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ERIC Number: EJ902788
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Nov
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1058-0360
Predicting Lexical Density Growth Rate in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Yoder, Paul J.
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, v15 n4 p378-388 Nov 2006
Purpose: The purpose of this longitudinal correlational study was to test whether an environmental variable and 4 child variables predicted growth rate of number of different nonimitative words used (i.e., lexical density). Method: Thirty-five young (age range = 21-54 months) children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) who were initially nonverbal or low verbal participated in the study. Lexical density was measured at 3 times: at entry into the study as well as 6 months and 12 months after entry into the study. Growth curve analysis was used to test the associations. The predictive value of the putative predictors in the model was tested after controlling for initial expressive language impairment. Results: Initial frequency of intentional communication and diversity of object play were predictors of lexical density growth above and beyond initial expressive language impairment (both pseudo R[superscript 2]s = 0.14). Conclusions: Intentional communication and diversity of object play may represent important prelinguistic goals for young children with ASD. These skills not only have been shown to be malleable through treatment, but they also provide a context for linguistic input from others that may facilitate language development.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). 10801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. Tel: 800-638-8255; Fax: 301-571-0457; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A