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Calls to Action

Language Benchmarks in Children with ASD

September 21, 2009

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, or NIDCD, assembled a group of researchers with interests and experience in the study of language development and disorders in young children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The group worked for 18 months through a series of conference calls and correspondence, culminating in a December 2007 meeting, sponsored by Autism Speaks, to achieve consensus on two areas: 1) To offer a set of recommended measures that can be used for evaluating the efficacy of interventions that target spoken language acquisition as part of treatment research studies or for use in applied settings; and, 2) To propose and define a common terminology for describing levels of spoken language ability in the expressive modality and set benchmarks for determining a child's language level in order to establish a framework for comparing outcomes across intervention studies.

The attached paper, to be published in the Journal of Speech-Language-Hearing Research, addresses the need for and ultimate recommendations regarding assessment and terminology related to language in children with ASD.

Click here to download the paper in PDF format.