Variability at the Minimally Verbal End of the Spectrum: Evidence from Biology and Behavior

Approximately 25-30% of individuals with ASD remain minimally verbal (MV) despite access to intervention (Anderson et al., 2007; Tager-Flusberg & Kasari, 2014). Although unified by the lack of spoken language, the MV ASD population exhibits considerable heterogeneity with regard to cognitive, social and receptive language abilities (DiStefano et al., 2016; Bal et al., 2016). This variability likely results from the fact that many different pathways can lead to expressive language impairment. Improving outcomes for this subgroup of the autism spectrum requires better characterization and understanding of this variability. This panel will present research from multiple levels of investigation within the MV spectrum, from brain to behavior. Panel presentations will include electrophysiological investigation of auditory, visual and lexical processing in both MV and verbal children with ASD, prosodic and acoustic characteristics of speech in MV children, and emotional/behavioral profiles of children with ASD across language levels. Throughout the presentations, we will discuss differences between MV and verbal children with ASD, variability within the MV group, and we will consider the ways in which these findings can inform our understanding of pathways to and outcomes of language impairment in the ASD population.
Friday, May 12, 2017: 10:30 AM-12:00 PM
Yerba Buena 9 (Marriott Marquis Hotel)
Panel Chair:
C. DiStefano
S. S. Jeste
10:50 AM
ERP Evidence of Semantic Processing in Children with ASD
C. DiStefano A. T. Marin E. Baker S. S. Jeste