Investigating Multiple Components of Language Development in the Same Children: The Uconn Early Language Study

Studies of language in children with ASD usually target just one linguistic component (e.g., pragmatics, maternal interaction, grammar, word learning, expressive/receptive language, joint attention, gesture); however, actual language development/use involves all of these simultaneously. The UCONN Early Language Study includes a unique dataset in which multiple components of language were assessed at multiple visits over a 2-year span, in >30 children with ASD plus >30 TD children who were matched on language at study onset. This panel presents four different analyses of this dataset, carried out by different researchers focusing on different language components in the same children, revealing how language components interact during development. Included are (1) analyses of the children’s gestures during mother-child play sessions early in the study, and which gestures predict speech and language abilities 2 years later; (2) reports on the general lexical and grammatical growth rates of the children’s speech over time, and how these rates are influenced by—and reciprocally influence—the mothers’ speech; (3) analyses of the children’s verb development, comparing emergence of e.g., action, mental, and social verbs; (4) data on the children’s comprehension of words and grammar, especially considering how early comprehension abilities impact later language use. Cross-paper integration will be highlighted.
Saturday, May 16, 2015: 10:30 AM-12:30 PM
Grand Ballroom D (Grand America Hotel)
Panel Chair:
L. Naigles
10:30 AM
The Role of Gestures in Early Language Development in Children with ASD
A. Goodwin S. Goldin-Meadow D. A. Fein L. Naigles