Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 42, Issue 8, pp 1616–1629

Behavioral and Physiological Responses to Child-Directed Speech of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders or Typical Development

Authors

    • Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, CB# 7190The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Jane E. Roberts
    • Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, CB #8180The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    • University of South Carolina
  • Grace T. Baranek
    • Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, CB #7120The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Kerry C. Mandulak
    • Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, CB# 7190The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    • Portland State University
  • Jennifer C. Dalton
    • Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, CB# 7190The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    • Appalachian State University
Original paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-011-1401-z

Cite this article as:
Watson, L.R., Roberts, J.E., Baranek, G.T. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2012) 42: 1616. doi:10.1007/s10803-011-1401-z

Abstract

Young boys with autism were compared to typically developing boys on responses to nonsocial and child-directed speech (CDS) stimuli. Behavioral (looking) and physiological (heart rate and respiratory sinus arrhythmia) measures were collected. Boys with autism looked equally as much as chronological age-matched peers at nonsocial stimuli, but less at CDS stimuli. Boys with autism and language age-matched peers differed in patterns of looking at live versus videotaped CDS stimuli. Boys with autism demonstrated faster heart rates than chronological age-matched peers, but did not differ significantly on respiratory sinus arrhythmia. Reduced attention during CDS may restrict language-learning opportunities for children with autism. The heart rate findings suggest that young children with autism have a nonspecific elevated arousal level.

Keywords

AutismLanguageChild-directed speechAttentionRespiratory sinus arrhythmiaHeart rate

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011