Navigation Links
Most Kids With Autism Overcome Language Delays, Study Finds
Date:3/5/2013

By Mary Brophy Marcus
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, March 4 (HealthDay News) -- Severe language delays early in the life of a child with autism can be overcome, especially if a child exhibits nonverbal intelligence.

A new study that looked at speech delays in children with autism spectrum disorders found that 70 percent of children who were not stringing words together into even the simplest of phrases by age 4 went on to do so by age 8, and in some cases, even achieved fluent speech.

"Autism spectrum disorders" is an umbrella term for neurodevelopmental conditions ranging from Asperger's syndrome to severe autism. Hallmarks of these conditions include problems with social interaction and repetitive behaviors.

The findings, published online March 4 and in the April print issue of the journal Pediatrics, offer hope, said lead author Dr. Ericka Wodka, a neuropsychologist and assistant professor of psychiatry at the Kennedy Krieger Institute's Center for Autism and Related Disorders, in Baltimore.

"The study gives doctors and parents a sense that when these delays persist -- when a child presents at age 6 or 7 without phrase speech -- they still have growth opportunity," Wodka said. "There's still a lot of hope that these children can go on to gain meaningful language."

The scientists evaluated data on more than 500 children with an autism spectrum disorder who were part of a national multisite study that involved complete evaluations on every child.

"Our data are based on actual measurements of current functioning and parent interviews, not chart review," Wodka said.

As toddlers, none of the children in the study had achieved "phrase speech," the ability to put together more than two or three words to communicate -- to say basic sentences such as, "I want juice," for example.

Demographics -- including parent income and education level, and child psychiatric characteristics -- were not associated with whether a child with language delay attained phrase speech, Wodka said. Repetitive behaviors, such as hand-flapping, were not linked with delayed speech either.

Strong predictors of a child's ability to go on to develop phrase or fluent speech skills included his or her non-verbal IQ and being less impaired socially, Wodka said.

The size of the study lends the findings weight, said Dr. Sarah Paterson, a scientist in the Developmental Neuroimaging Laboratory at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Paterson conducts brain imaging and cognitive studies of infants at risk for autism.

"There is a large number of children involved," Paterson said. "It's hard to get a sample that big in an autism study and I think it gives us some insight into what's happening with language."

Paterson said the results are not surprising. "I think the take-home message is that, as we've thought for a long time, social skills and nonverbal communication skills really are building blocks for language. Those who do have those skills generally have better language than those who don't."

Parents need to keep the results in perspective, though, said another autism expert.

"Parents should be cautious about applying statistics from studies like these to their individual child's outcome," said Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, in New Hyde Park.

Adesman said it's also important to note that although autism has to be considered whenever evaluating a child with language delay, the majority of children with language delay at age 2 or 3 don't have an autism spectrum disorder. "That's an important point," he said. "This study wasn't looking at severe language delay without diagnosis of autism."

Adesman said if children have good nonverbal communication skills -- if they use gestures to communicate even though they don't use words, for example, and if they engage with people appropriately and are socially responsive -- that would suggest something other than autism spectrum disorder is the likely cause of language delay.

Parents with concerns about their toddler's lack of language development can ask their pediatrician about autism screening, or look for a community resource. "Every child can get a free evaluation when language delay is suspected," he said.

Wodka said she hopes the study findings will help guide parents and health professionals who work with children with autism to set both language and behavioral goals.

"What complicates issues for children with autism is that it's not purely a language disorder," she said. "It's a communication disorder, and it's important to consider the child's intellectual level as well as the social issues."

More information

Visit the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health to learn more about autism.

SOURCES: Ericka Wodka, M.D., neuropsychologist, assistant professor of psychiatry, Kennedy Krieger Institute Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Baltimore; Andrew Adesman, M.D., chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics, Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, New Hyde Park; Sarah Paterson, Ph.D., scientist, Developmental Neuroimaging Laboratory, and project coordinator, Infant Brain Imaging Study of Infants at Risk for Autism, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and research assistant and professor, University of Pennsylvania; April 2013 Pediatrics


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. An Early Start for Your Child with Autism
2. IntegraGen launches ARISk test, a genetic screening tool for autism in high-risk children
3. Researchers Find Gene Mutations That May Be a Key to Autism
4. Pregnancy Length May Influence Severity of Autism
5. Children Born to Obese Moms May Face Higher Autism Risk: Study
6. Online Tool Could Diagnose Autism Quickly, Developers Say
7. Autism by the numbers: Yale researchers examine impact of new diagnostic criteria
8. In Mice, Drug Reverses Symptoms of Condition Linked to Autism
9. Study of half siblings provides genetic clues to autism
10. Genes Associated With Autism Also Related to Schizophrenia
11. Publication Bias Casts Doubt on Value of Antidepressants for Autism
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Most Kids With Autism Overcome Language Delays, Study Finds
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... 28, 2017 , ... Somnoware, a leading provider of digital ... enables sleep physicians to create and edit their interpretation reports. This solution greatly ... familiar interface that does not require additional training to use. It also allows ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... Getting enough sleep affects much more than energy – it also ... hours without sleep can compromise motor reaction time, which can increase the risk of having ... sharing the following tips from the NSF to help you sleep better and feel better:, ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Ushio America proudly introduces the new ... solution for F32T8 fluorescent lamps on most instant-start and programmed-start electronic ballasts so ... lamps utilize the existing electronic ballast, saving labor and maintenance costs. It’s easy ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... , ... April 28, 2017 , ... ... been previously exposed to more adverse experiences than children in the general population. ... such as abuse, neglect or other family challenges. While no fault of their ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... Early detection and ... drug safety and minimize the cost of development. In this webinar, sponsored by ... cell lines and for cardiac toxicity using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/26/2017)... Phoenix Marketing Solutions ( Phoenix ) ... mission of transforming science into clinical practice. During a time ... innovative approach supports the life sciences industry by ... in science and medicine — which ultimately improves lives. ... 2002 by Tracy Doyle and Angela Fiordilino ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... -- Cogentix Medical, Inc. (NASDAQ: CGNT), a global medical ... and Gynecology markets with innovative and proprietary products, ... Company as Senior Vice President, Marketing & Business ... will report directly to Darin Hammers , ... delighted that Ash has joined the Cogentix team," ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... DUBLIN , April 20, 2017 Research ... Delivery Technologies - Innovation Driven by Rapidly Expanding Injectables Market and ... to their offering. ... market for drug delivery technologies will rise from USD 20 Billion ... Global Drug Delivery Technologies - Innovation Driven by Rapidly ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: