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Spoken Language Change in Children on the Autism Spectrum Receiving Community-Based Interventions

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posted on 2023-12-22, 00:24 authored by David TrembathDavid Trembath, Matt Stainer, Kristina CaithnessKristina Caithness, Cheryl DissanayakeCheryl Dissanayake, Valsamma Eapen, Kathryn Fordyce, Veronica FrewerVeronica Frewer, Grace Frost, Kristelle HudryKristelle Hudry, Teresa IaconoTeresa Iacono, Nicole Mahler, Anne Masi, Jessica Paynter, Katherine PyeKatherine Pye, Shannon Quan, Leanne Shellshear, Rebecca Sutherland, Stephanie Sievers, Abirami Thirumanickam, Marleen F Westerveld, Madonna Tucker
We assessed the spoken language of 73 preschool aged children on the autism spectrum receiving community-based early intervention at two time points, approximately 7 months apart. Using the Spoken Language Benchmarks, there was a small non-significant change in the proportion of children transitioning from below, to at or above, Phase 3 (word combinations). Using binomial regression, a model comprising seven of nine clinician-proposed child-related predictors explained 64% of the variance. None of the predictors were individually significant, although a large effect size (OR = 16.71) was observed for children’s baseline rate of communicative acts. The findings point to substantial unmet clinical need in children with minimal verbal language, but also the relevance of clinician-proposed predictors of their spoken language outcomes.


This research was supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Social Services. David Trembath was supported by a NHMRC Early Career Researcher Fellowship (GNT1071811).


Publication Date



Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders




14p. (p. 2232-2245)


Springer Nature



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