Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 115–128

A longitudinal study of joint attention and language development in autistic children

Authors

  • Peter Mundy
    • Department of PsychiatryUCLA Center for the Health Sciences
  • Marian Sigman
    • Department of PsychiatryUCLA Center for the Health Sciences
  • Connie Kasari
    • Department of PsychiatryUCLA Center for the Health Sciences
Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF02206861

Cite this article as:
Mundy, P., Sigman, M. & Kasari, C. J Autism Dev Disord (1990) 20: 115. doi:10.1007/BF02206861

Abstract

This study was designed to examine the degree to which individual differences in gestural joint attention skills predicted language development among autistic children. A group of 15 autistic children (mean CA=45 months) were matched with one group of mentally retarded (MR) children on mental age and another group of MR children on language age. These groups were administered the Early Social-Communication Scales. The latter provided measures of gestural requesting, joint attention, and social behaviors. The results indicated that, even when controlling for language level, mental age, or IQ, autistic children displayed deficits in gestural joint attention skills on two testing sessions that were 13 months apart. Furthermore, the measure of gestural nonverbal joint attention was a significant predictor of language development in the autistic sample. Other variables, including initial language level and IQ were not significant predictors of language development in this sample.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990