Deficits in spoken communication are one of the core features defining Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Children with ASD are almost universally delayed in acquiring spoken language.
In fact, about 25 percent of children with autism never learn to speak. We do not know why, or at what point, autism derails the acquisition of spoken language.
We believe that deficits in spoken communication are not an inevitable consequence of autism. This research core seeks to map out the processes underlying vocal behavior in the first two years of life, and thus to develop quantitative measurements for progress through key steps in speech development from infancy. These measuring tools can serve as predictors for future delay and help us direct intervention at the earliest possible stages for speech and language therapy.
By creating an integrated research program based on multiple convergent methodologies, our investigators are able to map out an entire picture of communication deficits in autism that is greater than the sum of its parts. We are combining multiple datasets to track the growth or atrophy of each of our children's spoken language skills as they unfold:
Avi Gates, an active, independent 3-year-old, does not have autism. But for two years, she was a participant in an autism research study aimed at changing the very nature of the disease. Learn why Avi's parent's chose to participate in autism research.
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