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Parents key in new measure to evaluate language in children with autism
Date:6/10/2009

This release is available in French.

WATERLOO, Ont. (Wednesday June 10, 2009) A new parent questionnaire, developed at the University of Waterloo, will help health practitioners to more accurately gauge the acquisition of language skills in children with autism.

The pioneering Language Use Inventory (LUI) is among a set of measures for evaluating spoken language development in children with autism spectrum disorders, recommended by an expert panel.

The experts' report, Defining Spoken Language Benchmarks and Selecting Measures of Expressive Language Development for Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, appears in the June 2009 issue of the Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research. The report was commissioned by the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

"This is very exciting news," said UW professor Daniela O'Neill, a developmental psychologist who created the LUI. "This report will be of tremendous help to researchers, clinicians and speech-language professionals involved in intervention with young children with autism and we are very proud to see the LUI included among the measures recommended for evaluating the efficacy of interventions that target spoken language."

The LUI is a standardized questionnaire that asks parents about their child's use of language in many different kinds of settings. Research from the Centers for Disease Control suggests the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders to be one in 150 children.

"The LUI looks at pragmatic language development which has do with how young children are able to use their language effectively and successfully in everyday interactions with other people in ways that are age-appropriate and typical," O'Neill explained. "For example, to ask for help, comment about noticeable things, tease, tell stories and give o
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Contact: David Coulombe
mediarelations@cihr-irsc.gc.ca
613-941-4563
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Source:Eurekalert

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