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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How Do Children with Autism Develop Speech? (Hodgdon)

From Linda Hodgdon
Many young children with autism are non-verbal or delayed in developing speech.  Speech Therapy or some type of early intervention program is recommended when those children are identified.

By the time a typically developing child is two, it is generally expected that they will be using some words to communicate.  The vocabulary of the typically developing toddler might contain somewhere between 75-225 words.  When young children do not develop those early words, that is a signal for further investigation.

A recent article highlighted Researchers at Bryn Mawr College’s Child Study Institute who have identified a list of 25 words that they suggest every (typically developing) child should be using by age two.

Here is their list of 25 common words that they say should form the building blocks of a (typically developing) toddler’s vocabulary:

-all gone    -baby     -ball     -banana     -bath     -bye bye     -book     -car      -cat     -cookie      -daddy     -dog      -eye      -hat      -hello/hi       -hot      -juice      -milk      -mommy      -more      -no      -nose     -shoe      -thank you      -yes

It’s an interesting list. . .typical food items, body parts, clothing.  The targeted words are those that are most commonly integrated into early interactions with young children during the course of daily activities.  Of course, the most important words on that list that young children speak are “no,” “yes,” “more” and “all gone.”

After looking at this list I have an important question.  What vocabulary is being targeted in early Speech Therapy or in the early intervention setting for children with autism?  How does that coordinate with this list of early words?

How do therapists, teachers and parents select the vocabulary to focus on when they teach speech to children with autism?

Please comment on your most important vocabulary (on Linda's blog - HERE!!!)

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