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Language And Communication Impairments Are Primary Features Of Autism Spectrum Disorders ( Asd )

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Language and communication impairments are primary features of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and are the some of the earliest emerging behavioral markers of ASD. “Research with typically developing populations highlights the importance of both infants and maternal gesture use in infants’ early language development” (Talbott and Flusberg, 2015, p.1). Investigations of infant siblings of children with autism, who are at increased genetic risk, have shown delays in language and gesture production during their first year of life; these children are later diagnosed with ASD. Therefore, due to the commonness of language and gesture difficulties amongst high risk siblings and the impact of language on functional outcomes, it is important…show more content…
Other infants were placed in a low-risk control group (LRC) if they had at least one sibling with typical development. The development of these reference siblings was determined by their scores on the Social Communication Questionnaire answered by their parents. HRA infants had siblings who scored at least 15 and LRC infants siblings scored less than 12. HRA infant siblings also met diagnostic criteria on the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) or were diagnosed by an expert clinician. Infants were seen at 12 and 18 months as part of a larger ongoing project. At the 12-month visit, research staff administered the Communication and Symbolic Behavior Scale (CSBS), the Mullen Scales of Early Learning (MSEL), and infants and parents had 10-minutes of free play with infant-appropriate toys (MC). At the 18-month visit, staff ran the MSEL and the ADOS. CSBS is a semi-structured interaction between an infant and examiner designed to assess the infant’s communicative and symbolic behavior ranges; in the context of the present study, it was used for scoring infant gesture competency. MSEL is a standardized developmental assessment for infants from birth through 68 months that measures skills in Gross Mother and four cognitive domains: Visual reception, Fine Motor, Expressive and Receptive Language. ADOS is a semi-structured play-based interaction used to assess participants’ communicative and
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