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Title page for ETD etd-03232008-224412


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Malesa, Elizabeth Eve
Author's Email Address elizabeth.malesa@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-03232008-224412
Title Predicting expressive language abilities from early intentional communication in younger siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder
Degree Master of Science
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Tedra Walden Committee Chair
Megan Saylor Committee Member
Paul Yoder Committee Member
Keywords
  • intentional communication
  • declaratives
  • siblings
  • autism
  • language
Date of Defense 2008-03-21
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
This paper examines the relation between intentional communication (i.e., declaratives, imperatives) observed at 12-19 months and expressive language abilities observed one year subsequently, comparing younger siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder to younger siblings of typically developing children. For this study I use an observational coding system to quantify expressive language, adapted from a coding system devised by Professor Yoder. This study found that younger siblings of children of typically developing children were significantly better at initiating declarative intentional communication than were younger siblings of children with autism. Furthermore, results reveal a positive predictive relation between declaratives and later expressive language in younger siblings of children with ASD as well as in typically developing children. The study also shows that declaratives predict later expressive language over and above imperatives in both groups. The importance of the predictive relation between declaratives and later expressive language in this group lies in the possibility of pinpointing early markers of increased risk for ASD and autism symptamology, allowing for earlier identification as well as targets of early intervention.
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