive behavior, and emotional and behavior problems in pre-school children with autism. Participants were aged 3–5 years with autism (n = 27), and two comparison groups of children with developmental delay without autism (n = 12) and typically developing children (n = 20). The participants were administered standardized tests of structural language skills, and parents completed the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales and the Developmental Behavior Checklist. Results indicated that for children with autism, communication skills, and in particular receptive communication skills, were associated with social and daily living skills, and behavior problems. Receptive structural language skills were associated with expressive communication skills. There were no associations found between structural language skills and social or daily living skills, nor behavior problems. The results of this study suggest that communication skills are more closely linked to functional and behavioral outcomes in autism than structural language skills.

Article 2

Ellis Weismer, S., Lord, C., & Esler, A. (2010). Early language patterns of toddlers on the autism spectrum compared to toddlers with developmental delay. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 40(10), 1259-73. doi:http://dx.doi.org.library.capella.edu/10.1007/s10803-010-0983-1

This study characterized early language abilities in toddlers with autism spectrum disorders (n = 257) using multiple measures of language development, compared to toddlers with non-spectrum developmental delay (DD, n = 69). Findings indicated moderate to high degrees of agreement among three assessment measures (one parent report and two direct assessment measures). Performance on two of the three measures revealed a significant difference in the profile of receptive–expressive language abilities for toddlers with autism compared to the DD group, such that toddlers with autism had relatively more severe receptive than expressive language delays. Regression analyses examining concurrent predictors of language abilities revealed both similarities in significant predictors (nonverbal cognition) and differences (frequency of vocalization, imitation) across the diagnostic groups

Article 3

Drew, A., Baird, G., Taylor, E., Milne, E., & Charman, T. (2007). The social communication assessment for toddlers with autism (SCATA): An instrument to measure the frequency, form and function of communication in toddlers with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37(4), 648-66. doi:http://dx.doi.org.library.capella.edu/10.1007/s10803-006-0224-9

The Social Communication Assessment for Toddlers with Autism (SCATA) was designed to measure non-verbal communication, including early and atypical communication, in young children with autism spectrum disorder. Each communicative act is scored according to its form, function, role and complexity. The SCATA was used to measure communicative ability longitudinally in two samples of toddlers with autism spectrum disorder. Overall frequency of non-verbal communicative acts did not change between the two assessments. However, the form and complexity, the function and the role the child took in the interaction did change with time. Both frequency and function of communicative acts in toddlerhood were positively associated with later language ability: social acts, comments and initiations showed greater predictive association than requests and responses.

Article 4

Ellawadi, A. B., & Weismer, S. E. (2015). Using spoken language benchmarks to characterize the expressive language skills of young children with autism spectrum disorders. American Journal of Speech – Language Pathology (Online), 24(4), 696-707. doi:http://dx.doi.org.library.capella.edu/10.1044/2015_AJSLP-14-0190

Spoken language benchmarks proposed by Tager-Flusberg et al. were used to characterize communication profiles of toddlers with autism spectrum disorders and to investigate if there were differences in variables hypothesized to influence language development at different benchmark levels. The communication abilities of a large sample of toddlers with autism spectrum disorders 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 2.5 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.

Article 5

Ventola, P., Kleinman, J., Pandey, J., Wilson, L., Esser, E., Boorstein, H., . . . Fein, D. (2007). Differentiating between autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities in children who failed a screening instrument for ASD. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37(3), 425-36. doi:http://dx.doi.org.library.capella.edu/10.1007/s10803-006-0177-z

This study compared behavioral presentation of toddlers with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and toddlers with global developmental delay (DD) or developmental language disorder (DLD) who display some characteristics of ASD using the diagnostic algorithm items from the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Generic (ADOS), the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS), and Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT). To date, 195 children have failed the M-CHAT and have been diagnosed with ASD, DD or DLD. Children with ASD had prominent and consistent impairments in socialization skills, especially joint attention skills and were more impaired in some aspects of communication, play, and sensory processing. Children with ASD and children with DD/ DLD shared common features, but certain behavioral markers differentiated the two groups.

Article 6

Boyd, B. A., Odom, S. L., Humphreys, B. P., & Sam, A. M. (2010). Infants and toddlers with autism spectrum disorder: Early identification and early intervention. Journal of Early Intervention, 32(2), 75-98. doi:http://dx.doi.org.library.capella.edu/10.1177/1053815110362690

The purpose of this article is to summarize current scientific and policy information on early identification and early intervention for infants and toddlers with ASD and their families. Following a brief overview that provides basic information about ASD, the authors discuss early warning signs of the disorder and available screening and diagnostic tools. Finally, they highlight focused intervention practices and comprehensive treatment models appropriate for infants and toddlers with ASD, as well as issues affecting the delivery of effective early intervention services to children and families.

Charman, T. (2010). Developmental approaches to understanding and treating autism. Folia Phoniatrica Et Logopaedica, 62(4), 166-77. doi:http://dx.doi.org.library.capella.edu/10.1159/000314032Article 7

. The study of ‘high-risk’ siblings has allowed prospective study of infants from as young as 6 months of age. There is increasing evidence that intervention approaches that focus on social and communication development can ameliorate symptoms and change the developmental course of the disorder. This article will highlight some of the key theoretical and clinical lessons learned from this decade of research.

Article 8

Gusty-Lee Boulware, Schwartz, I. S., Sandall, S. R., & McBride, B. J. (2006). Project DATA for toddlers: An inclusive approach to very young children with autism spectrum disorder. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 26(2), 94-100,102-105. Retrieved from http://library.capella.edu/login?qurl=https%3A%2F%2Fsearch.proquest.com%2Fdocview%2F233600600%3Faccount

Project DATA (Developmentally Appropriate Treatment for Autism) for Toddlers is an inclusive early intervention program for children between 1 year and 3 years old who have been diagnosed with ASD and is based on an existing program for preschoolers with ASD at the University of Washington. Project DATA for Toddlers uses the effective preschool model and makes modifications to meet the unique developmental needs of toddlers. In this article, the authors describe the components of Project DATA for Toddlers and present preliminary findings, specifically, child outcome data from the areas of cognition, communication, self-regulation, functional skills, and elementary school placement. They also discuss the implications for early intervention service delivery programs.

Article 9

Green, S. A., Ben-sasson, A., Soto, T. W., & Carter, A. S. (2012). Anxiety and sensory over-responsivity in toddlers with autism spectrum disorders: Bidirectional effects across time. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42(6), 1112-9. doi:http://dx.doi.org.library.capella.edu/10.1007/s10803-011-1361-3

This report focuses on the emergence of and bidirectional effects between anxiety and sensory overresponsivity (SOR) in toddlers with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Participants were 149 toddlers with ASD and their mothers, assessed at 2 annual time points. A cross-lag analysis showed that anxiety symptoms increased over time while SOR remained relatively stable. SOR positively predicted changes in anxiety over and above child age, autism symptom severity, NVDQ, and maternal anxiety, but anxiety did not predict changes in SOR. Results suggest that SOR emerges earlier than anxiety, and predicts later development of anxiety.

Article 10

Allison, C., Baron-cohen, S., Wheelwright, S., Charman, T., Richler, J., Pasco, G., & Brayne, C. (2008). The Q-CHAT (quantitative CHecklist for autism in toddlers): A normally distributed quantitative measure of autistic traits at 18-24 Months of age: Preliminary report. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38(8), 1414-25. doi:http://dx.doi.org.library.capella.edu/10.1007/s10803-007-0509-7

. This quantitative CHAT (Q-CHAT) contains 25 items, scored on a 5 point scale (0–4). The Q-CHAT was completed by parents of n = 779 unselected toddlers (mean age 21 months) and n = 160 toddlers and preschoolers (mean age 44 months) with an Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC). The ASC group (mean (SD) = 51.8 (14.3)) scored higher on the Q-CHAT than controls (26.7 (7.8)). Boys in the control group (27.5 (7.8)) scored higher than girls (25.8 (7.7)). The intraclass correlation for test-retest reliability was 0.82 (n = 330). The distribution in the control group was close to normal. Full examination of the clinical validity of the Q-CHAT and test properties is underway. Keywords Autism spectrum conditions Q-CHAT