The scientific study, “Behavior Predictors of Language Development over Two Years in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders,” conducted by Karen D. Bopp, Pat Mirenda, and Bruno Zumbo was published in the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. This study was conducted in British Columbia, Canada from data retrieved from a database of another study. The goal of this study was to determine if certain types of behaviors often displayed by autistic children before intervention could be predictors of the language abilities they would develop.
There are many factors that contribute to the development of language skills in autistic children, or lack thereof. Still, it is theorized that there are many more factors that influence a child’s development s well. Understanding what factors influence a child’s development help professionals design intervention methods that will help improve the outcome of these children. The purpose of this study was to identify types of behaviors that predict slow development of language skills or a lack of language skills so that they could be focused on in interventions in the future. Based on previous research, the researchers in this study chose five behavior types to study. These were: acting-out behavior, repetitive sensory motor behavior, insistence on sameness behavior, socially unresponsive behavior, and inattentiveness behavior. These behaviors were also chosen because of their agreeableness with the social-interactionist perspective. This perspective has a belief that language is developed through social interactions. Thus, the study focuses on five social related behaviors in relationship to the development of language in autistic children. The authors explain the five different behavior types, giving some examples of behaviors that would be classified in each as well as citing other research to explain why these types of behaviors are related to language development.
In this study, the data following 69 children were used. These children represented many ethnic backgrounds, and living situations with 58 males and 11 females ranging from 1 year, 9 months to 6 years-old. All of the children in this study were diagnosed with autism before the study began and after some length of early intervention (not all of the early intervention programs were the same). Data of the severity of the children’s autism and language skills were initially collected and were then collected again after 6, 12, and 24 months. The data collected was collected by a team of psychologists, speech-language pathologists, and graduate students who conducted interviews.
The scores each child received on the language and vocabulary tests served as the dependent variable in this study. These scores came from several tests performed by psychologists including the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, the Expressive One-word Picture Vocabulary Test, and the Preschool Language Scale. The children’s behaviors (the independent variable...