Does an Early Speech Preference Predict Linguistic and Social-Pragmatic Attention in Infants Displaying and Not Displaying Later ASD Symptoms?

Amy Yamashiro, Suzanne Curtin, Athena Vouloumanos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Human infants show a robust preference for speech over many other sounds, helping them learn language and interact with others. Lacking a preference for speech may underlie some language and social-pragmatic difficulties in children with ASD. But, it’s unclear how an early speech preference supports later language and social-pragmatic abilities. We show that across infants displaying and not displaying later ASD symptoms, a greater speech preference at 9 months is related to increased attention to a person when they speak at 12 months, and better expressive language at 24 months, but is not related to later social-pragmatic attention or outcomes. Understanding how an early speech preference supports language outcomes could inform targeted and individualized interventions for children with ASD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2475-2490
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume50
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Language outcomes
  • Linguistic attention
  • Social-pragmatic attention
  • Speech preference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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